Well within about 15 minutes of my hitting publish on that last post it became obsolete with the news of Mel Martinez's retirement announcement.
That's good news for Republicans. I had pretty much concluded their only prospects for holding onto that seat were if Martinez got booted in the primary. His approval ratings were just unbelievably low- SurveyUSA hasn't done one of its 100 Senator approval things in a long time but if they did I have to imagine Martinez would rank in the bottom five.
It all depends now on who runs but I have to imagine this will be one of the most closely contested and expensive races in the country in 2010 both in the primary and the general election. Unless Alex Sink changes her mind there aren't any clear favorites on either side of the aisle- lots of solid candidates but no real superstars. That's the recipe for a crowded field.