I really think the Georgia Senate race next year is a sleeper possibility for a Democratic pick up, just as it was this year. But it's going to be all about candidate recruitment.
Jim Martin, a candidate who was by most accounts bland and uninspiring, still came awfully close to knocking off Saxby Chambliss in November. Yes, he got trounced in the runoff, but while the turnout of Democratic leaning demographics might not be as good in November 2010 as it was in November 2008, I still think it will be a lot better than it was in December 2008.
And Johnny Isakson's approval numbers are weak. In November we found his approval at 30% and his disapproval at 25% with a whooping 45% of respondents having no opinion. When an incumbent is that much of a blank slate to the electorate it leaves organizations like the DSCC a lot of room to define them.
Speaking of the DSCC and defining candidates, Elizabeth Dole's approval numbers in February 2008 were 43/32. That's a lot better than Isakson's faring right now. And as Kay Hagan showed, whoever challenges Isakson doesn't necessarily need to be widely known at this point in the game- they just need to have the right stuff. If Democrats make this race a priority I think it could be surprisingly competitive next year.