Politico, discussing the possibility that the Republican Party might take over the U.S. Senate in the 2012 election, says that with the retirement of Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., "North Dakota joins six other states that appear to be toss-ups at best for the Democrats — and the GOP needs to snag only four seats to win control."
One of the states that Politico tagged as tough for Democrats is Ohio, where Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown faces re-election after knocking off the incumbent Republican, Mike DeWine, in 2006.
Ohio's new lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor, is considered the most likely Republican candidate, at least at this point. Taylor won't say that she's running, but she isn't working hard to discourage the talk, either.
The other states listed as tough races for Democrats are Virginia, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Florida. Of course, it's very early to be making such predictions.