Wisconsin Senate: Moved from Safe Democrat to Lean Democrat

May 13, 2011 · 10:44 AM EDT

The retirement of Sen. Herb Kohl (D) forces Democrats to defend yet another open seat in a competitive state. The likable, wealthy senator, who was first elected in 1988, hasn’t had a particularly difficult race since his first race, so the open seat significantly improves GOP prospects.

Still, Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda has energized Democrats, and it’s unclear what the Republican field will look like. Our initial reaction to talk of a possible Senate candidacy by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is deep skepticism. One early name mentioned on the GOP side is new Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, former chairman of the state GOP party. 

Move from Safe Democrat to Lean Democrat until we get a better idea of who actually enters the contest. 

UPDATE 12:08 PM: Sources close to Cong. Tammy Baldwin (D) say she is likely to run.