Older members of the Senate are finding that their stature is not translating into electoral cakewalks. Rather, most are facing tough fights.
In New Jersey, 84* year-old Frank Lautenberg will have to fend off a well-funded Democratic primary challenger in Rep. Rob Andrews, 51, before the likely GOP nominee, former Rep. Dick Zimmer, 64, who is no political novice.
And earlier today in Alaska, Democrat Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, 46, officially announced he will take on long-time Republican Sen. Ted Stevens who, on election day, will be two weeks away from turning 85. This will likely be the most significant challenge Stevens has ever faced, given his age and recent corruption investigations into his home and his family.
The next oldest Senators, John Warner, 81, and Pete Domenici, 76, chose not to stand for reelection.
Then again, 72 year-old Senators Pat Roberts and Elizabeth Dole look strong in their re-election prospects, as do Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, 73, and Missouri Sen. Thad Cochran, 71.
*Unless otherwise noted, these are the ages they will be on November 4, 2008.