As Senate Democrats continue to recover from their net loss of four seats on November 2, they got a bit of good news just 30 days later and from an unlikely source, President Bush.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat representing a very Republican state, sits near the top of the GOP's target list for 2006. President Bush took 66 percent of the vote in Nebraska last month and Nelson won the Senate seat in 2000 with just 51 percent, despite a weak challenger and a $1 million cash advantage. The Democrat lost his first bid for the Senate in 1996 at the hands of new-comer Chuck Hagel, who trounced Nelson, 56 percent to 42 percent. Nelson was in the middle of his second term as Governor at the time.

The conventional wisdom has been that Nelson would get a challenge in 2006 from Republican Gov. Mike Johanns, who is term-limited. Johanns is popular and polling taken in October had a hypothetical Nelson/Johanns match-up within the margin of error. However, President Bush has nominated Johanns to be the next Secretary

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