Apropos of my last post about Francine Busby’s special election loss, National Journal‘s Hotline blog has a good summary of where some of the most competitive House races will be in 2006.

The locations: in formerly red districts, in many red states, that went overwhelmingly for Bush in 2004. Of the 40 most competitive projected House races in 2006, 23 will occur in states Bush carried.

Of the seven Senate Republicans Democrats hope to knock off, five represent red states: Arizona, Montana, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Whether Democrats have the institutional capacity to compete and win in some of these states remains a very real question as we get closer to November.

With Bush’s approval rating over 50 percent in just three states, obviously the color map is changing. Red areas are turning blue, or at least purple.

But the climate Francine Busby faced in San Diego may not be so atypical. For Democrats to retake one or both houses of Congress, they’ll need to win more than 45 percent in these districts or states, no matter how red they are–or once were.