Which Way Are They Running?

First it was state Senator Vicki Walker (D-Eugene) who said she was looking to run for Governor. Then fellow Senate Democrat Rick Metsger (D-Welches) sent up his own trial balloon for a gubernatorial bid. Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) soon surfaced as a candidate for Portland City Council. Now Senator Charlie Ringo (D-Beaverton) is saying he won’t run for re-election.

Republicans in the Senate seem to be creating buzz for themselves with some high profile recruits. Democrats seem to be running from the Senate and Republicans seem to be running for the Senate. It begs two questions:

1) Why are all the Senate Democrats looking to jump ship?
2) How many seats will Republicans pick up in the Senate this year?

Please share your thoughts.