Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) California Governor
The former Mr. Universe suffered humiliation in 2005, when all of his major ballot initiatives were shot down and his disapproval rating hit 55%. But this year a more cooperative Schwarzenegger cozied up to Democrats—and got love from Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama and George Clooney.
RESULT: Californians green-light sequel, reelect Arnie handily.
Lynn Swann (R) Pennsylvania Governor
The campaign of the former Steelers wide receiver, making his first foray into politics, struggled to hit its stride. "Something was fundamentally missing," one analyst said.
RESULT: No Immaculate Election! Swann loses most lopsided Guv race in state history.
Michael Steele (R) Maryland U.S. Senate seat
Mike Tyson was wearing one of his ex-brother-in-law's campaign T-shirts at a prebout press conference last month at which he said he'd like to fight a woman.
RESULT: Steele ends up on business end of political haymaker, loses 55%--44%.
Herb Kohl (D) Wisconsin U.S. Senate seat
The 71-year-old Bucks owner and three-term Senator ran in a very blue state: The GOP didn't even bother supporting opponent Robert Gerald Lorge, but Kohl didn't leave anything to chance. He outspent Lorge by a roughly 50-to-1 margin.
RESULT: His Bucks are off to a slow start (2--5) but race is a layup for Kohl, 67%--30%.
November 20, 2006
Jim Ryun (R) Kansas U.S. House seat
In his rematch with Nancy Boyda, who almost ousted him in 2004, the former world-record holder in the mile got some late help on the campaign trail from President Bush.
RESULT: Ryun nipped at tape, denied a sixth term by four points.
Heath Shuler (D) North Carolina U.S. House seat
Beltway fans who remembered Shuler's last disastrous stint in Washington—as the Redskins QB—started stopshuler.com to keep him from returning to the nation's capital. He's more popular at home.
RESULT: Man with 54.3 career passer rating takes seat with 53.7% of vote.