2006 will, of course, see mid-term elections for 35 Governorships, 33 US Senate seats, and 435 US House seats, as well as most of the state legislatures. Modern Vertebrate has thumbnail summaries of the Governors and Senate races.
The 2006 Winter Olympics will start on February 10 in Turin, Italy.
There are a number of notable milestone anniversaries in the coming year. The tercentennial of the birth of Benjamin Franklin will be on January 17. The 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be on January 27. The 150th anniversaries of the births of Sigmund Freud and Woodrow Wilson will be this coming year. The centennial of the birth of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich will be in September. As mentioned previously here, December will see the centennial of the birth of Oscar Levant.
On a dark note, the coming year will be the 25th anniversary of one assassination and two attempted assassinations: the assassination of Anwar Sadat (October), and the attempts on Ronald Reagan (March) and Pope John Paul II (May).
Both houses of Congress are likely to remain under Republican control after the 2006 elections. Gerrymandering has created too many safe seats for the Republicans in the southern and western states for there to be a serious run at the House of Representatives this year. In the US Senate, of the 33 seats that are up, only 15 are currently held by Republicans. The Democrats could gain a few of these seats, but not enough to overcome the current 55 to 45 Republican majority (counting Sen Jim Jeffords (I - Vermont) as a Democrat).
The Republicans will lose some governorships. In particular, they will lose long-held governorships in Massachusetts and New York. In Massachusetts, watch for the contest to be between Independent Christy Mihos and either Tom Reilly or Deval Patrick. In New York, Eliot Spitzer should have little trouble with former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.