Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Monday, November 20, 2006

'08-Election Senators Eying the White House

Recent polling does not bode well for the three U.S. Senators who are up for re-election in 2008 and also eying a White House run the same year.

On the Democratic side, 2004 nominee John Kerry of Massachusetts and 1988 candidate Joe Biden of Delaware are both taking thorough looks at sequel campaigns. While Kerry's MA seat will almost definitely stay in Democratic hands should he give it up to seek the Presidential nomination, Delaware has a potentially strong Republican contender in at-large U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, who won re-election to the House this month by a 57-39 margin, a risk Senator Biden should consider.

However, both Kerry and Biden ranked in single digits in a poll released today by CNN. Kerry clocked in at 7% and Biden at 3%. The leader was recently re-elected New York Senator Hillary Clinton at 33%, followed by Illinois Senator Barack Obama at 15%. The other current senator on the list was Indiana's Evan Bayh at 2%. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, who seems much more likely to run for President than to challenge Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole for his former job (unfortunately, as he would be the best Democratic candidate for the NC Senate seat out of the gate), came in third at 14%.

On the Republican side, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska was not in any better shape. A Gallup poll released by USA Today on Friday put Hagel at just 1%. I'd like to see his percentage go up to encourage him to run and free up the seat, as it would be easier for a Democrat to win the open seat than unseat the incumbent Hagel. What bodes worse for Hagel, though, is that only 37% of his fellow Nebraskans think he would make a good President, according to an Associated Press exit poll on Election Day. Other sitting Republican Senators in the Gallup poll included Arizona's John McCain at 26% and Kansas' Sam Brownback at 1%. Outgoing GOP Senators on the list included Tennessee's Bill Frist at 4% and Virginia's George Allen at 2%.

Meanwhile, kos at DailyKos today cites the relative irrelevance of polls this far away from an election.


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