Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Friday, November 24, 2006

New SUSA Senate Rankings and More Rumblings from New Hampshire

Survey USA has just released its latest rankings of Senator approvals. Shocker, 8 of the top 10 are Democrats (the two ladies of Maine are the two GOP Senators in the top 10), and 7 of the bottom 8 are Republicans - the bottom four (Burns, Santorum, Talent, and DeWine) were all deposed in this month's elections.

Here are the rankings for the Senators up for re-election in 2008:

Rank - State - Name - Party - Approve-Disapprove - Approval Margin
4 ME Susan Collins R 73%-23% +50%
6 MT Max Baucus D 72%-23% +49%
10 SD Tim Johnson D 70%-26% +44%
11 NM Pete Domenici R 68%-25% +43%
19 RI Jack Reed D 66%-27% +39%
20 WY Michael Enzi R 65%-26% +39%
24 MS Thad Cochran R 65%-29% +36%
27 VA John Warner R 60%-28% +32%
31 DE Joseph Biden D 63%-33% +29%
32 WV Jay Rockefeller D 61%-32% +29%
34 ID Larry Craig R 60%-32% +29%
35 AK Ted Stevens R 62%-34% +28%
41 AL Jeff Sessions R 58%-32% +25%
43 NE Chuck Hagel R 59%-35% +25%
48 SC Lindsey Graham R 56%-34% +22%
54 AR Mark Pryor D 56%-37% +19%
55 MI Carl Levin D 54%-36% +18%
59 TN Lamar Alexander R 53%-36% +17%
61 OR Gordon Smith R 54%-37% +17%
62 GA Saxby Chambliss R 52%-36% +16%
65 KY Mitch McConnell R 54%-39% +15%
66 KS Pat Roberts R 51%-36% +15%
68 IL Richard Durbin D 52%-38% +15%
69 IA Tom Harkin D 53%-40% +13%
72 NC Elizabeth Dole R 52%-40% +12%
73 LA Mary Landrieu D 54%-42% +12%
80 OK James Inhofe R 46%-41% +5%
81 MN Norm Coleman R 48%-43% +5%
84 TX John Cornyn R 45%-42% +3%
86 NH John Sununu R 47%-44% +3%
89 CO Wayne Allard R 44%-43% +1%
92 MA John Kerry D 48%-50% -2%
96 NJ Frank Lautenberg D 39%-45% -5%

Observations from the bottom up:
  • 1) Democrats in New Jersey will spend the next few months deciding on a replacement for Frank Lautenberg. The Congressional delegation is probably deciding who will step forward - consider Rep. Robert Andrews the frontrunner. The GOP will wait and see if Tom Kean Jr. wants another shot before looking elsewhere.
  • 2) John Kerry's seat is his if he wants it (don't let the low approval fool you) and will stay in Democratic hands if he forgoes it for a 2008 Presidential bid.
  • 3) The next five lowest are all prime targets: Allard, Sununu, Cornyn, Coleman, and Inhofe. It's just a question of who is the top target between Allard, Sununu and Coleman (and finding the right opponents for Cornyn and Inhofe).
  • 4) Don't be fooled by Harkin's and Durbin's close-to-50% approvals. Both should be very safe. Mary Landrieu may be the GOP's only real target. Since the GOP does not want the embarrassment of two consecutive cycles without a D-to-R pickup, expect them to get behind a GOP candidate early and pour ungodly sums of money into Louisiana to take out Landrieu.
  • 5) In the second tier of GOP (dis)approvals (Dole, Roberts, McConnell, Chambliss, Smith, Alexander), Smith is the top target, but all are in play given the right opponent (say: Easley/Edwards, Sebelius, anybody who blinks regularly, Cleland, Kitzhaber, Bredesen/Ford Jr., respectively).

    Also, in New Hampshire, the Portsmouth Herald has a piece out focusing on their Mayor, Steve Marchand, but mentioning several possibilities to take on Republican John Sununu:

    Although the 32-year-old mayor has yet to discuss the matter with his wife, never mind announce himself as a candidate, Gov. John Lynch's recent statement that he does not have political aspirations in Washington has sparked discussion about potential challengers to the freshman senator. And Marchand is on the short list. ...

    Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, who lost to Sununu in 2002, recently told the Boston Globe she has not ruled out a rematch against Sununu. The article also mentions state Sens. Maggie Hassan, Joe Foster and Peter Burling as potential candidates, as well as Marchand.
    I'd imagine that former Governor Shaheen has first dibs, but it is great to see what a deep bench New Hampshire has for us.


    Post a Comment

    << Home