Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Speculation on the East Coast

Two fairly predictable tidbits:

  • Virginia: Rumblings are already progressing of some wanting Felix Macaca, whose secret identity is lame-duck Senator George Allen, to run for the Virginia Senate seat in 2008 if John Warner retires. If Allen couldn't beat Jim Webb in 2006, he can't beat the wildly popular ex-Governor Mark Warner in 2008, who will likely give the 2008 Senate race a good long look.

  • Rhode Island: In another case of a recently run-out-of-DC-Republican considering a second try, will Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, having just lost to Sheldon Whitehouse, take a chance against Jack Reed in 2008? Probably not, given Reed's incredibly high popularity (64-26 approval). But, if he does, don't be shocked if Chafee tries a run as an independent. Bob "Count Chocula" Novak's latest column notes that Chafee didn't even give the Bush administration a partisan thanks for their support:

    The national Republican strategists had excused Chafee's repeated deviations from party line voting on grounds that it was necessary for him to survive in his heavily Democratic state. But with Chafee a defeated lame duck after the election, there was no political justification for his declared opposition to John Bolton as United Nations ambassador. That killed any last hope for confirming Bolton.

    The White House had made a calculated decision to support Chafee against a regular Republican in the GOP primary in the belief only he could be elected. The Bush aides felt Chafee owed the president the Bolton vote since he was leaving the Senate anyway.
    Chafee is that unhappy with the GOP. And I'm very comfortable with that.

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