A lot of good reading today, especially looking at individual states' trends:First, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says Democrats in 2008 will defend 2006's gains.
Virginia: More mixed messages about whether or not John Warner will retire. The Washington Times has Ed Gillespie promising to piece the Virginia Republican Party back together again, with several Republican elected officials doing all they can to deny that Virginia is trending Democrat. The Daily Progress then has questions about George Allen's future and offers that GOP U.S. Rep. Thomas Davis "is considered a likely 2008 Senate candidate if U.S. Sen. John W. Warner, R-Alexandria, decides to retire."
New Hampshire: The Washington Post's David Broder looks at the Granite State's overwhelming jump from red to blue. The line of the piece: "'The only successful Republicans were the ones who were not on the ballot in 2006,' such as Sens. Judd Gregg and John Sununu, [veteran GOP leader Tom] Rath said."
Colorado: First, the New York Times looks at Denver's bid to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Second, the Denver Post offers insight into Republican incumbent Wayne Allard's potential re-election bid. Some meaty quotes:
Allard, a Republican with one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate, clearly knows the challenges he d face in 2008. His state tilted toward the Democrats in last month s election...Perhaps what is most shocking is that Allard, a former veterinarian, only got a 20 percent rating from The Humane Society of the United States!
Allard s seat already is being called one of the nation s most competitive for 2008, whether he runs again or not. It s definitely in the top three, said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
Allard, 63, pledged in 1996 to serve just two Senate terms. He now says voters view term limits differently. ...
Time magazine earlier this year named Allard one of the five worst senators. ...
He s one of the more nondescript members of the United States Senate, said Thomas Mann, political analyst with Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. He s not seen as a national player.
Chuck Todd, editor of the political newsletter The Hotline, said Allard is not somebody that seems to be ambitious for leadership, or ambitious for anything he does. ...
"From a national perspective, he is not terribly visible or active."
Larry Sabato, director, University of Virginia Center for Politics ...
"He has an extremely poor voting record on environmental issues."
Matt Garrington, field director of Environment Colorado