Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Polls in Montana and More Waiting in Kansas

Two late-night bites for you:

  • Montana: We got poll numbers, courtesy of the Missoulian:

    Some 65 percent of Montanans polled gave Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer a positive approval rating.

    Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Baucus did even better, with a 68 percent approval rating, which was tied with Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, also at 68 percent. ...

    The poll also took a look at a possible matchup in the 2008 U.S. Senate race: Baucus against Rehberg. Some 48 percent said they'd vote for Baucus, with 44 percent saying they'd vote for Rehberg. Eight percent said they didn't know.

    In 2008, Baucus is up for re-election to a possible sixth consecutive term. He has not officially announced his re-election plans and no one, including Rehberg, has yet said whether they're planning to challenge Baucus.
    It's great to see Baucus with such high approvals, but it would be nice to see a larger gap between him and Rehberg when head-to-head. We'll be keeping a close eye on the direction of these numbers. In the meantime, it's a safe assumption that once Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign is situated at the NRSC to take over for unmitigated political disaster Elizabeth Dole, there will be much urging of Rehberg to challenge Baucus.

  • Kansas: Another non-denial denial from Governor Kathleen Sebelius about a 2008 Senate run, courtesy of the Lawrence Journal-World:

    Sebelius has gained a reputation through national publications as a bipartisan problem-solver, has amassed record political contributions in Kansas and was recently elected chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association.

    That has fueled speculation about whether she will pursue another political office, such as the U.S. Senate in 2008 or 2010, be part of a White House ticket in 2008 or get a high-ranking federal job if Democrats win the next presidential election.

    But in an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World, Sebelius said she’s committed to her current job.

    “I ran for governor to be governor. This is really where my focus is and will remain,” she said.
    At least we didn't hear a "No." For now, let's keep asking politely, and suggest that DSCC Chair Senator Charles Schumer keep Gov. Sebelius on speed-dial.


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