Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Starting Points Versus Established Trends

Happy Thursday morning:

  • Minnesota: Survey USA (courtesy of Political Wire) brings us the first round of polling in the MN-Sen race. Key word here is "first." While I would have preferred a 10-point gap instead of a 20-point gap, Franken and Ciresi just announced, like, five minutes ago, and now they have their work cut out for them as they establish their message and outline Coleman's failures. If Franken and Ciresi do an effective job, the 20+ point gap today should be down to a 10-15 point gap four months from today and should be a 5 point gap by fall. Regardless, this is the first point on the chart with over 20 months between now and Election Day 2008. Let's get to work!

  • Virginia: Daily Kos diarist djm4america is starting a Draft Mark Warner for Senate '08 effort. I wish djm4america much luck. Mark Warner is definitely our strongest potential candidate, though we are lucky to have a solid-and-growing bench in Virginia.

  • While Robert "Count Chocula" Novak joins me in pointing out that Senate Republicans lack principle, Larry Sabato (Hat Tip: Political Wire) suggests that recent trends should lead us to believe that the Senate will remain close in 2008. I would suggest that Sabato is looking at the wrong dynamics. The GOP had a good 2002 and, thanks to retirements, a very good 2004. The pendulum (and geography) has swung back and we had a very good 2006 and look to have a strong 2008 and 2010. It is just a question of how much we capitalize. Sabato doesn't go out on a limb when listing the most likely seats to change hands: Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Oregon for the GOP and Louisiana and South Dakota for the Dems. I do think Sabato underestimates Virginia (especially if John Warner retires) and North Carolina as pick-up opportunities for the Dems.


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