Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Following Up

  • Kentucky: The Politico looks at the effort to repay the defeat of Tom Daschle in 2004 with a coordinated effort to defeat Mitch McConnell. My favorite passage is McConnell wrapping himself up in Bush's blanket:

    Chief among them is McConnell's airtight association with Bush and the Iraq war. In January, McConnell said, "The president doesn't have a stronger supporter in the Senate than the person you are looking at."

    Returning the favor, Bush told McConnell's supporters last month: "I'm glad to have Mitch by my side."

    Those words, though, could haunt McConnell later.

    A Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll last month found that 43 percent of Kentucky voters approved of Bush's job performance and 55 percent disapproved -- the worst of his presidency, but better than the national average.
    McConnell wants to ride the anchor straight to the bottom. I encourage his descent. And do visit Ditch Mitch KY regularly for the lowdown.

  • Minnesota: MN Blue wonders if Norm Coleman wants to follow up the Iraq mess with an Iran War.

  • Raising Kaine wonders who will be the next Lincoln Chafee, noting Susan Collins and focusing on Gordon Smith:

    If there's a Lincoln Chafee in 2008, it may come in the form of Oregon's Gordon Smith. Oregon is not as blue as Rhode Island, but Smith has been frantically running to the middle recently to hide his very right-of-center voting record. A new DSCC poll has Democratic Congressman Pete DiFazio leading Smith by 4%, 42-38. Yet that same sample of people have a generally positive opinion of Smith by 56-25, favorable/unfavorable. And, like Chafee, Smith could face a tough primary challenge. 1998 GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Sizemore recently told Blue Oregon when asked about challenging Smith, "that's not farfetched."
    I'll bet Chafee is saving a seat for Smith.

  • What do the graduating seniors at Miami Dade College at Kendall, St. Vincent College, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have in common? I feel sorry for all of them that they won't have a more eloquent commencement speaker.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You missed a line from the Politico article:

    For McConnell, the poll found that 54 percent approved of his performance, 23 percent disapproved and 23 percent had no opinion.

    31 net positive approval rating... not too shabby, especially with over $3 million in the bank. No wonder Ben Chandler passed on the race. I wonder what Democrat, other than Charlie Owen, will be stupid enough to take this race on.

    12:14 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    I found a poll from April of 2003 that showed Daschle was at 56 approve 38 disapprove. What is important about that poll is that it was done by the GOP.

    So yes, McConnel does have a good approval rating. But, that doesnt mean he is safe. His $3 million dollars doesnt either. Its his ability to raise extra that makes him pretty safe. There are probably few Senators, outside of the Presidential contenders, who could raise as much money as McConnell can.

    12:32 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Let's be honest here, Charlie Owen is no John Thune.

    1:08 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger Dave said...

    Re: Smith as Chafee -

    Put that together with the item below about Smith possibly getting a primary challenge, and I think the comparison fits very well.

    3:57 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Dave, I'm pretty sure that was the point.

    Although I doubt any national groups like the Club for Growth will bankroll Sizemore, in the event he decides to run.

    4:02 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger Stephanie said...

    I can't help it, whenever I hear "Club For Growth" I always think "Hair Club For Men."

    6:16 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    On the war vote, it looks like Smith helped himself out. List of the Republicans who have decided to continue giving Bush complete control over the war:
    Norm Coleman (MN)
    Susan Collins (ME)
    John Cornyn (TX)
    Liddy Dole (NC)
    Pete Domenici (NM)
    Mitch McConnel (KY)
    Pete Sessions (AL)
    John Sununu (NH)
    John Warner (VA)

    9:11 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    There's a difference between giving Bush complete control and rushing a premature removal of troops. You can make partisan hay over the vote all you like; it will remain partisan hay.

    11:49 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    I know - rushing a premature removal of troops - come the spring of '08, it will only be, what, five years? We're really rushing them out of there. A majority of Americans seem to agree that it's time for a withdrawal.

    But if va blogger disagrees with it, then it must only be partisan hay.

    9:44 AM, March 28, 2007  

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