Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Morning Miscellany

  • Colorado: I guess Bob Schaffer wants to kiss goodbye any shot at claiming moderates in a Senate bid as he and the Club for Growth walk hand-in-hand along the beach, courtesy of Colorado Pols.

  • Oklahoma: Think Progress offers us the new "Inhofe Scale" where a score of 100 "is commensurate with the sort of willful delusion he says is contained in Inhofe’s 'greatest hoax' speech." The Scale's creator, Lou Grinzo, offers this frame:

    And by "willful detachment from reality" I mean far more than simple ignorance. If my neighbor's eight-year-old son suggests that it would be cheaper to make cars fly than to clear roads with snow plows in the winter, he's speaking from simple ignorance and the typical boyhood fascination with all things that fly. If that boy's father were to make that same suggestion in all seriousness, then we could only conclude that he was delusional or willfully detached from the facts.
  • Alaska: At least Ted Stevens is guaranteed some opposition, as we wait for Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich to announce a decision. Ted Gianoutsos will be running under the flag of the Veterans Party of Alaska.

  • Georgia: "Conservative Democrat" DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones is in, I think, but he has a seemingly unusual affect toward media coverage:

    Although DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones quietly filed his paperwork to run for U.S. Senate this week, he was more direct Thursday when he walked into Saxby Chambliss' Washington office and told the incumbent Republican senator that he has competition.

    Jones, a former Democratic state representative now in his second term as DeKalb CEO, has been reluctant to publicly declare his candidacy. But on Monday, without fanfare, he notified the Federal Elections Commission that he is entering the 2008 Senate race as a Democrat.

    Ann Kimbrough, chief of staff to Jones, said her boss visited with Chambliss, Georgia's senior senator, as well as Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat who represents most of DeKalb, to inform them of his candidacy. Jones himself could not be reached for comment.
    It's unusual that he wouldn't have any fanfare or media coverage either as he filed his paperwork or after the meeting with Chambliss. Hard to read, I guess.

  • Fun fact from The Hill, courtesy of Daily Kos:

    Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers.
    Fox News: Fair. Balanced. Loyal Bushies.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    What makes you think that an endorsement from the Club for Growth will scare off moderates? Most people couldn't even tell you who the CfG is.

    And if Schaffer does get into the race, then there will be a real battle for the middle, as neither Schaffer nor Udall, with his liberal voting record, have a claim on it.

    I wonder, given how safe Chambliss is, whether another candidate gets into the race, or whether folks like Marshall and Cox will be satisifed with just having a semi-credible challenger that they'll leave it alone.

    11:47 AM, March 23, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - do you just sit at your computer, chomping at the bit, waiting for each new post on this blog?

    CfG certainly didn't help Toomey in PA or Laffey in RI... y'see, they're pretty far to the right, even for Republican primaries, so forget about general elections.

    And, how that affects the "race" for the middle, I think even you would agree that Colorado has significantly trended blue over the last couple elections, with Salazar's 2004 Senate victory over "moderate" Republican Coors and the 2006 electoral results of Ritter's gubernatorial victory, Perlmutter (D) winning Beauprez (R)'s old seat, and and Musgrave (R) being held to well under 50% in her district.

    There's certainly no sign of that trend abating, and Udall has done a great job positioning himself while the CO-GOP has been, objectively, indecisive about who their candidate will be.

    Given Georgia's rightward bent, I would agree that Chambliss, despite his so-so popularity, is one of the safer GOP Senators, as the political dynamics stand now. I hope that doesn't make the GA-Dems reticent. We'll see.

    12:02 PM, March 23, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    club for growth isnt a name you can just throw at people and change their mind about a candidate.

    however, when they start running ads that make gingrich blush its gonna be hard for any candidate they support to call themselves a moderate.

    1:41 PM, March 23, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    This blog is one of about a dozen I check daily. As I've said many times, its the only one I've been able to find dedicated solely to the Senate races, which really sucks.

    Its far too early to tell if 2006 was an abberation or the start of a national trend. But Senate races come down to the candidates involved. Coors was a flawed candidate, and he lost by what, four points? I'm not saying Schaffer is better, but you can't just say "Salazar won in '04, therefore Udall will win in '08".

    My point is that Schaffer is solidly conservative, and Udall is solidly liberal. It'll be interesting to see how the battle for the middle plays out.

    2:14 PM, March 23, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    I did not say "Salazar won in '04, therefore Udall will win in '08".

    I did however point out that not only did Salazar win in 2004, but then in 2006 we saw in Colorado Ritter's gubernatorial victory, Perlmutter (D) winning Beauprez (R)'s old seat, and and Musgrave (R) being held to well under 50% in her district.

    If you have any objectivity, you have to admit that that evidences a growing blue trend in Colorado, which suggests that the "center" would likely lean more toward Udall than Schaffer to start, all other things being equal.

    Speaking of which, if Coors was so flawed, as you claim, how come he beat Schaffer? If a flawed Coors can beat Schaffer in a GOP primary, what chance does Schaffer stand in a statewide general election with the state trending blue?

    4:10 PM, March 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I do recognize the trend in Colorado, which gives an advantage to anybody with a (D) versus anybody with an (R), at least at the start when the two candidates haven't been defined statewide yet. But I don't think you can count that as solid support.

    And Coors beat Schaffer in the primary by outspending him. Money goes a long way in GOP primaries; look at Tennessee and Nebraska last year as examples. Its not any indication of Schaffer's viability as a statewide candidate in a general election.

    7:34 PM, March 24, 2007  

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