Heated Tuesday Night Round-Up
Withdrawal deadline language in the Iraq Senate supplemental bill survived narrowly, in a 50-48 vote. Amongst those voting to remove the withdrawal deadline language were Norm Coleman (MN), Susan Collins (ME), John Cornyn (TX), Elizabeth Dole (NC), Pete Domenici (NM), Mitch McConnell (KY), Pete Sessions (AL), John Sununu (NH), and John Warner (VA). This vote will be one of the big ones to bite them in the ass come Election Day 2008.
Gordon Smith of Oregon was one of only two Republicans (along with Chuck Hagel of Nebraska) to vote to keep the withdrawal deadline language - no doubt influenced by the recent poll showing him behind in a re-election battle.
The bottom line is that when Coleman or Collins or Sununu try to disavow responsibility for Bush's Iraq War or try to distance themselves from the Bush administration, this very vote will be one of the key ones we point to to demonstrate their lack of independence and entirely absent sound judgement.
Oregon: Speaking of Gordon Smith, WaPo's Cillizza highlights the poll showing Smith running behind Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio, and Loaded Orygun asks, "How many licks does it take to get to the Bill Sizemore center of the GOP Senate primary?"
Kentucky: Ditch Mitch KY notes Mitch McConnell's stilted approval rating below 50%, while Bluegrass Report and MyDD discuss a $200K ad buy timed with the Congressional recess demonstrating how out of touch McConnell is with reality on Iraq - check out the video for yourself. (Quick reminder: a majority of Kentuckyans want us out of Iraq.)
Colorado: Hotline TV takes a hilarious look at the CO-GOP Senate candidate interview process in the wake of former Rep. Scott McInnis' departure. Meanwhile, Colorado Pols has the New York Sun agreeing that McInnis' departure makes a GOP retention of retiring Wayne Allard's seat even less likely.
New Hampshire: Blue Hampshire takes a soberingly honest look at the agony of John Sununu.
Georgia: Conservative Democrat Vernon Jones will kick off his Senate challenge to "Shameless" Saxby Chambliss on April 3.
I agree wholeheartedly with MyDD's Bowers' outlook on how the 2008 Senate race dynamics currently stand (except for the miniscule reference to the possibility of defections). He summarizes:
With the possible exception of Louisiana, Democrats control every single top-tier Senate pickup opportunity, and still outnumber Republicans in terms of second-tier pickup opportunities.And even Louisiana is looking better than the absolute electoral doom we expected.