Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mary Landrieu in Better Shape Than I Thought

  • Louisiana: The Guru, and many others, have pegged Mary Landrieu's Louisiana Senate seat to be the GOP's #1 pick-up opportunity. Well, news from WBRZ-2 in Louisiana paints a rosier picture for Landrieu than I would have thought.

    Republican Congressmen Charles Boustany and Jim McCrery have both taken their names out of the running to challenge Landrieu. On top of that, against Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, in "a Jan. 12 through Jan. 14 statewide poll of 600 likely voters, Landrieu garnered 53 percent of the vote to Dardenne’s 38 percent." Given how much focus has been given to the "Landrieu is the most vulnerable Democratic Senator" storyline, as well as the shifting demographics in Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina-related displacement, a 53-38 showing is very reassuring.

    The article notes that "U.S. Rep. Richard Baker, R-Baton Rouge, has said he has been approached by Republican Party officials to consider a run against Landrieu." Further, if Rep. Bobby Jindal doesn't win his LA-Gov race race this year, he might run for the Senate seat; so, polling matching up Landrieu vs. Baker/Jindal would give a more complete picture of the race. Nevertheless, 53-38 is a solid enough starting point for Landrieu vs. the competition to hold her seat. (Hat tip: Blue Sunbelt)


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Its amazing how well you're able to spin a 20+ point deficit for Al Franken compared to Norm Coleman, yet take to the bank a similar deficit for Dardenne.

    Honestly, its breath-taking. You could literally not be more one-dimensional.

    5:47 PM, March 06, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - thanks for the compliment on how amazing I am.

    In Franken's situation, I believe I explicitly said I would have preferred a closer race - but, a 20 point deficit for a rookie political candidate with an unconventional background who was in the race for about 5 whole minutes against a well-known incumbent isn't an awful starting point.

    Compare that to Landrieu, who is the GOP's #1 target and supposedly the weakest Dem - and reconcile that with Jindal (R) beating Blanco (D) 58-31 last month in an LA-Gov poll - and, yeah, that's a very solid starting point for Landrieu. The GOP is supposed to have all the momentum in Louisiana - a statistical tie for Landrieu would be OK, so a 17 point lead is a damn good start.

    So, what was your question again?

    12:25 AM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger the zoom said...

    There is a democrat named Kennedy who is considering to change party and run against Landrieu

    12:46 AM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    the zoom - You're referring to Louisiana state treasurer John Neely Kennedy. I've come across that rumor too, but haven't seen anything solid to substantiate such a jump. I'll keep my eyes and ears open to it, but, for now, it's just rumor.

    1:46 AM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Franken, by nature of being a celebrity, has a higher name ID than the Secretary of State of Louisiana, and the length of time that Franken was in the race is immaterial, because Dardenne isn't even an announced candidate.

    Secondly, Jindal is a lot better known statewide than Dardenne, since Jindal ran against Blanco in 2003, and has kept his profile up since then to prepare a rematch. Comparing a Jindal-Blanco rematch poll to a Dardenne-Landrieu poll is like comparing apples to screwdrivers.

    However, the biggest point you made when you posted the Franken results was that there was a lot of time to go, and that Franken is likely to close the gap; however, when Landrieu is up by that amount with no announced candidates yet, you surmise that she's in great position and calls that she's vulnerable are overblown.

    Its plain to see that you're "analysis" of polling is limited only to what most benefits your "side". That is to say, whenever somebody clicks a link to access your blog, they shouldn't expect analysis and insight, they should expect spin. And they'll be lucky if you're not stretching the truth, or outright lying.

    9:34 AM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - what are you basing anything that you're saying on?

    1) "Franken, by nature of being a celebrity, has a higher name ID than the Secretary of State of Louisiana" - No. Maybe Saturday Night Live wasn't popular in Minnesota. How do you know that Franken is more well-known in Minnesota than Dardenne (a statewide office holder) is in Louisiana? What are you basing your statement on? Any facts?

    2) "Secondly, Jindal is a lot better known statewide than Dardenne, since Jindal ran against Blanco in 2003, and has kept his profile up since then to prepare a rematch." - No. Dardenne has won statewide. Jindal has only run and lost statewide. Unless you have a recent name ID poll, there's no telling who is more well-known (and I'd guess that the numbers are pretty similar - hence the Blanco-Jindal vs. Landrieu-Dardenne comparison). So what are you basing your statement on? Any facts?

    3) I can't really understand what you're saying in your third paragraph - your ranting is pretty unclear. But I'm not down on Franken for being down 20 cuz the poll came out immediately after he announced - it's at best a baseline because voters don't know him as a politician yet - once he actually circles the state, gives policy speeches, and lets the people of Minnesota know where he stands and what type of Senator he'd be, then you got something - if he's still down 20 points in October, then there's trouble - being down 20 now for an unknown commodity like Franken isn't terrible.

    Dissimilar from that situation, both Landrieu and Dardenne are statewide officeholders - meaning that, ostensibly, people have a pretty good idea who they are and what type of public servants they are. So, given Landrieu's reported vulnerability, a significant lead in the first poll is pretty reassuring. Other than just wanting to slash Democrats, I don't understand your contention with these points.

    Of course Norm Coleman should be happy he's leading by 20 points in a poll. But how solid is that 20 point lead? I would argue that Coleman's lead is more tenuous than Landrieu's since Coleman is facing a lesser known politician in Franken than the allegedly-vulnerable Landrieu is in Dardenne. I'm not saying Franken will cruise to victory because he has a D next to his name - I'm saying that an unknown commodity (Franken) typically has more room for growth than a known commodity (Dardenne), so Landrieu's lead is more momentous than Coleman's, in my opinion. Instead of just throwing a tantrum and calling me a liar when you don't like my opinions, try explaining things clearly without invective. You might seem less insane that way.

    10:10 AM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Find me a poll that says I'm wrong. Dardenne has around a 67% name ID, and I'd say probably half of that could tell you enough about him to ask whether they find him favorable or unfavorable. Franken has been active in Minnesota politics for a while now--something that you've pointed out many times--and is a national celebrity, for more than just his work on Saturday Night Live. In addition, the people that know of Franken also know about Franken, at least enough to form an opinion about him. You dramatically over-estimate the impact of holding a statewide office, especially one that's not Governor or Senator. And Dardenne has only been in that job since '06, unlike Jindal, who has had statewide name ID for the last four years.

    The point is that while voters in Minnesota need a re-education about Franken, to transform him from comedian to candidate, voters in Louisiana know little about Dardenne, and the little that they do know is simply his job title. He won a crowded primary, so there was no focus on any one candidate, and then in the run-off his opponent dropped out, so there was no focus on his campaign at all. Once Dardenne begins a campaign for a statewide federal office, that's when most voters will get to know him.

    The point of all of that is to say that Franken should be a lot more concerned with his 20-point deficit than Dardenne. Yet the way that you reported each poll was just the opposite, due to your inability to make any analysis that doesn't favor your "side".

    12:00 PM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - You can't say "find me a poll that says I'm wrong" because you can't find a poll that says you're right - because no such polls exist publicly yet!!! This is a major point! Franken, whether you like it or not, is an unknown political commodity. You can't compare his popularity in Minnesota to another Minnesotan, much less the Secretary of State of Louisiana, without actual data, which you don't have!

    Then, on Dardenne, you say that Louisiana voters don't know him because he was in a crowded primary and then an empty general. So, hmmm, voters don't pay attention to crowded races or uncrowded races? Do voters ever pay attention when its inconvenient for your rant?

    Seriously, va blogger, stop confusing your partisan opinions with actual facts. If you find some real name ID data, share it - I'd love to see it. Until then, you're really just spinning your wheels and sounding ridiculous.

    12:49 PM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Franken may be an unknown political quantity, but he's a known figure, especially in Minnesota. Since he's a known figure, people are going to have opinions about him, regardless of how much of a political novice he is.

    Dardenne may be known by some people in his state, but I doubt that most know him beyond the title "Secretary of State". Given the attention span of the public-at-large, how many people do you think have an informed opinion about a State Senator who captured under 30% in a jungle primary, then didn't have to run a campaign to win the runoff, and has been in office for less than a full year?

    My point, which you glossed over because you have nothing to refute it with, is that even the people who know who Dardenne is don't have a strong opinion of him, so there is a lot more room for his numbers to go up. On the contrary, the people who know who Al Franken is are much more likely to have a strong opinion about him, given Franken's past careers and his visibility, so there isn't as much room for him to grow. However, you expect Franken to close the gap on Coleman, playing down his 20 point deficit, while you praise Landrieu's viability, playing up Dardenne's 20 point deficit.

    Simply put, you're ass backwards.

    3:03 PM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - I didn't "gloss over" your point. I refuted it. There's a big difference.

    You're just flat-out making up who is more well-known and what polls have more credibility based on no facts whatsoever, simply to fit your rant.

    Produce any actual name ID info. Anything. Please. You can't just say because it makes you feel good that Franken is as well-known in Minnesota as Dardenne is Louisiana or that Jindal is more popular - because there is no data out there.

    If Franken is still 20 points down in October, of course I'll gladly say "Hey, Franken's not getting much traction - his campaign is in trouble." But a poll taken the day after a first-time politician announces isn't something I'm going to lose sleep over.

    But if all you can do is curse at a person who disagrees with you, and call a person who holds a different opinion from you a "liar", then you're not doing your "side" much good.

    4:41 PM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I've only called you a liar when you've told a lie: When you stated that Sen. Craig's staffers insulted two veterans, an unfounded statement that you admitted you made up but refused to edit your original post. I'm not accusing you of lying in this discussion, but the fact that you defended your previous lapse of truth means that you are a liar.

    Furthermore, I don't have a "side", as you do. My presence here is simply to point out the overwhelming amount of bias that you inject into every story, as well as the massive inconsistencies you use when attempting to smear Republican candidates and praise Democratic ones.

    There are no publicly released polls that show name ID for Al Franken. However, Chris Cillizza listed Franken's celebrity status as a strength, and in your own blog you agreed that his name ID was a strength.

    Moreover, given the nature of Franken's career, the people that have heard of him will have an opinion about him. You cannot deny this. And given the nature in which Dardenne was elected, its less likely that people have strong opinions about him. This is also undeniable. Finally, applying a bit of common sense, its easier to gain ground when you're starting with a relatively clean slate, as Dardenne is, than with a lengthy trail of rhetoric, as Franken is. If you can't recognize this basic fact, then what the hell are you doing following politics?

    5:29 PM, March 07, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - do you ever get tired of mischaracterizing what I write? You're like a reverse-groupie or something.

    "There are no publicly released polls that show name ID for Al Franken." Finally, some truth from you. Yeah, Franken's celebrity is a strength, for several reasons - but it doesn't necessarily translate to name ID -- and even if it does, it doesn't translate into positive name ID. They know who he is, they think he is funny or not funny, insightful or not insightful, but they haven't decided whether or not he'd be a good Senator. That will come over the next several months as he tours the state and gives policy speeches and introduces himself as a candidate for office for the first time. Which is why a 20-point deficit the day after he announced isn't a big deal - but, as I said, if he's still down 20 seven months from now, then you got something.

    I'll await your response where you simply repeat yourself and call me a liar for holding a different opinion from you so that you can have the last word.

    12:52 AM, March 08, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You apparently can't read very well, because I've only called you a liar when you've lied--for instance, when you pulled out of thin air a story of Craig's staffers insulting troops, with nothing to support it.

    Don't backtrack on your previous posts for the purpose of trying to plug the holes in your reasoning. You specifically cited Name ID as a strength that Franken would bring to the campaign. Its not my fault your previous post doesn't match up with your later post. Its also not my fault that you've effectively proven that, logic be damned, you'll say anything to try and make Democrats look better.

    Favorable ratings are a lot different from approval ratings, since approval is related to the job one is doing, while favorable is related to how likable a person is. That's why President Bush's favorable ratings have been a lot higher than his approval ratings. No one knows what kind of Senator Franken would be, but people know who he is, and they've likely formed an opinion about him. On the contrary, most people who know Jay Dardenne know only that he's the Secretary of State. Since he hasn't had a proper chance to introduce himself to the voters, his 20-point deficit is not nearly as big a deal as Franken's.

    8:46 AM, March 08, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - Craig's Chief of Staff yelled at veterans returning home from Iraq. If you want to call me a "liar" because I used the word "insult" in my description but then you let Susan Collins slide when she breaks her two-term-limit pledge, that says more about you than me.

    And you keep saying Dardenne is only known for being Secretary of State - as though he just woke up with the title one day. He was elected to the office. A bunch of Louisianans had to vote for him.

    And, ask yourself: if I just wanted to make Democrats look better no matter what, why would I discuss on my blog a poll that has the Democrat down against Coleman by 20 points? Why wouldn't I ignore the story altogether? Hmm?

    11:51 AM, March 08, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I called you a liar you posted on your front page information that was clearly not true, and refused to edit or remove it when I called you out on the fact that you invented the truth for the purpose of slamming a sitting officeholder.

    And yes, I'm letting Collins slide on her two-term pledge because I believe her seat belongs to the voters. If the voters want her to return to the Senate, in spite of her pledge, then I support that. If the voters thing Collins should abide by her pledge, then they'll vote against her. You and I don't have any say in the matter. You, however, have the ability to control what you post on your blog, including editing out a blatant lie.

    As I clearly explained, Dardenne was elected with under 30% of the vote in a crowded down-ballot election. In the two-man run-off election, his opponent dropped out early on, preventing a campaign. I'm sure some people have an opinion of him, not nowhere near a significant portion of the population.

    And you know as well as I do that you can't simply ignore bad news, so you do the next best thing: you spin everything that you come across, with no regard for logic or consistency.

    1:41 PM, March 08, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    If the voters of Maine want to return Collins to the Senate by writing her in as a write-in candidate, great. Collins can't control that. But she said she wouldn't run for more than two terms - she can control that - and she is breaking her pledge. But I guess if a Republican breaks a promise or lies, it's OK to you.

    And I can ignore bad news - I can just not post about it - but I choose to post about it and highlight it because I want the discussion and feedback - what I don't care for is misrepresentations from individuals (I'm not naming any names) who would simply prefer to hurl insults rather than accept a differences of opinion or make claims without offering any facts to support them.

    On that note, I think I'm all done replying on this string - if you feel like repeating any of your invectives because you just have to get the last word, have at it.

    3:03 PM, March 08, 2007  

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