Monday Morning Fodder
In a "wide-ranging" interview, Ensign "acknowledged that his party faces a steep, uphill climb in next year's Senate elections when 21 Republican seats will be up for grabs, compared with 12 for the Democrats."Even the Senate GOP's #1 cheerleader sees five "danger" spots for the GOP with only two "vulnerable" seats for the Democrats. And that is before we get into Dole's overall lousy poll numbers, Domenici's role in the Attorney Purge scandal, and the possible retirement of John Warner coupled with the possible entry of Mark Warner to the Virginia Senate race.
Ensign "singled out five Republican seats that are in danger in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon and New Hampshire, compared with two vulnerable Democratic incumbents in South Dakota and Louisiana and long-shot possibilities in Iowa and Montana."
PW also mentions the New York Times article this morning on Republican Senators dancing between making the party establishment happy vs. actually representing their constituents.
Ron Sparks has been Alabama's Agriculture and Industry Commissioner since he was elected in 2002 over his Republican opponent by a 51-46 margin. In 2006, he was one of Alabama's top vote getters, enjoying a 59-41 victory while winning 62 of the state's 67 counties. During his first term in office, he secured new trade markets for the state in Cuba, improved Alabama's school lunch system from a grade of F to a B-plus (you can see Sparks' video message on YouTube), moved to protect Alabama's water resources, and generally served as a hard-nosed consumer safety advocate. His successful tenure allowed him to build a broad coalition of support, from the Alabama Education Association, to the conservative Alabama Farmers Federation (which endorses very few Democrats), to the AFL-CIO and the Business Council of Alabama. And he was able to build this coaltion all while being a fiery, populist Democrat.Sounds like a Jon Tester-style populist who knows how to appeal to diverse crowds. His entry could make for a more exciting Senate race in Alabama than Sessions would like, I'm sure.