Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday Night Quick Hits

  • North Carolina: The NRSC puts Elizabeth Dole on the GOP endangered species list.

  • Arkansas: The rumor mill is churning about a possible primary challenge to Senator Mark Pryor from Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. So far, it's just speculation, but unpleasant nonetheless.

  • Pennsylvania: Though this isn't until the 2010 cycle, 77-year-old Republican Arlen Specter says he plans on running for re-election.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Unfortunately, your link doesn't go to the original Roll Call article. Here's an excerpt:


    The NRSC wants to ensure Dole is on solid ground at the outset of the cycle — allowing the committee to “take her off the table” and not have to worry about her financial footing as the election nears, several Republican leadership sources said.

    “She isn’t someone any of us consider to be in danger of losing re-election,” said a Senate GOP leadership aide. “That said, she contributed a lot of money from her own campaign accounts to the NRSC. There’s a sense we should team up and help her.”

    At the end of 2006, Dole had just $245,000 on hand, a relatively paltry sum for an incumbent Senator heading into re-election. Sources close to Dole say not only did the North Carolina Republican do very little personal fundraising during her two years at the helm of the NRSC, but she also transferred more than $400,000 from her own campaign accounts to help bolster the NRSC’s coffers.


    8:38 AM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Cool - an anonymous Senate GOP leadership aide says they're not worried about Dole's re-election bid - so she must be in great shape then!

    11:17 AM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I was adding more context to your post. Dole started out with far less money that most other incumbents, and the reason was because she gave her money to the NRSC last cycle. Now the NRSC is asking GOP Senators to give back.

    I would recommend reading the entire Roll Call article.

    11:56 AM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    And given what a comically miserable failure Dole was as NRSC Chair, I can't imagine that GOP Senators, who are already notoriously stingy with their campaign funds, are too enthusiastic about dumping money back to Dole.

    12:01 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    You dont release a poll this far out when she has no opposition that is a 20+ point outlier unless you are in a ton of trouble.

    Ive said it before, but to reiterate, her money situation at the end of this reporting period will tell us everything we need to know. Above a million and without an opponent she will probably be safe. Anything under 600,000 and she is hanging by a hair.

    12:05 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    Article from January. According to her own campaign she needs to have 3 million dollars on her campaign report in mid April to be safe. So my view is more pessimistic

    12:07 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Maybe you release a poll that shows you with a 63% approval rating to scare off a potential challenger?

    Speaking of which, is there anybody who's actually interested in running?

    2:26 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    I think we've established that the "63% poll" is a laughably ridiculous outlier.

    Is anybody interested in running? I don't doubt it. But what incentive, va blogger, does Bob Etheridge or Brad Miller or any other prime opponent have to get in right now versus two or three months or more from now? Dole's fundraising is obviously languishing - an early opponent would change that.

    2:50 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    How do you know her fundraising is languishing when the first numbers from this cycle haven't even been released yet? That's an awfully stupid thing to say.

    3:19 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger, my naive friend, if Dole's fundraising wasn't languishing, why would the NRSC be asking other Republican Senators to offer her some campaign welfare in the first place?!? Out of appreciation for the lousy job she did as NRSC Chair?

    3:33 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    If you read the Roll Call article that your story was based on, or even read the excerpt from the article that I posted in this very comment thread, you would see the reason why:

    Dole donated over $400K from her warchest to the NRSC near the end of the '06 cycle, and didn't do much personal fundraising at all from '05-'06, leaving her campaign warchest far below what the norm is for a incumbent running for re-election.

    Because she gave money to the NRSC, the new folks at the NRSC thought it would be only fair, in return, to direct special attention in the form of cash back to her warchest.

    Can you point to any site that has numbers on how well Dole has raised funds this cycle? Of course you can't. Because not only have the numbers not been reported yet, but the fundraising quarter isn't even over!! It ends on 3/31, which makes your comments, at best, premature, and at worst, moronic.

    4:38 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    You keep referring to the $400K Dole dumped into the NRSC (to help cover for her awful job as Chair) as though the $400K is make-or-break.

    Dole has said she may need to raise as much as $20 million for a re-election bid.

    I'll spot you the $400K she dumped into the NRSC - and her fundraising is still languishing.

    So what else ya got?

    5:00 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Exactly how much fundraising do you think goes on in the first quarter of a year in which there is no election? Q1 2007 numbers are not, have never been, and never will be an indication of a Senate candidate's ability to fundraise.

    The amount of money that a Senate candidate raises in 2008 will surpass 2007 levels so much that what they raised in 2007, especially in the first quarter, doesn't matter in the long run. So why does it matter at all? Because early on, money is a tangible show of strength. Dole is in need of a quick fix, given that her warchest has been depleted to the point where she only has around $250K, a very low amount. That's where the NRSC's recent efforts come in.

    Your analysis on this, as always, is clouded by your partisanship. I've told you in three consecutive posts that there is no way to tell, one way or another, how well fundraising is going at this point. I can't tell. You most certainly can't tell. Even the NRSC can't tell. Why? Because not only have the numbers not been reported yet, but here's the most important part:


    You are making judgements on Senator Dole's fundraising, not based on actual numbers, not based on any sound logic, but based on your interpretation of an article that you have yet to understand. And for three consecutive posts, I have explained, in unmatched clarity, how it is simply impossible for anybody to judge a candidate's first quarter fundraising at this moment in time. And for three consecutive posts, you have blissfully ignored what is possible and impossible in favor of your skewed version of the world.

    You are either the dumbest person on the Internet today, or a worthless hack. In either case, its a damn shame that your blog is the only one I've been able to find about these races, because they deserve a level of coverage that you have proven yourself to be incapable of.

    5:28 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - I am actually, for the first time, requesting that you stop replying on this string. Why? Because you're painfully naive.

    You said, "Even the NRSC can't tell." suggesting that even the NRSC is ignorant as to Dole's fundraising numbers.

    Do you actually think that the NRSC does not know Dole's fundraising numbers up to the minute and down to the last cent? Seriously? Seriously?

    Just because they haven't been publicly filed, you don't think the Dole camp informs the NRSC as to its spending, intake, and cash-on-hand levels on a regular basis?

    The NRSC knows every dime in Dole's account. If you think otherwise, you're naive.

    Since you're mature enough to call me "the dumbest person on the Internet," seriously, why don't you do yourself a favor and just stop reading this blog?

    7:05 PM, March 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Congratulations. You took one string that, on second thought, may not be the case and used it to ignore everything else I said. Let's say the NRSC knows. What does that change? Absolutely nothing.

    It doesn't change the fact that you know nothing about how Dole has raised funds this quarter.

    And it certainly doesn't change the fact that the fundraising quarter hasn't even completed yet.

    Let me repeat that, since you have ignored it in four consecutive posts:








    How is it even possible for you to comment on her fundraising when, not only do you not have any numbers to go by, but when fundraising for this quarter isn't even over yet?

    The only thing you have to go on is the Roll Call article, an article which you either 1) didn't read, or 2) didn't understand. You have absolutely no legs to stand on when you say her fundraising is "languishing". Its an invention of truth (not the first one from this site), that you pulled out of the thin air. Stop being dishonest, and maybe I wouldn't have to hound you everytime you commit an egregious abortion of logic.

    9:11 AM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - so you're saying that the NRSC, which is currently begging the RNC for money, would beg other Senators to help Dole out if she was flush with cash? Holy cow. The fact that NRSC knows her numbers (it doesn't matter that I haven't seen her figures yet - the NRSC has!) and is begging others to contribute to Dole's campaign is a giant, neon "DANGER" sign. If you think otherwise, you're the one with rose-colored glasses stapled to your head.

    12:15 PM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    It should be noted that nobody has used the word "begging" but you. And since you spin every single news item you post on your site, its most likely an inaccurate characterization.

    Its not a hard thing to figure out. The RNC, by far, has more money than the NRSC, NRCC, or even the DNC, DSCC, or DCCC. It helped out individual candidates in 2006. Ensign is asking for a more direct partnership, and since the RNC chair is a fellow Senator (and one who benefitted from the NRSC to win his seat in '04), there's a decent chance it will happen. Asking for more money because he knows more money can only be good is not the same as begging. There's nothing to indicate that the NRSC is not getting the cash it needs.

    Because of her donations to the NRSC last cycle, her CoH is very low; extra money from the NRSC will get her back up to where incumbents usually are, and Dole's fundraising will lift her up beyond that. Its not terribly difficult to understand.

    1:34 PM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    So Ensign is trying to squeeze money out of the RNC - money that would otherwise go to advance GOP interests like electing a GOP President - to help his NRSC because they're doing really well?? Come on.

    The article even says:

    Historically, the RNC has done little to help individual Senate candidates in presidential election years...

    This is a seemingly unprecedented ask for RNC help by the NRSC - and this early out to boot. The NRSC knows it's in terrible shape with only poor prospects ahead.

    So you're wrong when you say "There's nothing to indicate that the NRSC is not getting the cash it needs." There is something to indicate that the NRSC doesn't have the cash it needs - it's panhandling to the RNC for more!!!!!

    2:51 PM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Why does Ensign's request for money automatically mean that there is a cause behind it? They raised $2.4 million in February, just a few hundred thousand behind the DSCC, and when you factor in the $6 million debt the DSCC has looming over its head, the NRSC has more net value. They're doing well. But if the NRSC had more money in 2006, they might have been able to save a few of the close races they lost; thus, why cruise on auto-pilot when you can be aggressive in raising funds?

    Ensign knows that money will be key in a cycle with a map as difficult as this, and he's smart enough to realize (as most people should be) that if money is good, then more money is better.

    You characterize it both as "begging" and as "panhandling", but there is nothing to back that up. There is nothing in the article posted, there is nothing in the latest round of fundraising numbers, and there is nothing from any other source--except a blogger who has a knee-jerk reaction to spin every piece of news that gets posted on his site.

    3:51 PM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    The NRSC doesn't ask the RNC for money in Presidential years. Why? Because the RNC spends its money on a Presidential candidate.

    So you tell me - what conceivable reason would Ensign have for asking the RNC to fork over money to the NRSC that would otherwise be spent on other GOP interests? You tell me.

    (And don't answer "aggressive fundraising" because its not "fundraising" to take money from the RNC to pay for the NRSC - that's just a shell game - Ensign must be worried about financial levels.)

    4:44 PM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    What do you mean, "for what reason"? The reason is to put more money into the coffers of the NRSC. How is this hard to understand?

    6:52 PM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    To put money into the NRSC coffers by taking it directly out of the RNC coffers?

    Does he think no one is noticing?

    Is that the best you can come up with? Is that the best Ensign can do?

    9:05 PM, March 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    First of all, as the article makes sure to mention, its Martinez's decision whether to lend financial support to the NRSC. Ensign isn't "taking" anything. He's not breaking piggy banks, and it would help your understanding of this issue if you stopped trying to read more into it.

    Second of all, "Does he think no one is watching?"---I don't know what that's supposed to mean. Are you under the impression that he's going to get in trouble by asking for financial support? Or are you asking if, when he commented to a reporter from The Hill about the story, he knew other people would find out about it? It seems kind of an odd question to ask, and I'm not sure what you're getting at.

    Third, there is no "best I can do" in this. I'm trying to tell you how things are. You're trying to tell me how you want things to be.

    Fourth, "Is that the best Ensign can do?" I'm not sure what that means, either. The equation is simple: money is good, more money is better. The best Ensign can do is get the most money for his cause. If asking for financial help gets more money, then to answer your question, yes, that's the best Ensign can do.

    9:52 PM, March 21, 2007  

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