Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An Embarrassment of Political Riches

  • Senate Democrats actually want to lower the cost of health care. Hmmm, maybe we should elect more of them.

  • The Senate had its vote on real stem cell research. The vote came down 63-34, with 3 not voting (all of whom would vote yes) - in other words, one vote shy of overriding a Bush veto. Senators up for re-election in 2008 who voted against stem cell research included: Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, John Cornyn of Texas, Larry Craig of Idaho, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Pete Domenici of New Mexico, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and John Sununu of New Hampshire. This vote will have repercussions, especially for the highly vulnerable Sununu and Coleman.

  • New Hampshire: Speaking of, there was a lot of focus on how John Sununu would vote on stem cell research. Apparently, Sununu wants his approvals to drop even further, as he voted against the stem cell legislation. Blue Hampshire offers local reaction and the AP adds Democratic response, especially in light of Judd Gregg's support for the bill.

  • North Carolina: Congressman Brad Miller is publicly considering a challenge to Elizabeth Dole. This is just breaking, so there should be more news on this tomorrow. This can't be pleasant news for Dole, who polls poorly in any poll not conducted by Republicans, who fell short of her own fundraising goals, and who is rated the sixth least powerful Senator.

  • Maine: Collins Watch catches another Two-Faced Susan moment: hypocrisy on out-of-state funding of political activities in Maine. Meanwhile, Turn Maine Blue appropriately ties the failings of John McCain to McCain's Maine state co-Chair, Susan Collins.

  • Oregon: Blue Oregon analyzes Congressman Peter DeFazio's electoral strength, comparing his numbers to others' results in Oregon; meanwhile, Loaded Orygun looks at Gordon Smith's upcoming decision between holding hands with the voters of Oregon or holding hands with Karl Rove.

  • Alabama: Agriculture and Industry Commissioner Ron Sparks sat down for an informative live-blog on Daily Kos, answering numerous questions as he ponders a potential Senate bid.

  • Idaho: Could we see a heated Republican primary in Idaho? The Magic Valley Times-News reports:

    And former GOP Gov. Jim Risch, 64, who beat LaRocco 58 percent to 39 percent in November's lieutenant governor's race, told The Associated Press there's a "reasonable likelihood" he'll run if Craig doesn't.

    Republican Robert Vasquez, an illegal immigration foe from Caldwell, is also running.

    Craig, 61, won't decide if he'll vie for a fourth term before "late summer or early fall," he said.

    Meanwhile, there's at least one wildcard: U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, says he'd consider it.
    Risch suggests that he would get behind Craig if Craig ran again. But if Craig retired, then we could see GOP Lt. Gov. Risch and GOP Rep. Mike Sampson squaring off, with Robert Vasquez in to keep things interesting. It'd be fun to watch, and it would sap GOP resources. Fingers crossed!

  • South Dakota: Senator Tim Johnson is a tenacious fighter and a bad-ass role model.


    Blogger Blue South said...

    and there was dancing in the streets....

    Im so excited about a possible Miller candidacy. Heck, Ive already figured out who I want to run for his seat once its open.

    10:27 PM, April 11, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    Story gets bigger:
    my take...
    ...of this article

    8:19 AM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    This article seems to indicate that Simpson isn't interested in the race. At any rate, a primary in Idaho wouldn't involve the GOP, as either Risch or Simpson would both easily win over 60% of the vote over LaRocco.

    And why are you continuing to lie concerning Senator Dole's fundraising numbers? Every single expert in politics, whether its the neutral Washington Post or Cook Political Report, or the hardcore liberal Daily Kos, said her numbers were impressive. You obviously cannot think you know more about politics than they do. So why do you continue to publish lies on your front page?

    8:48 AM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    blue south - thanks for the links - I'm working on my morning post now.

    va blogger - three things:

    1) Thank you for the link about Simpson's interest. It gives a conflicting perspective and offers further background beyond what was originally reported. Good job. Gold star. (See, do something positive and get a positive response.)

    2) I guess we don't need to have an election in Idaho in 2008 since va blogger says LaRocco can't win. I wish I had a 2006 version of this blog so I could point to va blogger telling us all how there was no way Jon Tester could beat Conrad Burns in Montana...

    3) Experts are not Liddy Dole. Dole's own campaign letter said that she wanted to raise a million dollars a month. (And it said "raise" - not "average".) Those are her words!!! I know you hate it when people hold Republicans to their word, but I'm doing it. By Dole's own words, she wanted to raise $1 million a month. She didn't - she fell short. Quit whining.

    11:04 AM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You guys continue to make the same mistake of thinking that Jon Tester and Jim Webb won because of any reason other than running against a flawed candidate. Ron Sparks made that mistake when he live-blogged on Daily Kos. Get this through your mind:

    Jon Tester and Jim Webb did not win because voters were enticed by their "populist" message. They did not win because voters wanted to send Congressional Republicans or George Bush a message. They did not win to get us out of Iraq. They won because Conrad Burns and George Allen demonstrated that they were no longer fit to be in office. Conrad Burns because of his extensive ties to Jack Abramoff (and later questionable remarks about a variety of topics) and George Allen due to his overt intolerance and self-destructing campaign.

    Ron Sparks can emulate Jon Tester all he pleases. Alabamans won't vote for him unless they have a reason to vote out Jeff Sessions.

    If Larry Craig commits a huge political faux pas, then obviously everybody's outlook on the race will change. Until then, it doesn't matter if Jon Tester himself moved to Idaho and ran for the seat. Unless he has a flawed incumbent, he would not win.

    That doesn't mean don't have an election. It means you should stop foaming at the mouth every time an "attractive" Democrat expresses interest in a seat in a red state. Especially since, as the #1 cheerleader of Democrats, you think just about every Democrat is attractive, and can't possibly imagine any scenario where voters would choose somebody else.

    What makes you think that Kos, the Washington Post, and Cook didn't take Dole's words into mind? They are all more well-read and have sharper minds than you do, and they all came to a different conclusion than you did. You are intentionally misinterpreting Senator Dole's words in a manner that you can spin, despite the fact that everyone from rock-solid political experts to flame-throwing hardcore liberals disagrees with you. In short, you are lying, and you should really stop doing that.

    12:22 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - remind me to buy you some more Kleenex to help you dry your tears.

    A) I don't cheerlead for every Democrat. If you read today's most recent post, you'll see I highlight GOP strength in Georgia, for instance. So, again, stop whining.

    B) I see you've spoken to every voter in Montana and Virginia and know exactly why they voted the way they did. Kudos for your diligence.

    C) Larry LaRocco and Ron Sparks, if he enters, will give voters reasons to vote out Larry Craig and Jeff Sessions. That's what campaigns are for.

    D) If you'll pardon me while I foam at the mouth, the fact that credible, attractive Democrats that can run solid races are stepping forward in otherwise deep red states to at least offer a minimally competitive race is a huge deal, win or lose. It spreads the NRSC defense even thinner and helps us in other states by further reducing NRSC and GOP resources. Nothing but upside. And if they gain significant traction and turn a third-tier race into a second- or first-tier race, even better! LaRocco was a Congressman in Idaho and Sparks just won re-election to his statewide seat with almost 60% of the vote in Alabama! Are you really ready to write them off before the campaign even begins?!?! I'm sorry I don't have the ability to write off an entire election before the campaign has even started. You have a real talent for that, va blogger.

    E) I take Liddy Dole at her word - that's not an "interpretation" and that's not "spin." It's her exact words. Anybody else can come to whatever conclusion they want. I came to mine, based on Dole's exact words!!! va blogger, you are calling me a liar for citing Dole's exact words - you either don't know the meaning of the word "liar" or are just incredibly stupid. You really should stop reading this blog at this point.

    12:44 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Please stop begging for me to stop responding. I know you react unfavorably to criticism. After all, it gets in the way of your liberal circle-jerk.

    A) You are still cheerleading for Democrats, and if Jones got into the race, you'd post every press release of his as news on your front page.

    B) I don't have to speak to every voter. Allen and Burns lost by incredibly narrow margins. If Burns had not been corrupt, and Allen not a racist, there's no way they would have lost. This is undeniable. Being a candidate in the mold of Jon Tester or Jim Webb is absolutely meaningless unless the incumbent they're running against is as bone-headed as George Allen or Conrad Burns.

    C) That's not what I'm talking about and you know it. Every campaign gives reasons why you should vote for them and not the other guy. Allen and Burns didn't lose because of any campaign strategy. They lost because they made massive, career-ending mistakes. That doesn't happen often.

    D) There's a reason why I put "attractive" in quotation marks. There's no evidence on how well Noriega, Sparks, LaRocco, Owen, and Fahey would be in a state-wide race against an incumbent or against a popular, well-known statewide office-holder. Yet their mere presence makes you claim that the race is competitive. If John Cornyn can raise $20 million, he can dispatch of a state representative with little help from the NRSC. All I'm saying is don't count your chickens before they hatch.

    E) You are obviously misinterpreting what she meant, because Daily Kos, WaPo, and Cook all agree with her spokesperson that its an impressive amount. I'll trust her spokesperson to say what she meant more than you, and since Daily Kos backs it up, there's little evidence to simply dismiss it as spin.

    1:20 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - I don't object to constructive criticism - I welcome it. I do, however, object to head-up-your-ass idiocy.

    A) A lot of "if"'s - keep making things up.

    B) You're right - Tester only won in Montana because of Burns' mistakes. So, how did Schweitzer win in Montana? Yeah, Webb only won in Virginia because of Allen's mistakes. So, how did Mark Warner and Tim Kaine both win Governorships in Virginia?

    C) I have no idea what you're talking about here.

    D) I don't recall making claims that Noriega or Owen would make Texas or Kentucky a top-tier competitive race just because they entered. Could you be making stuff up yet again? I did comment repeatedly that Cornyn's and McConnell's and other Republicans' low approvals made them vulnerable. But you spazz out whenever I claim that an incumbent Republican is vulnerable. Quit crying. Or read another blog. Please.

    E) Ah, I must be misinterpreting what Dole said because when she said that it was her goal to raise a million dollars a month, I took it to mean that she had a goal of raising a million dollars a month. I see. I'm mistaken. I'm just using Dole's exact words and you've done nothing to refute that besides name-call.

    3:27 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    B) Schzweitzer, Warner, and Kaine all did not face an incumbent. Are you seriously arguing that Webb and Tester's razor-thin margin of victory would not have been different if Burns had not been corrupt, or Allen had not been racist?

    C) I made the point that the only way Sparks or LaRocco would have a chance is if Craig and Sessions gave the voters a reason not to vote for them. You said that that's what campaigns are for. My point was not talking about campaigns, however, but rather the kind of career-ending mistakes that people like Burns and Allen made. Those type of mistakes are incredibly rare, and its highly unprobable that either Sessions or Craig would make them.

    D) You are quick on the gun to call any Republican vulnerable. Why? Because all you see in Republicans are weaknesses, and all you see in Democrats are strengths.

    E) Sure I have. Not only have I explained to you why your interpretation of her words is inherently faulty, I've also supported it with the analysis of three top political reporters (two neutral and one liberal) who all fundamentally disagree with you. You've declined to listen to any of it, however, since it all proves I'm right and you're wrong.

    4:42 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - I've given you the benefit of the doubt and an awful lot of politeness, but your idiocy has really sapped my patience.

    I don't call any Republican vulnerable. That is a lie. You are a liar. Have I not said that Saxby Chambliss is in strong shape, as much as I personally despise him and his campaign tactics? Have I not pointed out that Bobby Jindal is currently the most popular politician in Louisiana? Did I not start the year off calling Republicans like Lindsey Graham, Mike Enzi and Pat Roberts (unless Kathleen Sebelius changed her mind and got in) very safe? On this point, va blogger, you're a liar and an idiot.

    You can put up all of the analyses you want. It doesn't change Liddy Dole's exact words. You can call my observation faulty all you want. It doesn't change Liddy's Dole's exact words. On this point, you're a whiner and an idiot.

    As for LaRocco and Sparks and Craig and Sessions, I say "Let's have a campaign and see what happens." You write off the Democrats' chances right off the bat - and this right after falsely accusing me of finding nothing but weakness in Republicans. On this point, you're a hypocrite and an idiot.

    Feel free to have the last words - I'm done with you here.

    4:59 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    How many more arguments are you going to run away from after you refuse to discuss any of the multitudes of points that I raise up?

    I realize that sticking your head in the sand and only allowing other liberal blogs and the DSCC tell you what to think makes your life easier to live, but after a while it just must get tiring, don't you think?

    5:10 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Congrats, va blogger, you goaded me into it.

    Do you realize how much you contradict yourself?

    You just accused me of "only allowing other liberal blogs and the DSCC" to tell me what to think. Meanwhile, just a few comments up, you highlight my disagreement with Kos' assessment of Dole's fundraising as grounds that I'm wrong about something.

    Do you realize your contradiction there?!? Can you appreciate that?

    Not to mention, there have been countless times where I've linked to conservative bloggers or posted about stories that portray Democrats in an unflattering light. But, since that doesn't help your argument, you'll happily ignore that.

    And I'm not "running away" from your "multitude of points" - I'm ignoring your idiocy. You're not making well-thought-out arguments. You're just ranting and making stuff up, like how I would post every Vernon Jones release as fact if he was the nominee, or some other nonsense. You ranting and making stuff up doesn't count as "making a point." Get over yourself. Or, take my advice and stop reading this blog that you hate so much.

    Really, you add nothing to this discussion. I would love a thoughtful conservative to comment and make counter-points. That would generate a thought-provoking discussion. Unfortunately, you don't offer that. Oh, and you misspell an awful lot, too, not to nitpick.

    5:27 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    7:40 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I was actually referring to blogs like blue nc, not the Daily Kos. Leave it to you to assume that by "liberal blogs", I meant "every liberal blog that's ever existed", however.

    I'd like to see one article that you've posted from a conservative blogger that portrays a Democrat in an unflattering light, especially one from the last two months. Go ahead. Produce it.

    And how many times do I match your speculation with equally valid speculation of my own, only for you to disregard any valid points I make and instead start a tangential argument? You can't say on one hand that you would love a discussion based on counter-points when on the other you always avoid the very same thing. Your actions on this blog, from trumpeting DSCC press releases as "news updates" to constantly posting diaries from liberal blogs, make it very clear that the ONLY thing that you're interested in is furthering an outlook on the world that's favorable to anyone with a (D) at the end of their name, and unfavorable to anyone with an (R) at the end of theirs. And you don't like me because I'm the only person here who doesn't go along with that.

    7:41 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    Corruption isnt enough. If it was Denny Hastert would have lost.

    Racism isnt enough. If it was Trent Lott wouldnt be in the Senate.

    11:10 PM, April 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I'm not saying it was enough. Obviously, Webb and Tester were able candidates, and Virginia and Montana are red states who are capable of voting in Democrats (moreso than IL-14 and Mississippi--though I disagree that Hastert is corrupt). But without Allen and Burns' respective self-made vulnerability, they would have easily won the race. Arguing otherwise, given that each race was only determined by a few thousand votes, is ridiculous.

    And it only serves my point better, because Idaho and Alabama are not like Virginia and Montana. They are even tougher environments for Democrats, and Craig and Sessions are less likely to do anything controversial. So, thank you for helping me drive my point home.

    9:06 AM, April 13, 2007  

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