Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Iraq Vote, Rumblings, and Other News

  • The Senate voted on legislation to both fund the troops and set a deadline to dislodge the troops from the Iraqi Civil War and bring them home. The following Senators were among those (only Republicans and Lieberman) who voted against funding the troops and for unchecked and limitless war: Alexander (R-TN), Chambliss (R-GA), Cochran (R-MS), Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Dole (R-NC), Domenici (R-NM), Inhofe (R-OK), McConnell (R-KY), Sessions (R-AL), Stevens (R-AK), Sununu (R-NH), Warner (R-VA).

  • Virginia: Not Larry Sabato suggests that George "Macaca" Allen may be preparing for a 2009 Gubernatorial bid and passing on a 2008 Senate bid if/when John Warner hangs it up.

  • New Jersey: PoliticsNJ and Blue Jersey are both offering speculation centering on three-term state assemblyman Michael Doherty, who PoliticsNJ describes as "one of New Jersey’s most conservative legislators." If that's the case, Doherty will certainly offer voters a clear choice against moderate-left Senator Frank Lautenberg, but it's a choice New Jersey voters have soundly rejected in recent elections. And I really don't see 2008 being a big year for conservative Republicans in blue states.

  • Texas: Political Insider, via Roll Call, has a round-up of the latest rumblings in Texas. The most notable addition to the rumor mill is San Antonio lawyer Mikal Watts, at whose home the DSCC recently raised over a million dollars.

  • Idaho: While the ID-GOP picture remains quite unclear, Democrats just got a boost in new state party executive director John Foster, who most recently worked as managing editor of the Idaho Business Review. It should help Democrats with outreach to the Idaho business community and Larry LaRocco with his uphill fight.

  • Alaska: Personally, I'd love to see Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich step up and challenge Ted Stevens in 2008. If he wins, fantastic. But, worst case scenario, he loses but raises his statewide profile for a 2010 challenge to Lisa Murkowski, who suffers from so-so approvals and will be mounting her first re-election bid, with the Murkowski name not being worth what it used to be. However, should that not happen, DKos diarist NuevoLiberal offers an interesting idea: Mike Gravel for Senator in 2008.

  • Vulnerable Republicans are unionizing! Maybe they'll come out with t-shirts.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Frank Lautenberg is "moderate-left"? Really? National Journal says his voting record more liberal than 83 other Senators. CQ Politics gives him a Party Unity score of 97. (couldn't find the CQ link, but MyDD has it). And here Wikipedia says: "Lautenberg is considered to be one of the Senate's most liberal members."

    Its not as if Lautenberg is in any danger of losing re-election, so I don't understand why you need to mis-represent him in order to make him look better. The man is solidly liberal. Mind you, I'm not saying that as perjorative. Just call a spade a spade.

    And a little nitpick, Lisa Murkowski won re-election in 2004, besting Tony Knowles. She'll be running for her second full-term, though, since she was appointed to her seat in 2002 after her father was elected Governor.

    8:55 AM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    No, va blogger, please nitpick because it makes you sound really on-the-ball. Murkowski did not win "re-election" in 2004. She won "election" in 2004. As you point out in your own comment, she was previously appointed by her father to the seat. She had not yet been "elected" until 2004, so she did not win "re-election," which, to nitpick, means "elected again."

    As for Lautenberg, yeah, I said "moderate-left." Did I say "centrist"? No. And NJ did rate him more liberal than 83 other Senators, 55 of whom are Republican, so obviously they'll be to the right of him. Among Democrats, there were 26 ranked less liberal and 15 ranked more liberal. Moderate-left. (I don't leave out the "left" part.) Do you really want to quibble?

    10:31 AM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Yes, I want to quibble. A senator who votes with his party 97% of the time and is considered one of the most liberal members is not a moderate, by any stretch of the imagination.

    And my point about Murkowski is that she has already won one election as the incumbent.

    10:49 AM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    A) I did not say Lautenberg was "moderate" in my opinion - why do you constantly misrepresent what I type ever so clearly? I said "moderate-left" - that's my opinion - the NJ rankings that you link to certainly concur with that opinion.

    B) Right - Murkowski won one election. Hence, her next bid for election, her first electoral defense, will be her first bid for re-election. This isn't a matter of opinion, so I don't know why you're harping on this. Just bored today at your alleged job?

    11:25 AM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Would you say that a Republican who votes with his party 97% of the time was "moderate-right"?

    12:07 PM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Depends on which 97%.

    1:16 PM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...


    And if you consider somebody that votes with his party 97% of the time to be "moderate-left", exactly what do you consider "left" or "far left"?

    2:28 PM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger James L. said...

    Yes, I want to quibble. A senator who votes with his party 97% of the time and is considered one of the most liberal members is not a moderate, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Terms like "moderate" are highly subjective. For example, I do not consider Gordon Smith or Chuck Hagel or Susan Collins or even Olympia Snowe to be "moderates". Some of these folks may be moderately less conservative than many of their colleagues, but they ain't moderately liberal on real bread 'n' butter issues.

    4:27 AM, April 28, 2007  

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