Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Landrieu's Strength, Collins' Illogic, and Atkins' Decision

  • Louisiana: A month ago, I posted on Senator Mary Landrieu appearing to be in better shape than I thought, with her holding a healthy lead against Republican Jay Dardenne and with a couple GOP Congressmen deciding against a Senate challenge. Well, more good news for Landrieu, as her fundraising numbers for the first quarter of 2007 exceeded expectations and broke records:

    In the first three months of this year, Landrieu raked in $1,016,556, according to her campaign. With the election still more than a year and a half away, she had nearly $1.8 million in her war chest, tripling her fundraising in the previous quarter and doubling what she raised at this point in the 2002 campaign.

    "This is the most successful fundraising quarter we've ever had at this point in an election cycle and even exceeds our own internal goals," said Tina Stoll, Landrieu's finance director.
    While I do think that the NRSC will be willing to dump more money into Louisiana than most other states, as they fight to turn at least one Democratic-held seat to GOP hands (something they failed to accomplish in 2006), an increasingly robust Landrieu bankroll can certainly discourage potential challengers. Given that Landrieu is supposed to be the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent, this is more reassuring news.

  • Maine: Turn Maine Blue has Susan Collins giving either a ludicrously illogical or a spot-on accurate reason for her vote to keep Bush's Iraq War open-ended: "because the president's veto would 'delay providing essential funds for our combat troops'" It seems like she is saying that there is no sense in her voting along with the wishes of the majority of American people to bring a conclusion to Bush's Iraq War (while funding the troops in the meantime) since Bush is just going to delay these funds for the troops by vetoing the bill.

    Yeah, I'm having a hard time understanding Collins' (il)logic too. If she's saying that she isn't going to bother voting for the bill because Bush is threatening a veto, then she is illustrating a lack of leadership. If she's saying that she isn't willing to stand up to Bush and his veto threat, then she is evidencing a lack of independence. Either way, it doesn't look good for Two-Faced Susan Collins.

  • Minnesota: State Representative Joe Atkins says he will announce a decision on whether or not to enter the Senate race "after the legislative session," which I understand ends May 21st. Not knowing how well-known Atkins is statewide, I would imagine that he will conclude that it would be too difficult to financially compete in a primary with Al Franken and Mike Ciresi. I guess we'll find out later in the Spring.


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