Late Night Conclusions
Montana: With fundraising being a primary indicator, it is a safe bet that GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg won't challenge Senator Max Baucus:
Rehberg raised $82,000 from January through March. Baucus, who is up for re-election next year, raised $1.1 million during the same time — almost 14 times Rehberg’s fundraising. He has raised a total of $4.4 million since he was last re-elected in 2002, and has $2.9 million in the bank.Left in the West seems to agree with that conclusion. Rehberg is considered by many to be the only Republican who could even give the popular Baucus a competitive race. If Rehberg opts against a Senate challenge, I suppose we can consider it another failure of the NRSC.
Virginia: This SUSA poll includes some confusing verbiage:
We asked whether John Warner and Mark Warner should or should not run next year. 51% of those responding said John Warner should run for re-election, and 49% said Mark Warner should challenge him.The poll asks whether either should run, not whether either would have the poll answerer's support. Odd. Meanwhile, Not Larry Sabato may be jumping the gun a bit in announcing John Warner's retirement. I'm expecting a retirement, too, but the announcement may be premature. That said, I'd love to see GOP Rep. Tom Davis' recent phone bill so I could count the number of calls he has logged to John Warner confidantes to get the inside dope.
Idaho: mcjoan catches Larry Craig dishonestly still presenting himself as Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. This is all the more odd given the myriad veteran abuses that occurred under Craig's Chairmanship. As mcjoan said:
This will be a major issue for Craig should he choose to run again, particulary with veteran Larry LaRocco in the race.Louisiana: It appears that former Senator John Breaux will not be running for Governor of Louisiana. This even further increases the likelihood of a Bobby Jindal electoral victory in 2007. While unfortunate to lose the Governor's office, it does mean that Senator Mary Landrieu will almost definitely not face Jindal in a 2008 Senate race. Given that the next two top potential challengers are the weak-fundraising Rep. Richard Baker and the weak-polling Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, Senator Landrieu continues to look less vulnerable every day.
Maine: It seems that Congressman Tom Allen's camp agrees with the Guru's assessment that Joe Lieberman's endorsement of Susan Collins is far more of a drag than a help:
A political adviser for Democratic Rep. Tom Allen -- an unannounced but likely candidate against Collins -- said Lieberman's support for the war and Collins' support for the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tie her to the Bush administration's politically unpopular war policy. "I think the Lieberman endorsement is significant. For us, it's a gift," the Allen adviser said. "It paints a picture of Susan Collins with people like Lieberman and McCain, who support the war."Sounds right to me. (HT: tparty at Breaking Blue)
Michigan: Not that the MI-GOP has been all that active in fielding a strong opponent to Senator Carl Levin, but Levin raised a robust $1.5 million in Q1, making the prospect of a top-tier opponent even less likely.