Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sessions' Challengers and Smith's Vulnerability

  • Alabama: The AP takes a look at potential challengers to Republican Jeff Sessions, including Agriculture and Industry Commissioner Ron Sparks, State Senator Vivian Figures, and retired Jefferson County District Judge Pete Johnson (the first time I've seen that name mentioned in the media). Johnson notes that he "will be commenting within a month" on the Senate race. The article also notes of Sparks:

    For now, Sparks is generating the most talk on political blogs.

    As agriculture commissioner, he has been in the news more than some of his predecessors, including promoting agricultural trade with Cuba and showing he can cross party lines to work with Republicans on pushing alternative fuels and improving child nutrition.

    Sparks said he will decide in a few months whether to enter the race.
    Talk about challenging every race. Even with an exciting candidate like Sparks, this will be an uphill battle. But it will be an exciting uphill battle, with lots of upside. Imagine forcing the NRSC to spend money in Alabama (and Mississippi if Thad Cochran retires and Mike Moore gets in; and Idaho if Larry LaRocco gains traction; and so on). Every one of those dollars spent in Alabama is a dollar not spent protecting vulnerable seats in Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maine, etc. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the NRSC will be spread perilously thin in 2008, and the wider we can expand the playing field, the better it is for Democrats nationwide.

  • Oregon: Gordon Smith can't enjoy reading the newspaper or watching the local news on TV nowadays. Several outlets are picking up on the "Smith is vulnerable" meme. The Salem Statesman Journal. KGW-TV. Oregon Live. Oregon Public Broadcasting. It's pervasive, and it's exactly the type of message that will sap enthusiasm from his base and excite his opposition. Want to further excite Gordon Smith's opposition? Get involved!

    UPDATE (5:18pm): Oregon: Add The Argus Observer, Ashland Daily Tidings, and KMTR-16 to the chorus. Now go help Draft DeFazio reach its goal today!


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