Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Monday, May 21, 2007

Quick Hits from Red States

  • Georgia: "Shameless" Saxby Chambliss got booed by Republican state convention delegates - and there's audio. Hearing Chambliss booed, by Republicans no less, is always a great way to start a Monday morning. (HT: Tondee's Tavern)

  • South Carolina: Lindsay Graham has the fourth largest war chest among 2008 Senators despite no Democratic opposition yet. The article leads:

    Throughout U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s congressional career, Columbia-based SCANA Corp. and its employees have been among his biggest sources of financial support, contributing almost $45,000 to his election campaigns.

    Last year, Graham helped one of SCANA’s senior executives, Robert Sumwalt, secure a seat on the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates plane crashes and other commercial transportation accidents.
    It must be nice to rent have GOP friends in high places.

  • Kansas: An Enduring Democratic Majority suggests Kansas has the potential to be a Senate battleground in 2008 with Pat Roberts' relatively weak approval. The Guru would suggest that if popular Governor Kathleen Sebelius (who the Guru suspects is holding out for the Veepstakes in '08) wanted the Senate seat, she'd beat Roberts, given her much higher approval and lower disapproval. With any other candidate, it would be an uphill climb. (Not impossible, but quite steep.)


    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    My optomism isn't high enough to think that Pat Roberts or Lindsay Graham are in any sort of trouble. I think Saxby could be taken down with the right candidate, and maybe the right gaffe from Saxby. Boy, would I love to see that guy taken down.

    12:51 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Most objective observers of the Senate races only see six or seven competitive races shaping up. The liberal blogosphere is trying to make something out of nothing when they bang loud pots in places like Nebraska, Alabama, and Kansas. These people that think that the Democrats will gain five or more seats this cycle are very clearly delusional.

    3:12 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    at this point in 2005 you would have been considered delusional if you thought Dems would win more than 20 seats in the house and win 6 seats in the senate. And yet...

    But I am sure you and your Republican bosses would be thrilled to just end our democracy and declare winners 18 months out.

    3:28 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    How can I argue against something as speculative as that?

    Besides, of the people who post on this blog, I'm not the one who uses language like "Tom Allen will win for reasons including, but not limited to:", and in another post here where he implies the same thing by saying that the voters of Maine will dump Collins. Here he counts the New Jersey race as all-but-over, as he contemplates who will "lose" to Lautenberg. Here he states that Senator Sununu's constituents won't be for much longer. Here he slyly calls the Colorado race for Mark Udall.

    At least the races I'm saying are out of reach are ones where they are actually out of reach, like Nebraska, Alabama, and Kansas. He's running his mouth on the most competitive races in the cycle, including one where the Democratic challenger is polling 25 points behind.

    So apparently, its not just "me and my Republican bosses" who want to end democracy, which is quite the absurd strawman itself.

    3:47 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Governor Kathleen Sebelius' approve-disapprove currently stands at 63-34, a 29-point approval margin. (In fact, her approval among Republicans stands at 55-42, a 13-point margin!)

    Senator Pat Roberts' approve-disapprove currently stands at 48-39, a 9-point approval margin (with an approval under the 50% danger line for an incumbent).

    va blogger - in your humble opinion, if, hypothetically, Sebelius announced that she would run for Senate against Roberts (unlikely, of course, hence the "hypothetically"), would the Kansas Senate race immediately jump up to a top-tier race? Yes or no?

    (Also, va blogger, do you really need me to waste time going through your innumerable comments already declaring a winner in several races? Not too hypocritical now...)

    4:08 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    If Sebelius would jump in the race in Kansas, it would be top tier. If Terry Branstad jumped in the race in Iowa, it would be top tier. If Mark Racicot jumped in the race in Montana, it would be top tier. If Mike Huckabee jumped in the race in Arkansas, it would be top tier. If Christine Todd Whitman jumped in the race in New Jersey, it would be top tier.

    The potential for a strong challenger doesn't make the race inherently competitive even in the absense of the strong challenger. Pat Roberts is vulnerable to the right kind of opponent. Unfortunately for you, the only one who fits the bill is more than likely to pass on the race.

    And its not hypocrisy to point out times where you've prematurely called a race. I was defending myself from blue south, who claimed that calling races, somehow, is only something that Republican bosses who want to end democracy do. Should we consider you a Republican boss who wants to end democracy?

    4:18 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    4:48 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    I think with the fact that the Republicans have to defend 21 seats instead of 15, less funded than they were in 2006, five or six competitive seats is lowballing the number of seats we will actually have a shot at. In 2006, Democrats had seven competitive races to pickup seats, six of which, they won.

    I will say, the majority of this depends on the political atmosphere in 2008.

    4:51 PM, May 21, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    It also relies heavily on the top of the ticket. If Republicans in the South see Rudy Giuliani on the ticket, they may be discouraged and not vote Republican or may stay home on election day (don't laugh, I've heard Evangicals say it before.) And, as VA Blogger said, any race can become competitive with the right opponent. Here are the states I'm really looking at, though.

    New Hampshire, Colorado, Maine, Louisiania and Texas (only because of Senator Cornyn's low approval numbers.) I'm not putting too much into Oregon anymore, thanks to every Democrat in the state passing on the opportunity. I think the Democratic Party in Minnesota needs another candidate to make that race interesting. The others will need some strong challengers before I really start taking glances at them.

    7:43 PM, May 21, 2007  

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