Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Really Stepping Up Recruitment

  • Oregon: Disappointing news just breaking: Congressman Earl Blumenauer is declining a Senate bid in 2008. The Congressman offers his own thoughts on Blue Oregon. We'll see if national Dems continue to investigate other potential candidates or if political energy coalesces around activist Steve Novick.

  • Minnesota: Duke University releases:

    Nobel Laureate and Duke University School of Medicine professor Dr. Peter Agre announced this morning that he will be taking steps necessary to evaluate a possible run for the Senate from Minnesota.
    With Al Franken and Mike Ciresi yet to catch fire, stirring the pot with another candidate with a unique and interesting background could be just what the doctor ordered.

  • Idaho: Mark your calendars. IdaBlue lets us in on the news that former Congressman and "the only announced candidate for the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Idaho" Larry LaRocco will be liveblogging there on Tuesday, May 29. Promises to be enlightening.

  • Colorado: The DSCC breaks down the many, many reasons why Bob Schaffer is too out of step with mainstream Colorado.

  • PoliticsNJ and the Star Ledger report that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has been named Vice Chairman of the DSCC under Chuck Schumer. This is positive news with Senator Menendez no stranger to aggressive fundraising, having raised just under $12 million during the 2006 election cycle.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Can you remind me of the DSCC's recruiting successes this cycle again?

    Mark Udall, who announced three years ago on his own, with no help from Schumer?

    Tom Allen, who is polling 25 points down?

    Al Franken and Mike Ciresi, both of whom announced independent of any help from the DSCC, and are both polling +20 points down?

    Oklahoma? Tennessee? New Mexico?

    Personally, I think its too early to judge either party's committee on recruiting because there's still plenty of time left in the cycle. You, however, don't seem to have those hang-ups, so would you judge the DSCC's recruitment efforts thus far as a success or a failure?

    12:08 PM, May 16, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    Oregon's a done deal. Novick would be extremely lucky to raise $100,000. Give it up, and while you're at it, give up on Maine and Minnesota too.

    3:43 PM, May 16, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Seeing as the elections are over 500 days away, Sean, I hate to say it, but you seem a little out there to me. Giving up on races over 500 days before the elections?

    The three you mentioned are all Blue states and it's going to be a presidential election year. In a strong Republican year, Norm Coleman won with 50% even after his opponent died in a plane crash. Novick is witty. Any heated race is going to get money. 100,000 dollars is nothing to a senate race. If he's trying he'll be well beyond that after second quarter. As for Maine, we'll see. Susan Collins is popular, but has she really gone through any tough opponents?

    4:18 PM, May 16, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    "December 9, 2005--Virginia Senator George Allen (R) holds a solid lead over four potential challengers in his bid for re-election. He leads each by at least twenty percentage points and attracts more than 50% of the vote in every match-up."

    Also from 2005:
    "The telephone survey, taken May 23-25 of 625 likely Montana voters by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    If the 2006 Senate election were held today, Burns would defeat state Auditor John Morrison, a Democrat, by a 49 to 34 percent margin, with 17 percent undecided.
    In another test, Burns would defeat Montana Senate President Jon Tester, D-Big Sandy, by a 50 to 26 percent margin, with 24 percent undecided."

    4:41 PM, May 16, 2007  
    Blogger Julie in Boise said...

    Thanks for the nod, guru. Larry LaRocco will be doing a series of three live blogs late this month and early next, of which the Idablue date will probably be the first. I'll try to be sure you get notice of them all - and if you can sit in on one or more, that'd be great.

    Julie Fanselow
    LaRocco for Senate

    5:50 PM, May 16, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Blue South, do you realize how bad candidates Burns and Allen were, and how narrowly their opponents won?

    There is no chance that Smith, Collins, and Coleman will be the same. When you're at the point where you're hoping that your opponent makes a major, career-ending gaffe, then you should really hope that you have better pick-up opportunities elsewhere.

    10:25 PM, May 16, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    Should I also post the polls of Lieberman that had him up 30 points before losing the primary?

    Even through the spring of 2006 George Allen was considered a leading possibility to run for President. That means that at this point in the cycle he would have been considered safer than Smith, Collins and Coleman by any measure; fundraising ability, national recognition, polling etc.

    10:54 PM, May 16, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Lieberman lost the Democratic primary, and I would argue that, in the eyes of Democratic voters, he was as bad a candidate as Burns and Allen were in the general election.

    No one is contesting that Allen was safer pre-macaca than Smith, Collins, and Coleman are now. But Collins and Coleman enjoy leads of more than 20 points on their opponents, and Smith doesn't have a challenger. They are looking good for re-election. You brought up the fact that early polls often don't indicate the final result, but the two examples you used, Jon Tester and Jim Webb, won against terribly flawed opponents. Collins, Smith, and Coleman aren't as bad candidates.

    Furthermore, Webb and Tester were largely unknown statewide, where as Al Franken currently has 80% name ID and Tom Allen is a Congressman in a two-district state.

    I will concede to you that early polls aren't an indication of what will happen at the end of the race. But Collins, Coleman, and Smith are all a lot less vulnerable than most would have guessed they'd be by now.

    9:19 AM, May 17, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    "Collins, Smith, and Coleman aren't as bad candidates."
    You can not make that assertion. The whole point with George Allen is that until May of 2006, a year later in the cycle, he was considered safe, and more importantly, he was considered a great candidate. So to say those three arent as bad assumes some sort of predictive power that no one enjoys.

    Are they less vulnerable than people thought? Sure. Are they going to win reelection? No one can answer that.

    9:28 AM, May 17, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    George Allen was safe until he committed a career-ending gaffe, then ran his campaign into the ground. As I said before, when your chance for victory rests on the hopes that your opponent screws up so badly, I would hope you have other pick-up opportunities availible.

    10:26 AM, May 17, 2007  
    Blogger James L. said...

    If you don't put up a credible challenge, there's little chance that the incumbent will be boxed into a "career-ending" moment. While the odds may be long in some scenarios, it's lunacy not to try.

    11:54 AM, May 17, 2007  

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