Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday Morning Reading

  • Minnesota: The Star Tribune runs through Smilin' Norm Coleman's many, many vulnerabilities, including geography, low approval, anti-GOP national sentiment, and Bush & Iraq.

  • Nebraska: Nebraska Republican businessman Tony Raimondo will be putting together a Senatorial exploratory committee. Raimondo says he'll make an announcement in the fall when he finds out about Chuck Hagel's plans; but, he doesn't say that Hagel running for re-election would necessarily keep him out of a bid. Could Hagel-Bruning get some company in a NE-GOP primary?

  • Texas: The Austin American-Statesman profiles attorney Mikal Watts as a possible challenger to Bush rubber-stamp John Cornyn. In the article, Cornyn says:

    I've agreed with him [Bush] when I think he's right. And I've disagreed with him when I think he's wrong.
    Well, given that Cornyn has a "Presidential Support Score" of over 90%, he must only disagree with Bush less than one-in-ten times. Cornyn agrees with Bush, who presided over a mismanaged Iraq fiasco, delayed assistance during the Katrina tragedy, historic budget deficits, and scandal after scandal, more than nine times out of ten. That is a Bush rubber stamp. And whoever the Democratic nominee is will hang that around Cornyn's neck.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    John Cornyn has a party unity score of 97%. So according to your criteria, that makes him "moderate-right", correct?

    I'll be looking for more updates on moderate-right Senator John Cornyn as the cycle continues.

    4:38 PM, May 06, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    except that the 2006 election and everything congress is doing in 2007 is showing that the republican party is way to the right of most people in this country.

    70% support timetables nationwide, maybe 5% of republicans in congress voted for it.
    80% support a raise in the minimum wage, I think we all know where the Republican leadership is on that.
    Should I go on?

    5:02 PM, May 06, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You're right, I forgot. Democrats are right on all the issues, and Republicans are wrong. That's why you guys won in 2006.

    8:44 AM, May 07, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger, my naive, two-dimensional, black-and-white friend, it's not about whether the Dems or GOP is "right" or "wrong" on the issues - it's whether a majority of Americans agree more with either the Dems or the GOP. And, right now, the majority of Americans agree with the Democratic agenda.

    "And who do you trust to do a better job of handling ...? (LV)"
    *Terrorism: Democrats 43, Republicans 42
    *Iraq: Democrats 51, Republicans 36
    *Economy: Democrats 52, Republicans 39
    *Taxes: Democrats 47, Republicans 41
    *Healthcare: Democrats 58, Republicans 30
    *Social Security: Democrats 55, Republicans 32
    *Same-sex marriage: Democrats 46, Republicans 36
    *Immigration: Democrat 45, Republicans 37
    *Gas prices: Democrats 52, Republicans 29
    *Political Corruption: Democrats 43, Republicans 25

    Americans' support for the following policies on the Democratic agenda:
    *Allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies to attempt to lower the price of prescription drugs for some senior citizens: 87/12/1
    *Raising the minimum wage: 85/14/1
    *Cutting interest rates on federal loans to college students: 84/15/1
    *Creating an independent panel to oversee ethics in Congress: 79/19/2
    *Making significant changes in U.S. policy in Iraq: 77/20/3
    *Reducing the amount of influence lobbyists have in congressional decisions: 75/21/4
    *Implementing all of the anti-terrorism recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission: 64/26/10
    *Maintaining the current Social Security system to prevent the creation of private investment accounts: 63/32/6
    *Funding embryonic stem cell research: 62/32/6
    *Reducing some federal tax breaks for oil companies: 49/49/2
    *Changing the rules to allow Congress to create new spending programs only if taxes are raised or spending on other programs is cut: 41/54/5

    So, yeah, va blogger, right now a majority of Americans tend to favor the Democrats, Democratic positions, and items on the Democratic agenda. That's a large part of why Dems won in 2006 and have the momentum, especially in Senate/House races, in 2008. It also doesn't hurt that there are myriad high-profile cases of corrupt Republicans highlighting another very clear distinction.

    10:21 AM, May 07, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Compare to polls taken in 1995 and 1981, and I think you'd see a similar swing for Republicans, especially in "which brand do you trust" category. Those numbers have far, far more to do with the fact that the GOP has been in power for six years than any other reason.

    As far as the "Democratic agenda" goes, populist phraseology aside:

    -The drug price debate is phrased in favor of the Democratic position. Hell, I'm inclined to support it based off the wording there. But if the question were phrased: "Continuing to accept market value for drug prices to present the widest amount of drugs availible to seniors and to foster innovation", then you would likely also get 80% of the public's support, for a completely contrary position.

    -Minimum wage: the ultimate populist position. Republicans actually support this, we just want the neccesary protections for small businesses. We even tried to pass a minimum wage increase last summer, but the Democrats filibustered it because it cut into their campaign.

    -There's no such thing as an "independent" panel, but voters don't put two-and-two together and realize 1) that its another layer of bureaucracy, and 2) that there is already a Congressional ethics panel that works fine.

    -Most Republicans who don't work in the White House support a "significant change in policy" in Iraq.

    -Reducing the amount of lobbyist influence isn't a partisan issue, as the Democrats have quickly found out now that they're soliciting K Street.

    -The American people couldn't tell you even a third of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, let alone whether or not we should enact them. As if to prove my point, the Democrats themselves aren't keen on enacting all of the recommendations.

    The reason you won in 2006 was the cyclical nature of political power in Washington. The Republican Party became the party of being in power, not the party of conservative principles. There is no such thing as a "liberal mandate".

    At any rate, the country remains a centrist country, and its actually still to the center-right if you look at the last fourty years.

    And since this all a round-about way of calling you out for calling Senator Lautenberg "moderate-left", then this is as much about the topic as I'm willing to talk about.

    Let me know when you have more updates on what that moderate-right John Cornyn is up to.

    11:46 AM, May 07, 2007  

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