Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Big Wednesday Morning Rundown

  • Wyoming: The finalists for the Senate vacancy have been announced:

    [Governor Dave] Freudenthal now has five days to choose the new senator from a short list made up of Tom Sansonetti, a lawyer and former Wyoming Republican chairman; state Sen. John Barrasso, an orthopedic surgeon; and former state Treasurer Cynthia Lummis.
    An interesting subplot to this decision is that since state rep. Colin Simpson didn't make the cut, he will likely challenge GOP Rep. Barbara Cubin in a House primary in 2008.

  • Alaska: More bad news for Ted Stevens:

    The Hays poll also contained good news for Anchorage's mayor Mark Begich.

    According to the results, 26 percent of the poll respondents gave a positive rating to Begich and 21 percent felt somewhat positive about the Democrat.

    The results indicated that 21 percent of respondents said they were neutral about the mayor, indicating that many living outside of Southcentral are unfamiliar with him.

    The poll contains some worrisome news for two long-time Alaska politicians.

    Sen. Ted Stevens, the senior member of Alaska's congressional delegation, received a 46 percent positive rating, while 36 percent see him in a negative light.

    But, when asked the likelihood of voting for the Republican senator given the recent corruption investigations, 15 percent responded they were likely to vote for Stevens, while 39 percent indicated they were unlikely to support him. Another 40 percent said the investigation makes no difference in their opinion of Stevens.
    And these numbers come right on the heels of the FBI investigation into Stevens' dealings. Once the news further permeates, we could see Stevens' numbers fall back to earth in a fashion similar to Pete Domenici's numbers, Domenici another godfather of his state's Republican Party now facing an ethics investigation.

  • South Carolina: If Lindsey Graham is going to get a Republican primary challenge, it won't be Republican state treasurer, Giuliani for President state chairman, and now alleged cocaine dealer Thomas Ravenel. But that doesn't mean Graham will avoid a primary challenge, as Hotline's Blogometer reports:

    Conservative angst over the immigration bill and its chief GOP supporters has been well documented here. And it's becoming clearer by the day that John McCain is not the only candidate will have to deal with the base in '08. A new project launched by conservative bloggers promises a primary challenge for any GOP Senator who votes for the proposal. The most prominent in that field? None other than McCain supporter Lindsay Graham (R-SC). So far, there have been rumblings of a primary challenge for Graham but no candidate yet. If the revived immigration plan comes up to a vote, will Graham's yea or ney be the triggering mechanism?
    And Graham won't be the only Senator bit by this - indications are the Saxby Chambliss and Mitch McConnell are being eyed as well.

  • North Carolina: Brad Miller has imposed on himself a July 1st deadline for a decision about running for Senate.

  • Virginia: Former Senator George "Macaca" Allen appears to be ruling out a 2008 Senate bid if John Warner retires.

  • Oklahoma: State Senator Kenneth Corn joins State Senator Andrew Rice as 30-something State Senators considering a Senate challenge to Jim "In Denial" Inhofe.

  • New Hampshire: I'm really beginning to think that Sprintin' John Sununu is literally incapable of making a decision on anything. Blue Hampshire catches him equivocating on enhancing fuel efficiency standards, a position even Republican colleague Judd Gregg has come out in support of. Sununu contributes absolutely nothing to the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, the Draft Shaheen movement gains steam.

  • Oregon: Loaded Orygun offers a deeper look into Gordon Smith's weak approval rating.

  • Kentucky: DMKY similarly offers a deeper look into Mitch McConnell's vulnerable approval rating.

  • Nebraska: UNO Dems breaks down the NE-GOP's burgeoning schisms. Meanwhile, with NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg having bolted the Republican Party, should Chuck Hagel be sitting by his phone waiting for a call?

  • Those obstructionist GOP Senators are at it again, this time blocking legislation to improve working conditions and wages for American workers.


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