Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday Morning Rundown

  • Oregon: The DSCC is clearly hustling and considering all options in Oregon as Gordon Smith is indeed very vulnerable. The latest news is that former Monmouth Mayor Paul Evans, who is also an Oregon Air National Guard Major who has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, has spoken with the DSCC about the possibility of a challenge to Smith. It is impressive the breadth of potential candidates considering entering the race - a pleasant silver lining in the wake of the DeFazio/Blumenauer decisions.

  • Montana: Disgraced Republican Mike Lange's fanfare-free Friday entry into the Senate race means he now gets to enjoy all that sexy Saturday press coverage that no one will read (the weekend before the Fourth of July, no less!). It's like he said, 'Bob Schaffer in Colorado had a stumbling, embarrassing entry into his Senate race. Let's copy that!'

  • Minnesota: Norm Coleman does not like commenting on the record. Conversely, the Teamsters do like Al Franken.

  • Kentucky: Odd headline regarding immigration legislation: "Observers ponder McConnell's change of heart" - conserve your pondering energy; here's the answer: McConnell is a political coward.

  • If you're as disturbed as I am over the "loyal Bushie"-ness of Alito and Roberts, raise your hand... that's a lot of hands.


    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    The Oregon race changes considerably is former NEA chairman John Frohnmayer enters the race as an Independent. It's still a possibility, too.

    12:07 PM, June 30, 2007  
    Blogger Chrispy67 said...

    It seems like every day Schumer is flirting with a new Oregon possibility. Why is it that none of the top names want to take on Smith?

    12:52 PM, June 30, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Because Smith has curried a lot of favor in the state, even with Independents and Democrats, and they recognize that, in order to defeat him, they have to 1) raise a lot of money, and 2) go negative, and no one is willing to do that.

    Oregon voters aren't as virelent as many in the blogosphere. They don't consider Gordon Smith the enemy, and they don't welcome all-out partisan warfare.

    1:10 PM, June 30, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    As far as Oregon goes, with obvious consensus candidates DeFazio and Blumenauer out, I think the DSCC is letting a few names fly to see what reactions occur. Between a few state legislative leaders, a successful businesswoman, a party activist, and a known radio personality, they'll see who seems to match up best.

    va blogger - what in your mind does the word "virelent" mean? I can't imagine what real English word you're referring to (virulent, violent, variegated?). But I don't know what you mean by going negative. I think any Democrat running against Smith will be happy to say, "Gordo, you've been a finger-in-the-wind politician, you've been back and forth on Iraq, you haven't led on any issues, and you don't represent our state as well as, say, Ron Wyden does. I'll do better." Is that going negative?

    6:13 PM, June 30, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You can't imagine that "virelent" was supposed to be "virulent"? How odd.

    What I meant was that many liberals who participate in the blogosphere consider politics to be an all-out war against Republicans and Democrats, and will say as much. Therefore, any action that participates in the bringing down of a Republican or the raising up of a Democrat is a good and neccesary one, including going negative.

    As far as going negative is concerned, you have to realize that what you've said about Senator Smith is a matter of opinion, and certainly not everyone in Oregon is going to agree with it. And since the voters of Oregon live in Oregon, and are represented by Senator Smith, they would probably know better about how well he represents them.

    Moreover, since you would criticize Senator Smith no matter what he has done, because he is a Republican and the entire purpose of this blog is to cheerlead for Democrats, I don't think your criticism has a lot of weight, especially with Oregon voters.

    As far as whether what you said is, in fact, "going negative", I'm not an Oregon voter, so its not for me to decide. I can tell you, however, that you'll likely not hear Ron Wyden say any of those things. And if that's a standard that a prospective candidate lives up to, then you may be disappointed to learn that civility and political discussion still co-exist in corners of this country.

    7:16 PM, June 30, 2007  
    Blogger Stephen said...

    I find it amusing when people in many different states, but will use Oregon as the example since that is where the thread is heading, talk like its weird that someone does not want to run for senate. It takes a lot of thought to do something like that: its a lot of time, energy, begging for money, and with many people in the country naturally untrusting of politicians, one's reputation may take a hit as well, and to do it from the West Coast where the work will take you across the country makes it seem even worse. But as for the case for the present members of Oregon's House delegation, right now they have safe seats and are back in the majority again and can coast to re-election, I would probably do that also. Just my 2 cents so take it as you wish.

    8:23 PM, June 30, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Exactly. People simply posting online (myself included) make these calculations about who should run for Senate without ever having to worry about the practical consequences about what such a campaign would require, and the effects of winning or losing.

    8:40 PM, June 30, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - you're right that it's up to the people of Oregon to decide whether or not they like Gordon Smith.

    And, right now, only 47% approve of the job he is doing and 45% actively disapprove. Not very affirming numbers.

    1:28 AM, July 01, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Of course, barely over a third of the voters of New Jersey approved of the job that Bob Menendez was doing in New Jersey and they re-elected him.

    3:08 AM, July 01, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Yeah, Menendez had weaker approval numbers than Smith, but over the last few years, NJ has been very partisan Democratic, so a Democrat in Jersey with low approvals has a much better chance at re-election than a Republican in Oregon with mediocre approvals. Hardly an accurate comparison.

    11:59 AM, July 01, 2007  

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