Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Monday, July 16, 2007

Big Monday Round-Up

  • Republicans continue to make threats of increased obstructionism (as though it could increase) should Democrats not rubber stamp Bush's judicial nominees. So, Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling the Republicans on it and forcing them to filibuster as he schedules an all night session to address Iraq. After the move was called a "stunt," Senator Richard Durbin fired back, saying: "I don’t think it’s a stunt. I think it reflects the reality of this war. How many sleepless night have our soldiers and their families spent?" That's what happens when Democrats call Senate Republicans out on their craven form of politics. Meanwhile, Republican George Voinovich suggests that more Republican defectors on Iraq will soon emerge and describes Bush's handling of Iraq as "f—ed up."

  • Louisiana: Republican Senator and prostitute-fan David Vitter emerged from hiding with a press conference today with his wife, not addressing the many issues surrounding his indiscretions and refusing to take questions afterward. (The link includes video.) He said in his statement that he wouldn't answer "endless" questions. Well, he didn't answer any questions. He says that answering questions to uncover the truth amid the scandal wouldn't "serve his constituents well." Unbelievable. He then cowered behind his wife as she pleaded for privacy in this matter. But it was David Vitter, not the media, who inserted Vitter's family and personal "values" and private life into the public sphere. Once again, Vitter therefore deserves every bit of scrutiny he receives. Mrs. Vitter tries to vilify the media for pursuing the story; but, the story would come to an end simply by her husband living up to his own standard and resigning, which he so far refuses to do. David Vitter didn't just lie to his wife; he lied to his constituents and, for that, he has not received absolution. By his own measure, Vitter is morally unfit to govern. He cares more about his own career than he does his constituents or the "values" he claims to advocate for. David Vitter is a dishonest coward and a hypocrite.

    Meanwhile, more Republicans apologize for Vitter's indiscretions, putting partisanship before values. Jon Kyl, whose only purpose in the Senate is to rubber stamp whatever Bush tells him to, claims ignorance calling judgment "premature." And Vitter's predecessor in the House and fellow adulterer ex-Rep. Bob Livingston cheered Vitter on. Compounding the improprieties, an anonymous Senate employee drafted talking points for Republicans to use in defense of Vitter using Senate resources, a clear no-no as Senate resources are to be used only for government purposes, not political purposes, which these talking points clearly are for. For continuing updates on the Vitter scandal on the local front, check Daily Kingfish regularly.

  • North Carolina: Earlier this year:

    U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said in a fundraising letter this month that she needs to raise nearly $1 million a month through Election Day 2008 to defend her seat in Congress.
    Well, Elizabeth Dole's Q2 numbers are in. For April through June, she raised $823,000, less than half of the $1.7 million Dole raised in Q1. She said she needed "nearly $1 million a month" and couldn't muster $1 million for the three months of Q2 combined. She ended Q2 with $1.76 million cash-on-hand.

  • Texas: State Representative Rick Noriega is moving forward with his Senate exploratory committee and has a retooled campaign website up and running.

  • Alaska: Ted Stevens' numerous appearances of impropriety are taking their toll on him as his approval sags to all-time lows, with less than 45% of Alaskans holding a positive view of Stevens while almost 44% hold a negative view of Stevens. Not helping appearances any, Stevens is getting yet another extension before filing his 2006 financial disclosure. Makes one wonder why. Not to miss out on the appearance-of-impropriety bonanza, nepotism beneficiary Lisa Murkowski, who is up for re-election in 2010, is also having questions raised about a real estate deal conducted between her and one of Stevens' good buddies. When it comes to corruption, is the AK-GOP becoming the new OH-GOP?

  • Maine: Susan Collins and her best pal Joe Lieberman issued an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe today on combatting terrorism. You may be shocked to hear that the word "Iraq" does not appear anywhere in the column. Turn Maine Blue offers further insights.

  • Kentucky: It feels like not a single day goes by on which Mitch McConnell doesn't get hit by some bad local press.

  • Nebraska: I'm getting a little annoyed with misleading headlines in the Lincoln Journal Star. Back in April, they ran a headline reading "Kerrey to say no to Senate race" in which the article discusses that Kerrey is considering a Senate bid, calling it unlikely, but certainly not saying "No." Today, they offer the headline: "Don Walton: Johanns may jump in if Hagel's out" but then include in the artcle: "And Mike Johanns? Not talking." They have no quote from Johanns or a close source. It would be nice if, in the future, the headlines reflected the actual content of the stories.

  • Idaho: I try not to be quite so blunt, but Larry Craig really is an idiot.

  • West Virginia: The Herald-Dispatch alludes to poll numbers looking good for Senator Jay Rockefeller's re-election:

    John Raese, the owner of MetroNews, commissioned the May poll, Kercheval said. Some GOP figures have touted Raese, a Republican, as a possible challenger to Rockefeller in 2008. Raese narrowly lost to the then-governor for the Senate seat in 1984.

    Those who were quizzed for the poll say it included questions about Rockefeller, Raese and a potential Senate rematch. Though MetroNews has not reported on those results, those familiar with the polling say Raese -- who was trounced last year in a race against Sen. Robert C. Byrd -- did not fare well.

    "I haven't seen the poll...I understand it was not very favorable (between Rockefeller and Raese)" state GOP Chairman Doug McKinney told The Charleston Gazette last week.
    No poll numbers released. Not even spin. The numbers must be awfully bad.

  • Minnesota: Norm Coleman must be very worried to be pulling out the "Hollywood's liberal elite" card so early, especially since Coleman has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2002 from Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Insurance.

  • New Jersey: Republican assemblyman Joe Pennacchio, who may run either for state senate or for U.S. Senate, is taking a swipe at Senator Frank Lautenberg for holding up the nomination of Gene Cretz as U.S. Ambassador to Libya, the first since 1972. Senator Lautenberg, along with three other Senators, is holding up the nomination until Libya fulfills its agreed-to obligations following their terrorist attack on Pan Am 103 in 1988.

  • Georgia: Former State Representative Wyc Orr has ruled out a possible 2008 Senate challenge to "Spineless" and/or "Shameless" Saxby Chambliss.

  • Alabama: A new rumored candidate may be considering a challenge to Jeff Sessions: Birmingham trial lawyer David Marsh.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    One very important detail that you over-looked: The Stevens poll tested Anchorage voters only, not the entire state.

    Its so funny to see you try and put a negative spin on Dole's tremendous fundraising. Between that and touting "informed ballot" polls as real ballot tests, you almost make it seem as if Dole the underdog in the race for her seat.

    12:26 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    lets see, polling under 40%, and able to raise only half of her stated goal, while spending a ton of money. She spent most of what she raised in Q2 without an opponent. Can you imagine what her spending will be like when she does have an opponent?

    She isnt an underdog, but she is much weaker than you would like to think.

    8:15 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Her stated goal aside, she's raising a large amount of money. I understand your point about what she said at the beginning of the campaign--we don't need to rehash that argument. However, there is simply absolutely no way to deny that she is raising a lot of money. The more and more you try and spin it as a negative, the more and more desperate you look.

    And where is she polling under 40%?

    I know exactly how weak Dole is. Don't confuse my refutation of your absurd spin with a false sense of security. She is vulnerable to a challenge that's not likely to materialize. You can tell the difference between us because I'm not the one who reports Dole's 1st quarter fundraising of $1.7 million as a bad development.

    8:47 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    No, va blogger - you're the one who ignores that in Q2, Dole raised less than half of what she raised in Q1. That kind of precipitous dip in fundraising could be a signal that she's tapped all the low hanging fruit out there. And, this early, that's a bad sign for her, especially with her high burn rate (so early and with no challenger yet), as blue south pointed out. No Senator with the contacts of a former NRSC Chair (however abysmal) should be able to go an entire quarter with less than $1 million raised. A very bad sign. And that's not spin - that's reality.

    10:30 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    No, that's an assessment that you've made up in order to construct a negative narrative on Dole. There's no rule that says she has to raise $1 million to be impressive. In fact, she raised $1.7 million the first quarter, and you decried that as well.

    If her fundraising continues to decline, then yes, she has a problem. But raising the money that she is and has raised with no strong challenger in sight is impressive, and its a show of strength. And her burn rate indicates that she has begun to invest her resources back into the state. Spent money isn't just money the candidate no longer has--it also represents what that money bought.

    When should we be expecting you to edit your post to note that the Stevens poll only asked Anchorage voters, and not the entire state?

    10:47 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    And what has Dole's money bought? Her approvals are still lousy.

    And a high burn rate with no challenger isn't a sign of strength, va blogger - that's a giant reach for someone who claims not to like "spin."

    10:53 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Its far too early to see the result of whatever she's invested her money in, whether it be staff, consultants, or anything else. And we've only seen the results from one polling firm, who obviously aren't the biggest fans of Ms. Dole. As I said before, I want to see what another firm has to say about the race.

    When are you going to update the front page?

    11:05 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    I'm not going to comment on the North Carolina thing. I have no information to prove or disprove the arguement.

    In Alaska, I think the senate race may all come down to what govenor Sarah Palin says, or who she endorces. Palin is poling around 90% approval, the most popular govenor in the United States. If she decides to support Steven's opponent, or doesn'r support anybody (she's known to be a maverick), it could be a very bad thing for Senator Stevens.

    11:24 AM, July 17, 2007  
    Blogger Chrispy67 said...


    If you're looking for more info about Craig being an idiot, you might find this page from his official website interesting:

    Fact or Fiction

    Apparently, his office gets enough inquiries on issues that might be filed under "urban legends" that require him to respond. Some made me shake my head over the gullibility of my fellow citizens

    4:12 PM, July 18, 2007  

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