Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Items

  • Yes, Republican Senators are pleading with the Bush Administration for political cover on Iraq.

  • Louisiana: The daily David Vitter update includes the Shreveport Times reporting that the Louisiana Republican Party is trying to hammer out a deal to present Governor Blanco with regarding the removal of Vitter from office. Not a big demonstration of support from the base. Why are the LA-GOP especially up in arms? The Evans-Novak Political Report suggests that Republicans are worried that Vitter could harm Bobby Jindal's gubernatorial bid. MyDD's Singer rightfully asks, "Will Bobby Jindal call for Vitter to step down, as he has with [Democratic Congressman William] Jefferson?" Further, The Daily Advertiser, in analyzing the sex scandal's shockwaves, notes that, "Democrat Mary Landrieu is up for re-election for a third term in the fall 2008 elections. Vitter, a bitter Landrieu rival, was expected to play a key role in the uphill Republican effort to unseat her. Most political scientists now say Vitter can't be effective in the anti-Landrieu effort." Meanwhile, Scholars & Rogues urges us not to forget about Vitter's money trail, looking at the massive federal contracts received by top Vitter donors.

  • Montana: Perhaps starting a trend, Republican State Senator John Brueggeman will be supporting popular Democratic Senator Max Baucus for re-election over disgraced Republican Michael Lange. Meanwhile, Baucus reports having raised $1.6 million in Q2, bringing his cash-on-hand to about $4 million. That should make it an all-the-more difficult task for Lange to "win over naysayers" like Brueggeman.

  • Texas: Mikal Watts' deep pockets and proficient fundraising may have John Cornyn worried, so worried that he's trotting out Karl Rove to help him raise money.

  • Colorado: Apparently, the CO-GOP is very concerned about Bob Schaffer's fundraising capability. We'll know more when Schaffer releases his Q2 figure.

  • Maine: Republican Susan Collins took in $1.26 million in Q2, a little more than Democratic Congressman Tom Allen's $1.1 million take, but not much more. Collins' cash-on-hand stands at $2.3 million, with Allen close behind at $1.7 million. Meanwhile, Collins is desperately trying to tie herself to Senator Olympia Snowe, but the bottom line is that Snowe supports setting a troop withdrawal timeline and Susan Collins does not, disingenuously as Collins may try to muddy that fact.

  • Minnesota: MN Publius offers a chronology of Norm Coleman's support for Bush's Iraq War. Meanwhile, the Pioneer Press reports that Democratic public-interest lawyer and environmental activist Jim Cohen is entering the 2008 Senate race.

  • New Jersey: Republican Anne Evans Estabrook announced the formation of her Senate exploratory committee.

  • Kansas: In another sign that Republican Pat Roberts could be vulnerable against the right Democrat, following the defection of two now-former-Republicans to the Democratic Party, the KS-GOP is forcing asking Party members to take an obedience a unity pledge.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    There's another option in Montana:

    Former State Senator Bob Keenan, who launched a late challenge for the GOP Primary against Conrad Burns last cycle, is being recruited by the state party to run against Baucus. Keenan would undoubtedly recieve more support than Lange, and depending on the Democratic nominee for the White House in '08, may make Montana competitive.

    3:13 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    You have to be kidding about Landrieu and Vitter. They have a strong working relationship and he is not a "bitter" rival.

    3:34 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - Baucus isn't a freshman Senator running in his first re-election bid. He's a popular veteran incumbent. The Democratic Presidential nominee will have little impact on Baucus' re-election campaign.

    sean - I'm not kidding about Landrieu and Vitter. It was Lafayette, Louisiana's The Daily Advertiser that wrote that about the Vitter-Landrieu working relationship. I presume that they know more about their day-to-day working relationship than either you or I, sean.

    4:12 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    There's two effects that a strong top-ticket has: First, since many people are likely to vote straight ticket, down-ballot candidates of the same party are buoyed. Second, those that don't normally vote come out to the polls.

    Its true that Baucus doesn't have much to worry about on the first issue. But if the Democratic candidate is, for example, Hillary, and if she has tremendous negative appeal in Montana, semi-frequent voters would come out in greater numbers, and those types of voters are much more likely to vote straight ticket. Now, I don't know how the eventual Democratic nominee will play in Montana, so I can't say for sure. But neither can you.

    5:19 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    va blogger,
    You're wrong on that count. They had a minor dispute that was way overblown in the media. What you have there is the case of a reporter who failed to do his homework. I hate to break it to you, but the fact that something appears in a single newspaper story doesn't make it true. Just ask Jason Blair.

    6:20 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Sean, I think your post was directed towards S2G, and not me.

    7:27 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    Sorry, VA. You're right.

    7:38 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    Can someone please explain to me what LA Republicans could possibly offer Blanco as part of this deal they're hammering out? "For our part, we Republicans would get to keep our Senate seat and make sure that our attempts to take another one, along with the governor's mansion, are not hampered. And YOU, Governor Blanco, would get -- I don't know, maybe some home-made cookies?"

    11:03 PM, July 12, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    Republicans want Blanco to appoint former govenor Dave Treen to the seat vacated by Vitter. Treen would be a temperory replacement and wouldn't run for the seat again when the special election takes place.

    12:10 AM, July 13, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    Blanco is concerned about this effecting Louisiana's ability to get hurricane relief funding. If she doesn't cut a deal, Vitter could stay put until Jindal becomes Governor, which is still going to happen. Frankly, unless a deal is struck, I expect that Vitter will finish his term and be reelected. Louisianans have been shown to be very forgiving, and Vitter has until 2010 to recover. It'd be smarter for Blanco to cut the deal and give Dems a shot at an open seat next year.

    12:17 AM, July 13, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    Well, this IS the state that had corrupt ex-govenor Edwards go against white suppremist David Duke in their govenor's race, so that may say something.

    1:50 AM, July 13, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    "Vote For the Crook, Its Important"

    8:43 AM, July 13, 2007  

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