Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday Rundown

  • It seems that voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on every single issue. Oh, and Democrats actually support the troops, not just pay lip service to it.

  • There's a saying in sports: "The team that wants it more will win." Well, compare these Senators' Q2 outlays to their respective Senate Campaign Committees and tell me who wants it more:

    Notable contributions to the DSCC from campaign committees of or “leadership PACs” associated with Democratic senators
    • Dianne Feinstein of California: $250,000
    • Bill Nelson of Florida: $150,000
    • Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada: $50,000
    • Robert Menendez of New Jersey: $50,000
    • Patty Murray of Washington: $50,000
    • Sherrod Brown of Ohio: $25,000
    • Follow the North Star Fund PAC (Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota): $15,000
    • JAZZ PAC (Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana): $10,000 ...

    Notable contributions to the NRSC from “leadership PACs” associated with Republican senators
    • Hawkeye PAC (Charles E. Grassley of Iowa): $15,000
    • Heartland Values PAC (John Thune of South Dakota): $7,500
    • KITPAC (Christopher S. Bond of Missouri): $15,000
    • North Star Leadership PAC (Norm Coleman of Minnesota): $7,500
    • Preserving America’s Traditions (Pat Roberts of Kansas): $10,000
    I think who wants it more is clear. And if you think the DSCC's massive fundraising advantage over the NRSC isn't already paying dividends, note the "notable transfers" section for both committees. The DSCC has sent $50,000 to the NH-Dems, $20,000 to the ME-Dems and $15,000 to the CO-Dems. The NRSC has no listed "notable transfers."

  • Oregon: The Associated Press is reporting that "Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley plans to file notice with the Federal Election Commission by Aug. 1 that he'll be running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Gordon Smith." (HT: MyDD) This is not 100% until Merkley comes back from his current family vacation and files the papers, but it's a great sign. The Hill echoes the expectation that Merkley will announce next week. Loaded Orygun has the scoop on the already-assembling Merkley campaign team.

  • Alaska: The inevitable implosion of Stevens-Murkowski-Young trifecta of corruption is accelerating.

  • Virginia: Raising Kaine offers some (recreational use only!) odds on who will win Virginia's 2008 Senate race. The odds hold that Mark Warner wouldn't run against John Warner, meaning that if John runs for re-elect, he wins, and that if John retires and Mark runs, he wins. At 10,000-to-1, I'd think about putting $1 on Ben Affleck.

  • Alabama: For what it's worth, earlier speculation of State Senator Vivian Figures' hesitation on a 2008 Senate challenge to Jeff Sessions may be overstated as word is that she may be in the process of assembling a campaign team.


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