Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Briefs

  • North Carolina: The latest Public Policy Polling results (in PDF) find that: Elizabeth Dole's approve-disapprove stands at a shabby 48-41; and that Dole is held to under 50% by two ostensibly unknown-to-the-general-electorate names: NC-Dems Chair Jerry Meek and Forsyth County Commissioner Ted Kaplan. Dole is vulnerable; she can't break 50% against anybody lately.

  • Mississippi: Following Chip Pickering's retirement announcement, Thad Cochran's staff is now saying that Cochran will be running for re-election to the Senate in 2008.

  • Maine: Firedoglake offers a thorough rundown of Susan Collins' war on technology and common sense (and Susan Collins' taxpayer-funded Senate staff using Senate resources for clearly political purposes, a violation of Senate ethics policy!). Meanwhile, as Collins' taxpayer-funded Chief of Staff tells anyone who will listen that video tracking "hurts the political discourse," Turn Maine Blue and CNN remind us that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has recommended that Republican Senators video track their opponents! Perhaps Susan Collins' taxpayer-funded Chief of Staff needs to write a letter to his own Party's campaign leadership telling them that they "hurt the political discourse."

  • Alaska: The Associated Press is circulating far-and-wide their recap of the 2008 Senate races thus far, highlighting the corruption-related turmoil that the AK-GOP, headlined by Ted Stevens, finds itself in, with recruitment efforts focusing on Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich and 2006 Lt. Gov. nominee Ethan Berkowitz.

  • Nebraska: Even the New York Post's infamous Page Six is getting in on the 'Will Senator Bob Kerrey run again?' action. In other New York news impacting Nebraska politics, it appears that NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg has categorically ruled out a Presidential bid in 2008, which means that Chuck Hagel won't be able to be his running mate.

  • New Hampshire: The Associated Press is declaring popular former Governor (and heretofore-unannounced) Jeanne Shaheen the favorite to win the 2008 Senate race in the Granite State. Meanwhile, Sprintin' John Sununu preaches the failed policies of George W. Bush on health care, which fails to adequately cover millions of Americans.

  • Virginia: In the pages of the Wall Street Journal, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd chronicles reasons why John Warner might yet run for re-election:

    He is competitive enough not to want his seat to fall to a Democrat, and he may not want to retire if his departure sets his party up for an ideological primary fight between former Gov. James Gilmore and the senator's protégé, Rep. Tom Davis. And then there's Iraq. One very keen observer of Mr. Warner told me he thinks the old bull is getting so engaged in the debate over the war that he won't be able to pull away.
    All that said, expect a retirement announcement next month.

  • Thanks to George W. Bush's Iraq War, police departments are facing bullet shortages, and Korean War vets can't get their much-deserved Purple Hearts.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Why did I not know that PPP was IVR before today? No wonder the National Journal has never reported their results.

    And I know you automatically discount the impact it has, but there is a reason why live-call polls usually don't presage the initial ballot test with anything, including resume points about the candidates. Rather than saying "U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole is running for re-election. If she were up against County Commissioner and former State Senator Ted Kaplan, who would you vote for?", they simply say "If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, and your choices were Elizabeth Dole, Republican, and Ted Kaplan, Democrat, who would you vote for?"

    The difference may seem slight, but that is the accepted way of doing initial ballot tests in the polling industry, especially among live-call pollsters, but even among IVR pollsters like SurveyUSA and Rasmussen. The reason is because when you step into a voting booth, the only information you have in front of you is name and party. You cannot assume that everyone will be familiar with their resume.

    Anyways, IVR polling has its uses, especially since they're much cheaper and therefore are used more often, so they can at least be used to chart trendlines. I personally wouldn't put too much stock in their ballot tests, but to each their own.

    4:10 PM, August 18, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    If Dole wants to look at these numbers and conclude she is perfectly safe, that she can stop worrying about campaigning or fundraising and just sit back and ride the 2008 GOP wave, I personally have no problem with that.

    9:22 PM, August 18, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    No one is arguing that she's perfectly safe. In fact, I'm sure that a live-call polling firm would place her job approval in the same ballpark, and would probably have her under 50% against any of the statewide figures she's been put up against thus far. She's not safe, and her aggressive fundraising proves that she knows this.

    As I said, IVR polling has its uses. I don't think a live-call poll would put the ballot tests against these lesser-known candidates at the same level, especially if they didn't prelude the test with a biographical sketch, but I'm not calling them inaccurate or off-base.

    11:26 PM, August 18, 2007  

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