The Republican Party is the "most disliked institution" in America.
CQPolitics has released an "Early Line on the Senate." There are two states with "No Clear Favorite," Colorado (of course) and, not New Hampshire but, Minnesota. With Norm Coleman at his lowest approval rating ever, I'm not shocked that they'd classify Minnesota in this category, but I'm curious what keeps New Hampshire out. Also noteworthy: Alabama and Georgia are in the "Republican Favored" category while Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, and Nebraska are in the "Safe Republican" category. I'd flip those. I can't see how anybody would think Georgia is more vulnerable than Kentucky.
New Hampshire: Speaking of vulnerability in New Hampshire, I think Sprintin' John Sununu is heading for his last lap:
Other endangered GOP lawmakers from moderate states have inched toward the center, but the New Hampshire Republican consistently has stuck to his conservative roots on hotly debated issues of immigration, the Iraq war, the budget, healthcare and energy policy.Sununu has dug his hole. He consistently votes with George W. Bush instead of New Hampshire voters, and any turnaround will be rapidly dismissed as disingenuous election cycle posturing.
Democrats are hammering Sununu on his votes in an effort to alienate him from independent voters, who make up a whopping 43 percent of the electorate in his state.
“Sununu has just been in a very difficult position,” said Linda Fowler, a professor of government at Dartmouth College. “If he breaks too publicly ... it will look like political opportunism, but he has got to get some air between himself and the Republican Party.”
As poll numbers for President Bush and the Iraq war have sunk to all-time lows in the Granite State, the senator has seen his favorability ratings plummet. A June poll by the University of New Hampshire said Sununu was viewed favorably by 43 percent and unfavorably by 35 percent of the state’s voters, marking a 12-point drop in favorability from last year — this after New Hampshire voters last year ousted their two Republican House members from office.
Kentucky: Popular Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler, considered by some to be Kentucky's strongest Democrat, is leaving the door open for a 2008 Senate bid. While I expect him to wait for the 2010 race against Jim Bunning or an open seat if Bunning retires, it is a noteworthy development. Also keeping the door open to a 2008 challenge to McConnell: Republican former gubernatorial nominee Larry Forgy. Good times. (HT: Blue Grass Roots)
Minnesota: Fox News is caught editing Al Franken's Wikipedia entry! Fair and balanced propaganda.
Virginia: The Washington Post's Express expects a John Warner retirement, too, noting both Warner's low fundraising and his staff's "exodus" to the private sector. (HT: RK)
New Jersey: Zogby puts Senator Frank Lautenberg's approval-disapproval at a very solid 56-30.
Idaho: While Larry Craig remains mum on retirement vs. a re-election bid, Democrat Larry LaRocco continues his successful voter outreach through his Working for the Senate campaign.
Oregon: The Register-Guard calls it like it sees it:
The problem with Sen. Gordon Smith's defense of the Bush administration's 2002 decision to divert Klamath Lake water for irrigation isn't that the Oregon Republican is wobbly on the facts. It's that he's willing to bend and selectively omit the facts to justify ideologically driven political positions.Doesn't sound like the type of guy I'd like to vote for. (HT: Loaded Orygun) Further, Senate candidate Steve Novick hammers Smith for his obvious duplicity.
Colorado: Republican "Backwards" Bob Schaffer's could-be scandal involving campaign contributions and favorable votes looks even worse as the businessman/contributor in question, David Brennan, has a history of trading campaign contributions for favorable votes.
New Mexico: Jim Hannan compiles Pajamas Pete Domenici's atrocious ratings from numerous issues groups including an F from the National Education Association, a D from Citizens for Global Solutions, and a D from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, as well as bad marks on energy, children's issues, seniors' issues, and the environment.
Maine: Does Susan Collins want another terrorist attack on U.S. soil? According to her rules for commenting on blogs, she does. So she might want to revise her rules. Separately, isn't it, oh, a bit hypocritical for Susan Collins to complain about Democrats videotaping her public appearances and, at the same time, support warrantless wiretapping infringing on the privacy of law-abiding citizens?
Alaska: I don't think the numerous investigations focusing on Ted Stevens are escaping the attention of the voters:
About 75 protesters, crying “Oink! Oink!” and “FBI! FBI!” gave Young, Alaska’s two senators and their supporters a shockingly poor reception at last week’s fundraiser. When Young held a public picnic on Monday, the protesters were back, wearing swine masks and waving angry signs.Something has to motivate Mark Begich or Ethan Berkowitz to enter the race against Stevens. Hopefully, this will all have a cumulative effect.
More than 3,600 miles from the Capitol, one thing is clear: Young and Sen. Ted Stevens (R) are in political as well as legal jeopardy.
Georgia: I really, really, really loathe Saxby Chambliss.
Democratic campaign committees aren't just collectively outraising their Republican counterparts; they're outpacing themselves from previous cycles.
Yet another major Republican donor, Alan Fabian, is in massive legal trouble, as he was charged last week on "23 counts of bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and perjury." And I do mean major donor. In the last few years, we're talking a quarter of a million dollars personally donated to candidates and committees across the country. For instance, among his 2007 contributions are $4,600 to Elizabeth Dole and a whopping $25,000 to the RNC. Now that the donor has been indicted, will Dole or the
NRSC RNC return these recent contributions? (Odds are that, had it not been for the indictment, he probably would have given to several 2008 Senate candidates and incumbents, given that in 2006, he gave four-figure contributions to people like Michael Steele, Bob Corker, Tom Kean Jr., Mike McGavick, Mike DeWine, Mark Kennedy, George Allen, Conrad Burns, Rick Santorum, etc.)