Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Expand the Map! via ActBlue

You may notice a new link in the upper left hand corner of the Guru's blog reading "Expand the Map!" The link goes to the new ActBlue page I just set up.

I have been thinking about what races I would most like to see additional dollars going toward. The highest tier competitive races, states like (but certainly not limited to) Colorado and Virginia, will receive a great deal of attention. While I don't want to discourage anybody from contributing to terrific Democratic candidates in these states (take nothing for granted!), I would like to see the map of competitive states expand as much as possible. Many races in states that don’t typically see competitive Senate races have the chance to be real pick-up opportunities. But they need our support!

I have inaugurated my "Expand the Map!" ActBlue page with two Senate campaigns that have the potential to be fiercely competitive and where every single dollar contributed can truly make the difference.

In Idaho, Larry Craig's scandal has left the ID-GOP in a state of limbo. All the while, former Congressman and Army veteran Larry LaRocco has been tirelessly criss-crossing the state through his successful "Working for the Senate" campaign, reaching out to voters and offering Idaho a real opportunity for change in 2008.

In Oklahoma, the dynamic campaign of State Senator Andrew Rice has provided Oklahomans with a strong alternative to Senate anachronism Jim "In Denial" Inhofe, who notoriously called global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," an absurd analysis that even California's Republican Governor Arnold "Conan the Barbarian" Schwarzenegger called "thinking in the Stone Age."

Larry LaRocco and Andrew Rice can expand the map of competitive Senate seats in 2008, but they need your support.

I'm starting the page with a very modest goal. I would love to see ten contributions made to both LaRocco and Rice by 11:59pm on Friday. Every dollar counts, so please help Expand the Map!


Blogger VA Blogger said...

I think that every dollar people were thinking about contributing to Jeff Merkley, Tom Allen, or Rick Noriega should go to Larry LaRocco instead. Clearly, the reason why he lost by 19 points in 2006 is because he was outspent.

2:01 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

And how big an issue exactly was Iraq in the 2006 Idaho Lt. Gov. race? Probably not very big. How big will it be in the 2008 ID-Sen race? Maybe the #1 issue, if it's not eclipsed by the Craig scandal or a general GOP Culture of Corruption that pervaded the 2006 Congressional elections.

va blogger, you keep arguing for Virginia that Mark Warner might not do so well because federal issues and state issues are different and voters will react differently. It's a sound idea. But I don't think it will play out in Virginia because, simply, Mark Warner is too popular. But it can certainly play a role in Idaho (see: Bush's Iraq War).

9:18 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Ajax the Greater said...

Donations made. I agree with the idea of expanding the battlefield, and think it is time that the people of Oklahoma and Idaho have a solid alternative for their representation in D.C.

Additionally, our dollars will go much farther in those states than in the larger states.

Things look good for America and democracy (and Democratic candidates) in 2008. The day that we have people like Inhofe and Cornyn out of the senate is the day that we can actually begin to again be proud to be Americans.

9:45 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

ajax - Many thanks! And you're exactly right about the impact of each dollar in relatively smaller states like Idaho and Oklahoma.

10:23 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Small Tent Democrat said...

This is a GREAT idea. Inhofe is unpopular and is also a poor fund raiser in a state where a little cash to Andrew Rice will go along way.

Craig's inexplicable disinclination to resign sets up a nasty Republican primary and Idaho is another state where just a modest amount of cash to LaRocco will go along way.

Imagine how much bang for the buck we get going against Inhofe or Craig as compared to Mitch McConnell or John Cornyn who are very successful fund raisers in states with multiple large media markets where it'll cost at least $15,000,000 to run credible campaigns.

10:40 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

S2G--I agree with you, which is why I think more people should be giving to LaRocco money they may have given to other candidates. He's a Democrat running in the reddest state in the country; therefore, he needs every dollar people have availible to donate to Senate candidates. And voters already overwhelmingly rejected him just last year, so that means he needs even more money to buy their votes.

10:55 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Patrick said...

Great idea! I've been planning to make a contribution to these two candidates before the end of the quarter.

Just made my first contribution and I'll be coming back to give again on payday!

11:13 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Jake said...

I think its a great idea -- in theory. and I have great respect for the depth of knowledge here. I just wonder if this is really the best use of our limited dollars. Aren't there places were the races are much closer and even a small amount would go far to insuring change. E.g. Oregon? Maine? I want to help anyway I can. And it would be wonderful to see Craig and/or Inhofe go. I'm just wondering howmuch of a long shot that is?

11:58 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

Patrick - many thanks!!

Jake - I certainly understand your concern - and I share it. States like Maine and Oregon will likely be 51-49 squeakers. It's just that the races in Maine and Oregon, for instance, are up and running, and Democrats have good momentum. States like Oklahoma and Idaho can see competitive races, and a shot in the arm would have greater marginal value.

Tom Allen ought to be averaging an intake of at least $1 million per quarter to be competitive. He needs lots of contributions - and his race will have the national attention to help him meet that need. For Andrew Rice and Larry LaRocco, a $200,000 quarter would be truly amazing.

I know my ActBlue page isn't going to be 1% of 1% of making or breaking any races - but I can help steer a few dollars toward races where that highest marginal impact will be felt.

12:40 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Jake said...

You convinced me. Just made my contributions.

2:16 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

Jake - Greatly appreciated.

As of 2:30pm, we're more than halfway to the goal, with 8 contributions for Andrew Rice and 5 contributions for Larry LaRocco!

2:40 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Ajax the Greater said...

Looks like someone just donated a smooth $1k to Rice through your Act Blue page my friend, some people in Oklahoma are going to be very happy with you (and the anonymous donor as well I assume). :)

Unsure what va blogger's issue here is.

1) Mark Warner has infinite money, both personal and institutional, it's a need-to-pick-up-race and Schumer will give infinite wall street bucks to make it happen; and

2) Allen already has $2M+ banked (due to Lieberman/MoveOn and a transfer from his congressional account).

3) Noriega and Merkeley will have as much cash as they want/need to run competitive races. In addition to Schumer the fundraising champion, there are tens of thousands of people like myself across the blogosphere who will give early and often to progressive candidates.

Additionally, let's make sure that Noriega makes it through Watts before emptying the coffers on his behalf...

4:58 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

Ajax, I don't have an issue. And I never brought up Mark Warner. But thanks for playing.

6:52 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Ajax the Greater said...

va blogger, you used transparently sarcastic and pejorative language to insult the democratic candidate for senate in Idaho, and one that is the specific subject of a fundraiser on this site.

you didnt even bother to phrase your disagreement gently, the words you chose, on 2 separate posts, clearly implied that Mr. LaRocco has no shot, and that money donated to him for his race was wasted.

that was your issue, and that was what I was referring to, in case I was unclear in my previous post.

there are many reasons to give to a candidate, not just if you think he/she has a realistic chance of winning (i.e., creating a grassroots network in the state for the next race(s), causing the other side to waste valuable and scarce resources on a state they would otherwise not to have to spend a dime in, etc.)

11:41 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

Tom "Pat Robertson" Davis is going to have a difficult primary... I'm glad that Mark Warner will be able to pick apart the voting record of Mr. Davis... Northern Virignia and most voters from other parts of the state don't have the same priorities as Mr. Davis (someone who votes with the Christian Coalition 70% of the time).

12:21 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

Matthew, as much as you like to repeat the same talking points over and over and over and over again, I assure you that no one really cares or believes your spin. Saying Tom "Pat Robertson" Davis is just about the most ridiculous thing I've read on this blog, and that's saying a lot.

Ajax, my sarcasm did nothing but imply that money spent in Idaho would be better spent in other states. It implied nothing about the chance LaRocco has of winning, though I agree with you it remains in the proximity of "zero", and it absolutely did not imply that the only reason to give to a candidate was because you think they'll win. In fact, I do not believe that either Merkley, Allen, or Noriega will win, so that shots a giant hole in your theory. However, no matter what the situation is in Idaho or Oklahoma, I do not believe that the NRSC will have to devote any significant resources there.

4:10 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

Ridiculous, VA blogger? Hardly...

I've pointed out the voting record of Tom Davis... and if he has a voting record that is with the Christian Coalition's priorities 70% of the time, well, what does that tell you? Pat Robertson, to my knowledge, is still associated with that Christian Coalition... you have to think of it mathematically, va blogger... I think most voters will make that leap.

Ridiculous is when you rely on internal polls from the Schaffer campaign... who believes a word of that outside Schaffer's family?

5:21 PM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger VA Blogger said...

Matthew, please provide me to a link that supports your statement, then provide me a link that compares Tom Davis's record to that of every other Congressman.

And the people that believe Schaffer's polls are people who are knowledgable about politics. The people that don't believe Schaffer's poll are liberal shills.

6:21 PM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Matthew said...

VA Blogger... it's 66%... but, really, no one has to provide you anything because you never back up your staements... VA Blogger... I've resisted so far, but you've used the term liberal shill... if you want to get into name calling, people that believe Schaffer's polls are part of the Idriss Deby, Saparmyrat Niyazov, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Alexander Lukashenko, Robert Mugabe, Bashar al-Asad, Kim Jong II, Pat Robertson, Daniel Ortega, Venezuela's Chavez, Jerry Falwell, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wing of the Republican Party.

9:09 PM, September 29, 2007  

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