WaPo's Cillizza's latest monthly Senate Line is up, and the events of recent weeks have certainly jumbled the order of the Line a bit. With the entries of popular former Governors Mark Warner (VA) and Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Virginia and New Hampshire appear locked at 1 & 2 for quite some time. Alaska also shifts up from 10 to 9 as Ted Stevens gets deeper into hot water. And, with Tim Johnson's return to duty, South Dakota drops to the 10-spot. The question now is how long will it be before South Dakota slips off the list entirely, in favor of Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, or Texas.
The Economist offers its thoughts on the 2008 Senate races:
The Republicans are lagging badly in the race to raise money and recruit candidates. ...Sounds about right to me.
And that is before you start to factor in the sex and ethics scandals. ...
The Democrats' already sunny prospects have brightened still further with a trio of retirements ...
The Democrats have also succeeded in recruiting prominent candidates to take on Republican incumbents.
Nebraska: Looks like Mike Johanns is no friend of farmers:
Mike Johanns, a man who has called the new farm bill a bull’s-eye on farmers’ backs, could have a hard time winning over Nebraska farmers if he decides to run for Congress. ...Along with irresponsibly ditching his Agriculture Secretary role before the farm bill was complete, Johanns certainly will have a lot to answer for to Nebraska's farmers. Meanwhile, NYTimes blogger Jeff Zeleny says that former Senator Bob Kerrey is leaning against a 2008 Senate run, and that we should know by the end of next week or even as soon as later today.
But during his tenure as Agriculture secretary, Johanns has had to tout the White House’s pro-trade stance on farm policy, one that would require significant cuts to subsidies.
Johanns will have to distance himself from the administration to get the rural vote next year, said Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs.
“He has advocated aggressively for cutting trade-distorting farm payments to facilitate a new trade agreement,” Hassebrook said. “That will cause some concern among farm voters — especially the farmers who are swing voters.” ...
Nebraska’s Democratic Senator Ben Nelson said Johanns will have to explain why he has opposed a permanent disaster fund to help farmers who lose crops to flood, fire and drought — something very important to the state’s constituents.
Maine: Atrios reminds us how disingenuous on Iraq Susan Collins is, as back in March she called for "significant results" by Fall. Well, Fall is here on Sunday. So where are the significant results? (Oh, and baseless claims of progress by the Bush administration don't qualify as "results.") Further, Collins Watch comes through with yet another astute observation about Susan Collins:
Over at Susan's blog the junior senator recaps what she calls a "busy week in Washington." And indeed it was.Yeah, I wonder why Collins wouldn't highlight her votes against more rest for the troops and restoring habeas corpus.
And yet somehow, her 545 word post manages to skip both the failure of the Webb amendment and her unconscionable--and much-discussed--vote against restoring habeas corpus.
I wonder why she'd skip right over the week's two most important events...
Colorado: Backwards Bob Schaffer's Republican primary opposition, County Commissioner Wayne Wolf, is hustling and making the rounds. Maybe Schaffer's GOP nomination isn't quite the forgone conclusion.
New Hampshire: Katrina Swett is leaving the Senate race today and backing popular former Governor Jeanne Shaheen.
Kos reminds us that George Macaca Allen, Corrupt Conrad Burns, Rick Santorum, and Jim Talent were all on the League of Conservation Voters' Dirty Dozen list last year, and all were knocked out of office last year. Can't wait for their next list!