Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Tidbits

  • August fundraising numbers are out. Another losing month for the NRSC. DSCC: $2.58 million; NRSC: $2.36 million. The DSCC continues to enjoy a $10 million advantage in cash-on-hand minus debts. Meanwhile, the end of the third quarter of 2007 is this Sunday, so please contribute this week if you can.

  • Nebraska: Incompetent NRSC Chair John Ensign may have just guaranteed that the Republican Senate primary will be nasty, divisive, and rife with bad blood. Ensign has been pressuring GOP leaders in Nebraska to clear the field for Mike Johanns. Suffice it to say, Jon Bruning and Hal Daub appear absolutely livid. Heckuva job, Ensign. Also, Bruning has already begun sending barbs Johanns' way on immigration. (As a side note, look at the difference between the NE-GOP and the NH-Dems for a study in Party unity.)

  • Alaska: Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, possibly the most popular public official in the state, is urging scandal maven Ted Stevens to break his silence and comment on his numerous investigations to provide Alaskans with a "more thorough explanation." The pressure on Stevens keeps building.

  • New Jersey: Political analyst Stu Rothenberg declares that "Republicans [have] no reason for even a shred of optimism" in a campaign against Senator Frank Lautenberg.

  • North Carolina: Public Policy Polling breaks down its poll numbers in a Grier Martin vs. Elizabeth Dole match-up, finding that increased name recognition across the state for Martin would help cement broader support among Democrats and African-Americans. Whether or not Martin could defeat Dole in a Senate race could likely come down to how effectively Martin communicates his impressive background to North Carolina voters.

  • Michigan: The 2008 Senate race in Michigan could very well be a repeat of 2002. '02 GOP nominee Rocky Raczkowski is considering giving it another go. Also, GOP state rep. Jack Hoogendyk is considering a challenge to Senator Carl Levin. The political mood in 2002 favored Republicans even more than the 2008 political mood is shaping up to favor Democrats. Nevertheless, Levin crushed Raczkowski 61-38 in '02.

  • Montana: Well, this is curious. Disgraced Republican Senate candidate Mike Lange is criticizing Senator Max Baucus for his original 2002 vote to authorize George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq. Of course, Baucus has since called Bush's Iraq War "a mistake based on false pretenses and faulty information." But this is an interesting dynamic: a right-winger trying to run to the left of a centrist in a traditionally red state that's shifting to purple. More likely, Lange is just trying to deflate enthusiasm for Baucus among MT-Dems.

  • As bad as the NRSC is doing compared to the DSCC in fundraising and recruiting, at least the GOP can take heart in the fact that John Ensign and Mitch McConnell aren't publicly at each others' throats with resignation threats like House GOP Leader John Boehner and NRCC Chair Tom Cole are. Congressional Republicans are an odd bunch.

  • Let's get Dubya out there on the campaign trail!


    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    If Palin were to publically attack Stevens, it would be a kiss of death for Stevens. Palin is the most popular govenor in the US, and if Palin doesn't like someone, then Alaska doesn't like someone.

    She really hasn't spoken on the issue yet, but if she were to go deeper into this, then we may see some shifting.

    1:51 PM, September 24, 2007  
    Blogger jak said...

    I wouldn't mind a kiss from Sarah Palin, albeit not one of death.

    I think that's something Democrats and Republicans alike can agree on!

    8:51 PM, September 24, 2007  
    Blogger Josh said...


    Are you from Southern New England?

    10:28 PM, September 24, 2007  
    Blogger Bobby Duncan said...

    The NRCC/NRSC numbers are a half story.

    What that leaves out is that there are several fundraising hawks within each branch of Congress. Boehner has loads, as does Stevens. While the NRSC can't afford to defend Stevens, Stevens can afford to defend himself.

    Also I want everyone to keep in mind that Hillary betrayed the DSCC. The only way to retire that debt is if a sitting senator uses their own money to transfer and wipe it. Hillary transferred an astounding $10,000,000 to her presidential campaign.

    Not only does she bring down the ticket, but she also snubbed the prospects of greater majorities.

    11:10 PM, September 24, 2007  
    Blogger Peter said...

    Didn't she give a generous donation for the past elections?

    11:45 PM, September 24, 2007  
    Blogger Ari said...

    Oh, jak, you have added yourself to the ranks of men on Democratic blogs who find Republican women attractive. All I can do is shake my head and say, "Boys," the way Dot Warner did whenever Yakko and Wakko started in with their "Hello Nurse" routine on Animaniacs.

    Seriously, though, it was starting to bug me that all the attractive women in politics were Republicans, but we got some payback this past cycle by electing Gabrielle Giffords.

    Of course, as the sole representative of the female perspective on this blog (at least, as far as I know,) I would have to say that none of the men in politics are good-looking. At all. There is so much truth to the adage about politics being "Hollywood for ugly people."

    Okay, enough of this non sequitir. Back to the regularly scheduled programmin . . .

    9:17 AM, September 25, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    bobby duncan - huh? Of course there are some Republicans that will not need to rely on NRSC assistance. And similarly, there are Republicans that will have to rely heavily on NRSC assistance. Also, there are Democrats that won't need a dime of DSCC assistance and some who will need significant assistance. I don't get your point here. A $10 million advantage is still a big deal.

    And I don't get how Hillary transfering money from her Senate account to her Prez account "betrays" the DSCC. Yeah, she could have given the DSCC more money. That would be great. But it's obviously understandable why she transferred the money she did. Explain why it's a "betrayal" if you can. (I also think it's factually inaccurate to suggest that the DSCC's debt can only be retired by sitting Senator transfers - where on earth did you get that idea?)

    9:21 AM, September 25, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    "Seriously, though, it was starting to bug me that all the attractive women in politics were Republicans, but we got some payback this past cycle by electing Gabrielle Giffords."

    We also have Stephanie Herseth. And Kristin Gillibrand. And I personally think that Loretta Sanchez isn't bad looking, either.

    9:27 AM, September 25, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Herseth-Sandlin is hot, but I still favor Palin's sexy librarian look.

    1:03 PM, September 25, 2007  

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