Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Senate GOP Trying Hard to Lower 2008 Expectations

It seems like Republicans are doing, as Mitch McConnell might say, their "Washington best" to lower expectations for the 2008 Senate elections. Here is a collection of interesting quotes from Republicans in the know regarding the '08 Senate races.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
Republicans are unlikely to win back control of the Senate in 2008, their Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, said Friday, gloomily predicting that "holding our own is about all we could hope for." ... "It would take an extraordinarily good day to get back up to 50. So our goal is to stay roughly where we are." [CNN, 7/20/07]

NRSC Chair John Ensign:
"If you scratch the surface, things don't look necessarily that good," he said. "But when you get below the surface, things aren't nearly as bad as what they could be." [Associated Press, 9/9/07]
In a "wide-ranging" interview, Ensign "acknowledged that his party faces a steep, uphill climb in next year's Senate elections when 21 Republican seats will be up for grabs, compared with 12 for the Democrats." [Washington Times, 3/26/07]

NRSC Communications Director Rebecca Fisher:
Rebecca Fisher, communications director for the NRSC, acknowledged "the mountain that we’re up against," but predicted success. [USINFO, 9/10/07]

Anonymous GOP Operative:
"About the only safe Republican Senate seats in '08 are the ones that aren't on the ballot," a GOP operative with extensive experience in Senate races said. "I don't see even the rosiest scenario where we don't end up losing more seats." [Washington Post, 9/2/07]

Unnamed Republican Senators:
"Republican Senators are now talking about losing four seats in 2008." [Evans-Novak Political Report, 8/29/07]
It is shaping up like Republican leadership expects a four-seat net loss to be the best-case scenario. I expect we'll see more commentary from Republicans along these lines as the races further develop. If you've seen any similar quotes already, share them in the comments.


Blogger The Sleep said...

Somebody needs to let the GOP know that lowering expectations is a great strategy for debates, because then it allows you to claim you did better than expected and gives you some momentum towards the election, but not such a great strategy for approaching the elections themselves, given that in an election a loss is a loss no matter how you spin it. Lowering expectations just depresses your donours and volunteers. Imagine if Schumer had been saying in advance of 2004: "Sure we anticipate losing four or five seats, but you know, the south is tough for us, so what are you going to do?" These guys must themselves be REALLY depressed.

12:47 AM, September 12, 2007  

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