Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Round-Up

  • Many GOP Senators ostensibly took advantage of the fact that the House already passed an SCHIP reauthorization bill but not by a veto-proof margin (i.e. George W. Bush's promised veto will very likely not be overturned) to support the SCHIP bill in the Senate. However, several Republican Senators still opposed the bill reauthorizing and expanding health insurance for sick children, including: John Barrasso, Saxby Chambliss, Thad Cochran, John Cornyn, Larry Craig, Elizabeth Dole, Mike Enzi, Lindsey Graham, Jim Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, and Jeff Sessions.

  • National Journal's Amy Walter offers her top ten most vulnerable Senate seats list. Not surprisingly, the list includes eight seats currently held by Republicans, as well as Louisiana and South Dakota in the ten-spot.

  • Idaho: Larry Craig posted this on his Senate website yesterday:

    "Today was a major step in the legal effort to clear my name. The court has not issued a ruling on my motion to withdraw my guilty plea. For now, I will continue my work in the United States Senate for Idaho."
    I think it's safe to say he won't resign on the 30th of September. The judge in Craig's case will issue a ruling "at the end of next week at the earliest." In the meantime, GOP Gov. Butch Otter has a short list of potential appointees ready to go (though no one knows when or if he'll get to use it!).

  • Alaska: Hays Research conducted a poll on Alaskans' feelings toward Ted Stevens. Only 40% said "very positive" or "somewhat positive" while 38% said "very negative" or "somewhat negative" and 19% were neutral. Those are very perilous numbers for Uncle Ted.

  • Texas: Daily Kos commissioned a poll by Research 2000 finding that John Cornyn held a 51-35 advantage over State Representative and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega. The 51-35 figure is not too dissimilar from the 53-30 figure Rasmussen Reports released about a week ago, which is pretty good considering most Texans probably have never heard of Rick Noriega yet. The Research 2000 poll also found that 40% of voters would re-elect Cornyn, 15% would consider another candidate, and 35% would vote to replace Cornyn. Those numbers are very promising.

  • Kentucky: Yet another bad omen for Mitch McConnell:

    But liberal groups are eyeing the prospect of a strong GOP challenger β€” perhaps from Larry Forgy, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 1995. And the influential anti-tax group Club for Growth signaled Wednesday that it might play a role in a primary fight against McConnell.

    The Club remarked in a statement Wednesday that the Republican leader β€œis looking more and more like his counterpart across the aisle, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)” on spending issues.
    Maybe CfG is just trying to scare McConnell as debates over spending bills occur. But if they did offer resources to a McConnell primary opponent, it would likely force McConnell to use up a significant chunk of his warchest in a primary. That's especially bad news given that state Attorney General Greg Stumbo has the approval of a large plurality of Kentuckians. Stumbo's approve-disapprove stands at 47-26, with 28% having no opinion (not uncommon for a sub-gubernatorial statewide officeholder).

  • Nebraska: Coming soon to a theater near you: former Senator Bob Kerrey's decision on a 2008 Senate race.

  • Maine: Tom Allen understands priorities.

  • Oklahoma: Jim "In Denial" Inhofe really is a petty nutjob.

    South Carolina: Mark Lindsey Graham's words:

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, a pivotal Republican vote in the U.S. Senate on Iraq policy, is willing to give the government of Iraq until Christmas to get its act together.

    But not much more.

    Graham told TIME Wednesday that the Iraqi leaders have 90 days to start resolving their political differences with real legislative agreements or face a change in strategy by the U.S. "If they can't do it in 90 days," he said, "it means the major players don't want to."
    We'll see how Graham feels around New Year's.


    Blogger Small Tent Democrat said...

    As someone who spends time in both states, I think we have a better chance in Oklahoma than Texas.

    5:44 PM, September 27, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    I think we in KY would be better off drafting someone new rather than going with Greg Stumbo. Someone like Louisville Atty. Andrew Horne whom I am trying to draft.

    I agree with small tent democrat that Oklahoma is a better bet than Texas. I concluded this after asking several family and friends in Texas. They think no Democrat will be able to win in the Senate in '08 unless there is a major GOP scandal.

    However, we need to challenge hard EVERYWHERE.

    1:07 PM, September 30, 2007  

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