Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Late Night Round-Up

Readers: The Guru is going to be traveling extensively over the next two weeks, keeping me from posting every day. Please treat every post as a wide open thread, and offer links to any stories I might miss! And please contribute via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.

  • New Mexico: With Pete Domenici having announced his retirement yesterday, we know that Republican Heather Wilson will run for the Senate in 2008 and Democrat Tom Udall will not run for the Senate. Governor Bill Richardson, focused on his Presidential campaign, is adamant that he will not run for Senate in 2008 either. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, who has been running for Governor, is considering the possibility of shifting gears and running for Senate. Also, the DSCC reminds us that the allegedly-moderate Heather Wilson, who is embroiled in the same U.S. Attorney scandal as Domenici, has a record of supporting George W. Bush 85% of the time. There is even a Heather Wilson Quiz to test your knowledge of her real record.

  • Colorado: A new poll puts the Colorado race in a statistical dead heat, with Congressman Mark Udall leading former Rep. Bob Schaffer 36-35. The percentage of undecided voters seems rather high, but it is worth noting that even this close poll also finds that Udall has almost double the support of Schaffer among independent voters, 34-19. Further, Udall raised in Q3 over a million dollars and has over $3 million on hand. No word yet on Schaffer's take.

  • Idaho: Larry Craig is resolute on finishing the rest of his term. Can we expect GOP Lt. Gov. Jim Risch to enter the 2008 Senate race next week? I have a theory that we can, for now, label as "whacky until it actually happens." It goes like this: expecting an open seat, a few Idaho Republicans enter the 2008 Senate GOP primary, fracturing support among the candidates. (So far, this is not too implausible given that a number of Republicans interviewed with Gov. Butch Otter when it looked like there would be an appointment.) With support fractured amid the Republican primary combatants, Craig recognizes that the diminished support he has among the ID-GOP is still strong enough to win a (relatively) widely contested primary. So Craig runs for re-election. Whacky? Maybe. Impossible? Hardly.

  • Idaho & Alaska: Incompetent NRSC Chairman John Ensign commented on Larry Craig's decision to serve out the remainder of his term rather than resign as he originally suggested it was his intention to do:

    He gave us his word that he would do something. He's backing out on us, and I don't think it is the right thing to do.
    So Ensign says that when a Senator suggests that he will resign, he ought to follow through, huh? Because I distinctly remember one Ted Stevens threatening to quit the Senate if his precious ANWR drilling bill didn't get passed (which it didn't). In fact, he's threatened to quit time and time again. I wonder if Ensign has any comment on that.

  • Oregon: Speaker Jeff Merkley, despite the later start of his campaign, raised almost a quarter-million dollars in September alone. He has solid momentum going into a critical Q4.

  • Minnesota & New Hampshire: Norm Coleman and John Sununu happily take dirty money. Now, I agree that a campaign can't scrutinize over and research the background of every contributor; but when you see "VECO" as an employer, given everything going on in Alaska, it should be a major red flag. (HT: MN Blue)

  • Kentucky: Mitch McConnell raised $1.55 million in Q3, bringing his cash on hand to $6.8 million. Nevertheless, all the money in the world won't put Mitch on the correct side of the issues.


    Blogger George Ajjan said...

    Click for an update from the
    NJ GOP primary contest for the 2008 Senate nomination.

    6:25 PM, October 06, 2007  
    Blogger Generation Blue said...

    Senate Guru: Consistently great coverage. Are you in the NY area? If so, the folks at would love to talk to you about how we can work together to help Democrats expand their majority in 2008.

    9:22 PM, October 06, 2007  
    Blogger Tom said...

    Love Senate Guru <3

    Good job!

    8:22 AM, October 07, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    I am a Democrat living in KY. McConnell will be hard to beat. He raises huge sums of cash and, although 55% of Kentuckians have not liked him on Iraq that has not translated (yet) to overall dissatisfaction. To Ditch Mitch, we need a strong Dem candidate to ANNOUNCE and not just toy with the idea of running.
    We can Ditch Mitch--but we will need a strong candidate and strong DNC and netroots support.

    5:37 PM, October 07, 2007  
    Blogger Taniel said...

    Democrats are getting new candidates in left and right this monday: Chavez is likely in in NM, a businessman declares in NC, and recruitment rumors in very red states.

    5:35 PM, October 08, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Guru are you okay? You've been out for three days or so... I know it's Columbus Day Weekend


    11:25 PM, October 08, 2007  
    Blogger Seth D. said...

    A couple of things:

    Was Sununu complicit in the phone-jamming business that helped him win his first term? Could that be a campaign issue in NH?

    What might happen if Jeff Sessions turns out to be connected to the scandal that got Don Siegelman jailed?

    12:22 PM, October 09, 2007  
    Blogger JTM said...

    Interesting bit given to us by NMFBIHOP

    It appears as though Steven Pearce is gearing up for a senate run. That would open up Congressional District 02 of New Mexico, and create a primary if he continues to follow through.

    (JTM = JeremiahTheMessiah - I created a new account because I had to fill out all of the "create an account" information every time I logged on. It was weird, I don't know.)

    1:33 AM, October 10, 2007  
    Blogger Brian said...

    Hey Senate Guru, are you OK? You haven't missed this many days on the job since I've been following the site...

    7:27 PM, October 10, 2007  
    Blogger The Husband said...

    read the first paragraph of the last post everyone

    7:58 PM, October 10, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    McConnell is sitting pretty at 45/43 app/disapp as of October 6-7. MoveOn followed that by vowing another 50,000$ ad-buy in Kentucky.

    Guru posted saying he was going to be traveling and incapable of posting all the time.

    ----I'm back to JeremiahTheMessiah because it does the same thing to me anyways (Have to go through the "create an account" info every time I log on to post)

    8:08 PM, October 10, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Berkowitz has joined the US House race in Alaska. He is obviously no longer considering a senate race.

    There were rumors or maybe clear information showing that Begich and Berkowitz have been talking a bit lately, meaning Begich would either join the senate race or do nothing.


    11:52 AM, October 11, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Kos diaried something EXTREMELY funny. Read the diary, but the jist is, Republicans are trying to tie MoveOn to Tom Allen, they take a screenshot of the website, and blur ALL THE TEXT except "" and "Donate to Tom Allen". It really is a funny new low. It makes me more confident of our chances in Maine, knowing how ridiculously scared they must be to sink to such deceptive tactics. If they thought they could win on a pro-war platform with one of the most popular US Senators in the US, they wouldn't be doing this.

    2:31 PM, October 11, 2007  
    Blogger Taniel said...

    New poll out of VA has Mark Warner with a massive lead!

    2:39 AM, October 12, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Grier Martin is out.

    1:08 AM, October 13, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Taniel beat me to the post on Warner... those are massive leads (I love 30 point leads)... we have to take this news with guarded optimism, however... there is an entirely new populuation in Northern Virginia that did not know about the fiscal destruction that Gilmore caused to the budget of the State of Virginia and he may try to hide his record... same arguement applies to Tom Davis on the federal level and his record of supporting massive deficit spending.

    9:35 AM, October 13, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Two things:

    1. Polling done on the Congressional race in Alaska puts Berkowitz over Young, 51-45.5 - It makes you wonder what the polling will look like in a Begich versus Stevens race. - Saw it on SSP

    2. As noted by VABlogger on SSP, Virginia Republicans voted to turn the Republican senate race primary into a convention, heavily supporting a Jim Gilmore candidacy.


    VABloggers Blog:

    11:25 PM, October 13, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    This would be awesome, awesome news for Warner... Gilmore tried to screw up Virginia's finances for generations... I am sure Mark Warner will relish a run against Gilmore any day of the week.

    11:35 PM, October 13, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    State Senator Kay Hagan is also no longer considering a challenge to Elizabeth Dole. You have three considering names to take off (Hagen, Martin, and Berkowitz)

    Hagan Article:

    6:35 PM, October 14, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    According to an e-mail recieved by a blogger on SSP, Landrieu's 3Q numbers are
    Raised: $857,299.79
    Cash on Hand: $3.4 million

    1:24 PM, October 15, 2007  
    Blogger NewRed said...

    Looks like Reid's numbers are crashing back home. From the looks of it, Hillary won't be carrying Nevada either. The next two election cycles in NV should work out well for Republicans.

    5:12 PM, October 15, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    1. Come on newred. You could at least be up front about it and note that it could be an outlier. It was one poll, with a 20% swing over the span of a couple months. You'd need at LEAST another poll before you can say he's crashing. Seriously.

    2. Noted on MyDD, Friends for Mark Warner have raised $1,109,080 between 9/13-9/30 for his senate campaign.

    Blog Here:

    5:48 PM, October 15, 2007  
    Blogger NewRed said...

    JeremiahTheMessiah - You are correct. One INDEPENDENT poll doesn't mean a crash, though I guess you also should have mentioned that the August 56% approval was from a Reid internal poll conducted by a Democratic pollster, which they didn't even bother releasing to the public, even to counter his basement level national polls. I guess the next poll will indicate which numbers are closer to the truth.

    10:14 PM, October 15, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Mark Warner is going to beat Gilmore... big... I am very excited about this race... we need this seat... we need this seat because we need to get closer to 60 votes.

    11:53 PM, October 15, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Newred - I'm referencing your article, what the hell are you referencing? There is nothing in there saying the other poll THEY are referencing is from Reid's camp. So don't call me dishonest, or say I should mention things that aren't in the article we are talking about. Please. Is there an article you would like to add to the discussion with more information on this subject?

    If not, let's review.

    "Molly Ball of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Senator Harry Reid's favorable rating in Nevada has "plunged dramatically," according to a new poll. Currently, Reid's favorable rating is at 32%, while his unfavorable rating is at 51%, a net 23-point drop from the last poll taken in early May when Reid scored a 46/42 favorable/unfavorable rating."

    As far as I can tell, the 46/42 rating that I referenced, because again, we are talking about the article, YOU POSTED, is from the same INDEPENDANT group. There is no information there implying otherwise. Quit it.

    12:09 AM, October 16, 2007  
    Blogger NewRed said...

    JeremiahTheMessiah - My mistake. I thought when you wrote "over the span of a couple months" you were referring to the two month old poll cited by the article in the Molly Ball link that is in the crash article. Molly Ball wrote, "Reid's staff provided an internal poll conducted for Reid by Democratic pollster Mark Mellman in early August, which was not made public at the time because it was intended as an internal barometer. That poll of 600 voters statewide had 56 percent approving of Reid, 40 percent disapproving." I didn't realize you meant the poll cited in the "crash" article that is four months old. My apologies for the confusion.

    10:39 AM, October 16, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    If I ever reference something else, I post a link. A tipoff as to which I'm referring to though, if you ignore the first sentence, is that I'm pretty close math wise.

    I said 20% swing. I was in the ballpark of 20 something.

    New Poll
    Reid Poll
    Old Poll

    The swing between the new poll and the old poll is 14/9 points swing. AKA 23% total swing. The swing between the old poll and Reid's poll is 24/11 swing. AKA 35%. That would be a big tipoff. You could guess, since I said 20% swing that it was probably the older poll, based on the fact that I wouldn't be almost 50% off on something like this.

    12:12 PM, October 16, 2007  
    Blogger youngbuckbear said...

    Know it doesn't affect THIS cycle, but big news today. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) is calling it quits.;_ylt=Auha7Mhglem4XMPJPPQd568b.3QA

    Also, a great article about the 2008 races in TIME.,8599,1671599,00.html?xid=site-cnn-partner


    9:21 PM, October 16, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Another poll released on the VA Senate race

    5:58 PM, October 18, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    MSNBC gives their take on the ten most competitive races. (Although in no order) Nine Republicans to one Democrat.

    -Alaska, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Maine, Virginia, Oregon, Nebraska, and Colorado



    My personal take is that I would put Texas or Kentucky ahead of Nebraska, unless Bob Kerrey gets in. (Texas being competitive if Mikal Watts gets in. In Pennsylvania we saw rural voters who are economically Democrats, but are won by Republicans on social issues play a key role. Santorum lost by 18 points. How much of a swing would we have if we ran a Pro-Life self funding Democrat in Texas against one of the weakest senate incumbents from there in the longest time?)

    11:31 AM, October 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Does anyone actually think that I am newred?

    7:18 PM, October 20, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    I will say asking that question out of the blue here doesn't help your case any.

    (Oh my God you had a spat on SSP. This isn't SSP. The question is out of the blue.)

    10:24 PM, October 20, 2007  
    Blogger Ari said...

    For the record, I don't think VA Blogger is Newred. They have common opinions, but their writing styles differ.

    Getting back to the topic of senate races . . . Bobby Jindal won the gubernatorial race in Louisiana yesterday, which means he won't be running against Mary Landrieu next year. I had a feeling Jindal would win, and the fact that he's out of the way is actually somewhat good news for us, as he would've posed an insurmountable challenge to Landrieu.

    Don't get me wrong; Landrieu will still have an uphill battle on her hands. But it'll be a little less tough without Jindal.

    12:44 PM, October 21, 2007  
    Blogger Bobby Duncan said...

    Yeah, about the LA elections last night. What you don't see reported is that Mitch Landrieu won Lt. Gov with 56% of the vote (that was with 90%+ reporting, I didn't see the final results.

    Maybe he didn't have a strong opponent, maybe its not fair to compare his position to that of Mary Landrieu's, but if the Landrieu name could score that well.. it gives me optimism for Senate 2008.

    1:02 PM, October 21, 2007  

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