ME-Sen: Americans United for Change on Susan Collins and Iraq
NH-Sen: Americans United for Change on John Sununu and Iraq
MN-Sen: The Difference Between Norm Coleman & Al Franken
VA-Sen: Mark Warner Announces
The Hall of Fame YouTube Political Video: George Allen and "Macaca"
Monday, October 22, 2007
The Last Couple Weeks
Readers: Thank you for sticking with the Guru during his absence. I'm done with traveling and am back on my computer, so the near-daily posts shall return. In the meantime, here is the quick and dirty recap of everything I missed over the last two weeks. (I have no doubt that I've missed tidbits from the last couple weeks in this compilation, so mention anything I missed in the comments!)
The DSCC continues to slam the NRSC in fundraising. September saw the DSCC bring in $5.3 million compared with the NRSC's $2.9 million. At the end of Q3, the NRSC had only $8.3 million on hand compared with the DSCC's whopping $22.9 million (with down to $3 million left in debts). The cash-on-hand minus debts difference now tops $11.5 million. Massive. And only getting bigger. Also, Hotline On Call offers an up-to-date listing of cash-on-hand amounts for Senate candidates.
MyDD and Kos on the possibility of more Senate Republican retirements - other than Ted Stevens, I would be surprised by any further GOP retirement announcements, even from Thad Cochran who I expect will run.
New Mexico: The biggest shockwaves in the Senate races over the last couple weeks have come from the Land of Enchantment. With Pajamas Pete Domenici's retirement announcement, we will see a battle royale Republican primary between Congresscritters Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce. Wilson, of course, is wrapped up in the same ethics scandal that Domenici was in; while Pearce is just too far to the right for New Mexico (not that Wilson is much of a moderate herself). So, in addition to opening up both House seats for competitive races, the NM-GOP will be forced to field a Senate candidate who is either ethically compromised or is waaaaay out of touch with anything resembling mainstream voters. Oilman Spiro Vassilopoulos has also entered the GOP primary. A divisive and costly primary should leave the eventual Republican nominee fairly beat down and financially weakened.
Virginia: Popular former Governor Mark Warner obliterates all possible Republican opponents in polling and fundraising. This thing won't even be close. Warner is so strong that I, unfortunately, would not be surprised if GOP Rep. Tom Davis opted against a Senate bid altogether, leaving Jim Gilmore unopposed for the GOP nomination, especially with the VA-GOP railroading the process in favor of Gilmore over Davis. In fact, it's just now breaking that Davis won't run after all. Hmmmm, hopefully he'll still retire from the House.
Nebraska: This web video is terrific:
When it comes to Nebraska's farmers (and just about everything else), Mike Johanns is a quitter and Republican former Congressman and coach Tom Osborne agrees.
Alaska: Democratic former State Representative and Lieutenant Governor nominee Ethan Berkowitz entered the at-large House race against corrupt Republican Don Young. How does this apply? I would imagine that Berkowitz, considered the second-biggest-name non-Tony Knowles Alaska Democrat after Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, would have run for the Senate seat against scandal-plagued Ted Stevens unless he thought that Begich would get in. Of course, this is just my supposition, but I take it as a signal that Begich is more likely to enter the Senate race than not.
North Carolina: Disappointingly (but understandably), both State Representative Grier Martin and State Senator Kay Hagan have declined to challenge the vulnerable Elizabeth Dole. For the record, I think Martin would have beaten Dole decisively, but we'll never know. The only announced candidate now is businessman Jim Neal. Neal recently gave a thorough liveblog at BlueNC. Hopefully he has the hustle to make this race as competitive as it deserves to be.
Louisiana: Statewide elections were recently held and, while Republican Bobby Jindal won the Governor's office outright with 55% of the vote, Mitch Landrieu (brother of Senator Mary) won re-election as Lieutenant Governor with 57% of the vote. So the results can be seen as implication-neutral for Senator Mary Landrieu in 2008.
Texas: Burnt Orange Report offers a terrific Q&A with the Democrats running for Senate, Rick Noriega and Mikal Watts. Also, looking ahead to 2012 or even 2010, Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison will not run for re-election and may not serve out her full term.