Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Items

  • Time Magazine offers its list of the "Top Ten '08 Senate Races to Watch" - nine of the ten are Republican-held seats.

  • Nebraska: Former Senator Bob Kerrey announced this morning that he will not run for the Senate in 2008 after all. At least we finally know. Paging Mayor Fahey!

  • Virginia: Everyone and their mother at this point are reporting that GOP Rep. Tom Davis won't run for Senate in 2008. He is scheduled to make an announcement tomorrow regarding his political plans. Hopefully he'll retire from the House, too, and open up that competitive seat. This would leave failed former Gov. Jim Gilmore with a direct shot at the GOP nomination, while the latest polling has him losing to popular former Governor Mark Warner in a general election by a mere thirty points.

  • Texas: With Mikal Watts' departure from the Senate primary, State Representative and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega will have the field to himself to get press and define himself and his campaign while building the bankroll to run competitively.

  • North Carolina: The first polling is out matching Democrat Jim Neal against absentee Republican Elizabeth Dole, with Public Policy Polling giving Dole a 47-32 edge. Given how little name ID Neal must have to start, a fifteen-point deficit is hardly a terrible starting point. And, again, Dole can't break 50% against anybody. PPP pegs Dole's approve-disapprove at a dismal 44-41. Meanwhile, rumor has it that State Senator Kay Hagan is reconsidering a bid and is in touch with national Democrats.

  • Montana: If Montana Republicans get more desperate, I suppose they can turn to this guy.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I can't see how Fahey gives up his safe re-election for Mayor to lose to Mike Johanns, especially given Fahey's previous statements that said, if he had to make up his mind now, he'd run for re-election. The question is now whether Scott Kleeb wants to lose another Congressional race, or wants to lose a Senate race this time.

    Nebraska, shortly, will be dropping off the map of competitive races this cycle, where it will join North Carolina, no matter what the "pollsters" at PPP think.

    Also, Strategic Vision put out a poll in Georgia that shows Saxby's re-election numbers in the high 50s, and all of his opponents (Jones, Knight, Caldwell, and that new guy) in the high 20s.

    1:57 PM, October 24, 2007  
    Blogger Ari said...

    Those Time Magazine rankings look seriously outdated, not to mention overly steeped in stale "conventional wisdom." I would pay them no mind.

    2:55 PM, October 24, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    It would be awesome to see Richardson run in New Mexico... I'm cautiously optimistic about a 4-6 seat pick up.

    8:02 PM, October 24, 2007  
    Blogger Political Realm said...

    I agree with both VA blogger and Ari. I don't think Fahey runs. As an Omaha resident, he already has the city very divided over the issue of building a new stadium for the college world series. Going for the Senate, he would have to basically abandon that push which could be his lasting legacy for the city.
    I'm not sold on Kleeb either. Yes, he ran better than expected in a tough district, but he still lost. Also, his name recognition is extremely low elsewhere in the state.
    It would have been a tough race even with Kerrey, without him it seems firmly in Republican hands.

    And as Ari said, that Time article seems like it was written weeks ago.

    11:52 PM, October 24, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    If I were Scott Kleeb, I would see the Senate race as a way to build some serious profile, much more so than another Congressional seat. Expectations are low, and the state as a whole (I believe) is actually less Republican than the seat he ran very respectably in last time. Mark Warner, Schweitzer and Mongiardo didn't exactly destroy their careers by losing Senate races, in some of those cases pretty decisively. He's young -- why not be a hero? Even if he gets walloped by Johanns, Republicans who laugh now may not be laughing five or ten years from now.

    1:41 AM, October 25, 2007  
    Blogger Political Realm said...

    Interesting point. And one that is probably necessary for Dems to have future statewide success. Beyond Ben Nelson, the cupboard is pretty bare for statewide candidates.
    I wish the Dems had put more money into the Omaha district in 06, because they really missed an opportunity. From what I recall seeing, Jim Esch ran one crappy commercial (in which he noted he had no money) the week before the election.

    11:42 PM, October 25, 2007  
    Blogger rural independent said...

    Senate Guru, The insider advantage georgia did a poll in a possible rematch between Max Cleland & Saxby Chambliss with cleland getting 24% of the vote, chambliss with 36% & with 40% undecided. I think he should run again for the senate because the current field is so weak. The same poll did a senate poll this summer showing Roy Barnes with 40% Chambliss 42% & 18% undecided. If democrats want to win that seat one of these two guys must run against chambliss if they want the seat to be in play in 2008.

    12:11 PM, October 26, 2007  

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