CQPolitics labels Senate Republicans' uphill climb as "daunting," as they rank Senate races with no real surprises.
Louisiana: Newly-Republican state Treasurer John N. Kennedy has taken the first steps toward a 2008 Senate challenge to Senator Mary Landrieu, he announced yesterday by e-mail and via a message on his circa 1997 Geocities website. Kennedy also cites a Zogby poll he commissioned that shows him leading Landrieu 45-38. This poll is my Giant-Grain-of-Salt pick of the week. No doubt non-partisan polls will come out in the Louisiana media in the coming weeks and months to give a clearer sense of where this race stands. Of course, this is a top-tier race, Republicans' only real Senate pick-up opportunity; but, until non-partisan polls show a neck-and-neck race, this still Leans Dem as opposed to being seen as a Toss-Up. At present, Senator Landrieu has a $3.3 million bankroll; meanwhile, according to the FEC, Treasurer Kennedy has $37,500 in debt.
To start, I'd suggest the media ask two questions of Treasurer Kennedy:
First, Kennedy has demonstrated incredibly mercurial career goals, always seeming willing to better-deal his constituents for the next gig down the line. As Landrieu adviser Norma Jane Sabiston reminds us: "John Kennedy, the first candidate in the Republican primary field, ran ads just four weeks ago saying 'the job's not done' and asking for Louisianians' support to 'continue to be your state treasurer.'" Why should Louisiana voters offer him a six-year job when he never seems happy to complete his four-year jobs?
Second, in response to his willingness to offer Halliburton no-bid contracts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he said: "Well, in an emergency situation, you do what you have to do to get the job done." Similar to allowing Halliburton's no-bid contracts as "doing what you have to do to get the job done," would Kennedy also support extreme and illegal measures such as waterboarding and other torture, warrantless wiretapping, and suspending habeas corpus "to get the job done" against terrorism?
Kansas: Former Congressman Jim Slattery confirms that he will not run for Senate in 2008. Hopefully we'll have more details on businessman Greg Orman soon.
Colorado: I think it's safe to say that Bob Schaffer and the CO-GOP are fresh out of ideas.
New Jersey: CQPolitics looks at Republican Anne Evans Estabrook, possible opponent to Senator Frank Lautenberg. In the words of Stu Rothenberg, "Republicans [have] no reason for even a shred of optimism" in a campaign against Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Virginia: Delegate Chris Saxman is getting closer to challenging Jim Gilmore in the GOP primary.
New Mexico: Democracy for New Mexico has some great video up from Congressman Tom Udall's announcement event.
Chris Rock is one of the sharpest social commentators of our day.