Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday Briefs

  • In an interview with the conservative NewsMax, right-winger Paul Weyrich relays a bit of conversation he had with NRSC Chair John Ensign (emphasis added by me):

    Weyrich: The Senate is going to be a disaster. I think we could lose six seats. Right now with 49 seats they can stop virtually anything. For example, I think they'll be able to defeat the Law of the Sea Treaty. If they lose six seats they’d be down to 43. With that number, considering that some of those would be liberals, you’re not going to be able to stop much.

    The chairman of the Senatorial Committee was at my recent lunch and he was very candid. He didn't say anything about every seat being won. He basically [predicted] a net [loss] of two seats — he thinks they're going to lose three but pick up Louisiana.
    In recognition of the chief cheerleader for the Senate Republicans actually saying that he expects to lose multiple seats, the Guru would like to offer the NRSC an amendment to one of their current slogans - see the graphic to the right.

  • Some fun headlines following Democrats' Election Day ownership of Republicans this week:
    Reuters: Democrats find success in once-conservative Virginia
    The Politico: Dems salivate after wins on GOP turf
    WaPo's The Fix: Kentucky: Will Dems' Bandwagon Roll Over McConnell?
    Kiplinger Forecasts: 2008 Senate Races: Democratic Gains Likely

  • Kentucky: Fresh off of her landslide re-election victory, an effort to draft state Auditor Crit Luallen to run for Senate next year against Mitch McConnell has begun. As I mentioned yesterday, rumors are intensifying that she is considering a bid. Also, a recent Rasmussen poll has Luallen down only 10 points on McConnell in a hypothetical match-up, and a recent Herald-Leader poll has Luallen down only 5 points. In both polls, Luallen holds McConnell to under 50. I don't know much about Luallen at present, but, from what I've recently read, she strikes me as a cross between Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill and former Texas Governor Ann Richards. Not a bad mix. MyDD's Singer has more. Also, the aforelinked Fix piece on Kentucky mentions another new name rumored to be considering a Senate bid: wealthy businessman Greg Fischer, CEO of Dant Clayton. Meanwhile, the Larry Forgy drum beat gets louder; Mitch may see a primary yet!

    For more on Mitch McConnell, here's some video:

  • New Mexico: New polling has Congressman Tom Udall soundly defeating Republican Congresscritters Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce, 55-38 and 54-37, respectively. (Draft Udall!) Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez is in a statistical dead heat with both Republicans. By the way, the more Chavez makes comments like this, the more he deflates his own chances.

  • Massachusetts: Any hopes the MA-GOP had of luring Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling into a 2008 Senate race against Senator John Kerry were dashed when Schilling signed his one-year contract with the Red Sox earlier this week.

  • Texas: General Wesley Clark is speaking up for Lieutenant Colonel and State Representative Rick Noriega.

  • North Carolina: Survey USA offers polling numbers on the NC-Sen Democratic primary: State Senator Kay Hagan 39%, Businessman Jim Neal 31%.

  • Nebraska: A 2008 Senate run by Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey is looking less and less likely.

  • Kansas: The Kansas Republican Party is getting sued... again.

  • Mississippi: Nearly overlooked by the Guru in all of the Election Day excitement: Democrats regained the majority in the Mississippi State Senate! Congrats, MS-Dems!

  • Turns out that the most accurate pollster in the KY-Gov race was Survey USA.

  • One in four homeless Americans are veterans. And George W. Bush, the most unpopular President ever, does nothing.


    Blogger Woody said...

    Weyrich is whistling Dixie -- that's the only place they are sure to hold most of their seats. Even in the South we will probably be competitive in VA, NC, KY, TN, TX, and OK. And I'm not worried about Landrieu. But at this point we're looking to make some kind of challenge in 15 races. We won't win all of them, but we could win half of them.

    3:46 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    North East




    4:05 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    Your video doesn't work.

    4:09 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Michael - Try the video again and let me know. Thanks for the heads up!

    Neal - Really, what are you posting? I don't want to be rude, but, really, what is that?

    4:19 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    Guru, the 2 McConnell videos work (and I'm in KY, so thanks!) but the 2 seats vid just enlarges and stays a still when you click it.

    BTW, I no longer have a blogger blog. Since you don't accept anonymous comments, people cannot click to my actual blog-- It's a religiously based social commentary blog from the left, named after the 17th C. Leveller movement for human rights and democracy.

    4:44 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...


    I was posting regional breakdowns where the competitive Senate Races are taking place. in response to woody.

    I was saying- our gains in the Senate is going to be in the West.

    4:46 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Woody said...

    Guess I started that, hearing Dixie being whistled and then regionalizing the races. Neal followed up. (Yeah, but why he thinks we have a better chance in Idaho than in Oklahoma or Texas or Tennessee ... ?)

    Anyway, it looks good to break them down by regions, now that Neal has gone all the way. Rankings we've seen more than enough.

    Neal highlights that we already look to be competitive in every Western state where there's an election, excepting WY, alas, where's there's TWO.

    Of course, if there were more races in the Midwest we'd be looking to take more of them. I'm not writing off Kansas just yet.

    But it's great news that we can be thinking about a shot at 16 seats with two-thirds of them in the West and the South!

    7:02 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Woody said...

    I'm reminded that I don't rule out a special election for the Senate in Louisiana. The Times-Picayune reports (via the Politico) from the forthcoming Hustler article, that there's some sordid details forthcoming:

    "Ellis also said that 'usually people would leave their condoms in the trash can,' but Vitter would take his used condoms with him."

    Is there a resignation coming up? And another Southern Senate seat to fight for?

    7:45 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    We aren't going to be competitive in Idaho.

    8:29 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    Thinking about Udall, and Noriega, I'm wondering whether there are any examples of grassroots candidate-draft movements on the Republican side. I'm sure I must be just failing to think of them, but it seems like the GOP grass roots are used to having their candidate handed to them by the party. Could this be contributing to GOP woes -- with the national committees in turmoil, no one is picking up the slack on the ground?

    9:50 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    There is the possibility of a grassroots GOP challenge to McConnell in KY (Larry Forgy) and to Graham in SC.

    The GOP Right began as a movement in the late '50s. But it hasn't really had to draft movement candidates against moderate party bosses since the election of Reagan--or, at least since '94.

    But the Dems aren't real good at this, either. The reason is the increasing amounts of money it takes to run--and the entire system is designed to protect incumbents. Witness the debacle of Joe Liebermann in CT where established Dems wouldn't pitch in to support the movement nominee who beat Liebermann fair and square.

    We need SOO much electoral reform for REAL change.

    10:15 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Rick Noriega or Tom Udall both aren't going to run because the netroots promise them something like $5,000 for their senate race. They decided on their own. All we do is give them some start-up cash (Which Udall doesn't necessarily need) - The only real benefit of the "draft movements" are that they give off this "Connected with the people" vibe, which is somewhat appealing to voters.

    10:24 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Graham... maybe. But Larry Forgy's main supporters (including the people who operate the Draft Forgy blog) are Democrats looking to make things rough for Sen. McConnell.

    10:37 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    I was thinking about grass roots driven campaigns to find candidates against incumbent Democrats -- but I actually think that's dead on, the only examples are grass roots campaigns to field primary opponents against GOP incumbents who stepped out of line.

    11:20 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...


    I don't think these draft movements matter for the money, but I do think they have an impact on candidates' decisions. Hard to measure perhaps, especially since they inevitably target people already considering.

    11:22 PM, November 08, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Really? I'm pretty sure any other part of the decision making trumps what other people think.
    Family? Trumps what the people think.
    Future? (As in where they want to go) Trumps what the people think.
    Position? (Seniority) Trumps what the people think.

    A draft is a bunch of people signing an online petition saying, "I want you to run for senate".

    That is also rolling with the fact that anyone across the nation can sign the online petition. So you have people not even from your state nagging you to do something that, for a number of other reasons, you already may or may not want to do.

    12:49 AM, November 09, 2007  

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