Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Round-Up

  • Kentucky: Mitch McConnell is facing his worst approval ratings ever:

    This month, for the first time, McConnell has a negative Net Job Approval — Minus 3. His approval rating is at 44%, the lowest since tracking began in May of 2005, and his disapproval is at an all-time high of 47%.
    McConnell's approval has even been steadily declining among Republicans over the last few months. Kos, tongue in cheek, wonders why:

    So what's dragging him down? Is it his endemic corruption? Or is it his leadership of the hated GOP Senate caucus? Perhaps it's his inexplicable war on SCHIP. Or could it be his cheerleading for the failed war in Iraq? Maybe it's his local electoral failures -- first, in seeing his handpicked candidate go down in flames in the GOP gubernatorial primary, or maybe seeing him cozy up to the hated, unpopular, and ultimately ousted for Republican governor Ernie Fletcher.
    All of the above.

  • New Mexico: New Survey USA polling is out and Congressman Tom Udall is kicking butt! Udall is winning his primary by 30 points and beating both Republican Congresscritters by about 15 points apiece. NM-FBIHOP and MyDD offer further breakdown of the numbers by demographics.

  • Nebraska: The rumors are circulating that state Attorney General Jon Bruning will soon withdraw from the GOP's 2008 Senate primary, leaving chronic quitter Mike Johanns as the unquestionably presumptive nominee.

  • Virginia: Sure, I think Jim Gilmore is flopping right out of the gate. But I'm not the only one. Even conservatives think Gilmore is awful. Conservative Ramesh Ponnuru says, "I am amazed that this man was ever elected to anything." Perhaps Gilmore should be increasingly worried about Chris Saxman, who could not-impossibly upset Gilmore next year.

  • Louisiana: MyDD's Singer picks up on some good omens for Senator Mary Landrieu from the recent state legislative elections. Overall, Republicans picked up a couple seats, but Democrats retained the majority in both houses. So what are the especially good omens? Republicans had the winds in their favor more prominently than some realize.

    Not only has Hurricane Katrina-related displacement negatively impacted Democrats in Louisiana more than Republicans, but "Democrats lost over half their incumbents due to term limits" and "Republican groups seeking the majority outspent Democrats two-to-one." While Louisiana is nominally shifting redder, for Republicans to have so many Democratic-held open seats to pursue and a 2-to-1 outside spending advantage and still not make more significant gains, it can definitely be taken as a sign that Senator Landrieu is less vulnerable than she is made out to be by some.

    It doesn't hurt that Landrieu also enjoys a campaign fund of over $3 million and an approval rating clocked as high as 67% earlier this year.

  • Idaho: Larry LaRocco has a terrific new ad up. Help LaRocco afford lots more ads by contributing to his campaign!

  • Oregon: The Oregon College Democrats are not to be messed with. Meanwhile, Gordon Smith continues unabated with his unflinching record of double-talk on Iraq. Separately, House Speaker Jeff Merkley scored the endorsement of Oregon AFSCME, which represents 22,000 workers.

  • West Virginia: Happy birthday, Senator Byrd!

  • This is one of the most objectionable things I've read in a long while.

  • Check out VetVoice!

  • 14 Comments:

    Blogger youngbuckbear said...

    I was in New Orleans last October, and asked some of the locals (albeit, the more "Liberal" French Quarter crowd) down there about Mary Landrieu. Based on what I heard, and the real information trickling out about the race, I'm not buying the GOP hype about that Senate race. Mary Landrieu isn't going anywhere.

    9:11 PM, November 20, 2007  
    Blogger LP said...

    Draft Udall also has some analysis of the polls. They're still blogging even though the Draft Udall effort is over and successful.

    9:51 PM, November 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    As long as youngbuckbear has anecdoctal evidence, then I'm giving up all hope on the race!

    11:25 PM, November 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - little side note: that's why people have such a negative attitude toward you here, fyi. It's not the differing ideology; it's the unending smugness and, as Jon Stewart might put it, general dickishness. (Well, the fudging of facts and frequently misrepresenting what is actually said contributes, too.)

    4:05 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    That LaRocco ad is pretty weak. What was his budget for it, $50 to pay to a high school student doing her school project? Don't get me wrong, that's not bad for a high school student, but he's going to have to do a bit better than that and a weak jab at Risch if he wants to give people a reason to vote for him.

    5:13 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Sean, this early out in the race, I have to disagree. The ad isn't LaRocco's hard-hitting October 2008 ad or even his first TV ad introducing himself to voters. It's his first web ad, very much in a viral video/JibJab style, laying the foundation for a "LaRocco is a man of the people while Risch is a man of the special interests" theme. The ad alone obviously isn't going to win LaRocco the race, nor was it meant to. The ad's purpose was to lay a thematic foundation, and I think it does that successfully.

    6:10 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I've come to terms with my obnoxiousness a long time ago.

    In unrelated news, I live in Northern Virginia, and I've asked around with some of the locals about Mark Warner. Basedon what I heard, and the real information trickling out about the race, I'm not buying the Democratic hype about the Senate race. Mark Warner doesn't stand a chance.

    7:58 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger youngbuckbear said...

    "In unrelated news, I live in Northern Virginia, and I've asked around with some of the locals about Mark Warner. Basedon what I heard, and the real information trickling out about the race, I'm not buying the Democratic hype about the Senate race. Mark Warner doesn't stand a chance."

    VA, it may actually be a a good thing TO compare Mary Landrieu to Mark Warner. I.e., high approval ratings, stellar fundraising, and lack of any significant GOP challenger.

    I greatly look forward to next year, when you're living in a state with two Democratic Senators, like me! :P Give Mark my best!

    9:13 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Landrieu does not have stellar approval ratings, and John Kennedy is a very significant GOP challenger.

    Its okay, I don't expect you to know that much about the race; you're entire bank of knowledge is based on a trip to Nawlins last October. You're bound to be missing a lot.

    9:47 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    Regarding Louisiana- I agree with young buck bear that Landrieu is going to remain in the Senate.
    Kennedy is not the strongest candidate- HE never faced a tough race and he came in third place in the 2004 LA Senate Race- getting 15% in a open primary system. Voters in LA don't have any reason to unseat Landrieu.

    10:23 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - From the Times-Picayune this past March:

    Polls: Landrieu may be hard to unseat

    Two polls out last week suggested that although Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., might be vulnerable if she seeks re-election next year, it will be far from a cakewalk for Republicans to unseat her. A poll of 600 "likely voters" by Southern Media & Opinion Research found a 67 percent approval rating for Landrieu, higher than the senator's own poll a few weeks ago. But a survey of 500 "likely voters" released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee said that just 51 percent would vote to re-elect Landrieu against a hypothetical Republican candidate.


    67% approval from a non-partisan pollster and even the GOP poll has her over 50%.

    What would you label 67% approval, va blogger, if not stellar? Please tell us. Or dodge yet ANOTHER question from me when forced to justify your idiotic rambling.

    10:26 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Yes, one poll had her at 67% 8 months ago. Her approval ratings have never been consistently that high.

    10:52 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    Polls: Landrieu may be hard to unseat

    Two polls out last week suggested that although Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., might be vulnerable if she seeks re-election next year, it will be far from a cakewalk for Republicans to unseat her. A poll of 600 "likely voters" by Southern Media & Opinion Research found a 67 percent approval rating for Landrieu, higher than the senator's own poll a few weeks ago. But a survey of 500 "likely voters" released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee said that just 51 percent would vote to re-elect Landrieu against a hypothetical Republican candidate.

    This poll is post Hurricane Katrina-

    11:49 AM, November 21, 2007  
    Blogger youngbuckbear said...

    add to that the fact that her brother Mitch Landrieu was re-elected Lt. Gov. at a higher % then Bobby Jindal. The name "Landrieu" still has sway down there.

    12:16 PM, November 21, 2007  

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