Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Rundown

  • WaPo's Cillizza has his Senate Line up for November. Still 9 Republicans and only one Democrat (Mary Landrieu still at 5), as Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Colorado retain the top four spots, and Minnesota, Oregon, Maine, and Alaska hold spots six through nine. But the 10-spot changes from Nebraska to Kentucky, with Mitch McConnell making his first appearance on the list. Welcome, Mitch!

  • New Mexico: Congressman Tom Udall has officially filed to run for Senate. Game on.

  • Alaska: Ted Stevens continues to lurch slowly toward insanity.

  • Nebraska: Republicans blame Mike Johanns for the failure of the Farm Bill, too.

  • Idaho: GOP Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is replacing Senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig as Mitt Romney's state chairman in Idaho. Does Risch really want to set up these parallels between him and Craig?

  • New Hampshire: Sprintin' John Sununu is not a fiscal conservative. He is, however, a hypocrite regarding fiscal conservatism. Also, the Guru wishes Blue Hampshire a happy birthday!

  • Louisiana: Campaign Diaries takes a look at the state legislative runoffs to see if there are any clues regarding Senator Mary Landrieu's re-election chances. Democrats lost a few seats in the state Legislature, but retained the majority. The verdict: no big clues.

  • Oregon: A correction from the Guru is in order. I've had businesswoman Eileen Brady listed as "considering" a Senate race for quite a while now, not having noticed that she has endorsed Jeff Merkley for Senate.

  • North Dakota: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture nominee Ed Schafer says he has no intentions of challenging Senator Byron Dorgan in 2010. Of course, GOP Gov. John Hoeven, who is up for re-election in 2008, remains a likely challenger, though "Democrats have tried to extract a promise that he'll serve out his gubernatorial term."

  • Are you curious about the journalistic depth of Fox News?


    Blogger Matthew said...

    Guru, my home town is Mayville, North Dakota... I don't see Hoeven running for Senate... Dorgan is VERY popular (as is Conrad)... Dorgan won his seat big in 2004... by a larger margin than Bush's victory in North Dakota... this tells you something... Hoeven would lose to Dorgan... big time.

    7:11 PM, November 18, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    "Big time"? Polling showed Conrad and Hoeven neck-and-neck before Hoeven decided to run for re-election in 2006. You're acting as if Hoeven isn't also extremely popular. Since Hoeven and Dorgan are both very popular and both well-known, the race would essentially be a toss-up, until you factor in the fact that it is a red state.

    7:58 PM, November 18, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - do you have a link to this poll you're citing, by any chance?

    11:44 PM, November 18, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    8:12 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    8:18 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Guru, it's probably the same type of nonsubstantive internal polling that VA Blogger referenced in the Udall (and schaffer) race in Colorado.

    VA Blooger, as I've said above, I'm from the State of North Dakota... and I know it would be a competitive race for a while, VA Blogger... but I also know that North Dakotans have intense respect for Senator Dorgan... and they would not go for the intense negative campaigns that would be run by the National Republican Committee NRC) and National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committees (NRSC)... because make no mistake about it... we know that the GOP be STUPID and go negative... North Dakotans like civilized campaigns and have punished GOP federal candidates for going that route in the past and will in the future when it is tried on Dorgan... you can say that the GOP wil not go negative... but you would be fooling yourself, and it will be their downfall as in past years...

    8:19 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Matthew, for future reference, you only have to type a period once to end a sentence.

    S2G, the Forum Fargo, which printed the story in mid-Septmeber of 2005, requires you to pay to buy old articles. I'm not willing to do that, but you're more than welcome to. In the meantime, here's a link that I know you trust.

    Hoeven: 35%
    Conrad: 27%

    Matthew- I don't know what you're referring to when you say "nonsubstantive interal polling". I've only referred to polls that have been released in that race. Schaffer's camp did release a poll, and recent public polls have shown that its exactly in line.

    While I appreciate the gusto with which you take a stance and never deviate, saying that Dorgon would win big against someone who is, at minimum, just as popular but much more in line ideologically just because you assume 1) the national party would go negative, and 2) that North Dakotans would react badly to it, is extremely specious reasoning. I understand that you are from North Dakota and I am not. That, however, doesn't make you right and me wrong.

    8:29 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Listen, ahmadinejad (VA). I know you've see an ellipsis before and if you are going to give me a hard time my use of that form of puncuation, I'm going to give you a ridiculously hard time about misquoting me. I said internal... not interal. Stop that petty crap, please. Get out of that mode of conversation or it will come back 100 times harder. Deal?

    It's the Fargo Forum ( not the Forum Fargo... which I read everyday... I have not seen that poll, but I'm not saying it doesn't exist.

    I know that state... the Republicans have made that error in the past and would make the error again... it's really that simple... Hoeven would immediately have to disassociate himself with his party... "That, however, doesn't make you right and me wrong." Dude, you use this line of reasoning all the time.

    9:00 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I don't know what you mean when you say "I use the line of reasoning all the time." You first asserted that Dorgan would win big. I produced evidence to the contrary, and you backed up into a pitiful excuse that you can't even begin to prove. Congratulations. You escaped into speculation.

    9:34 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA Blogger,

    Are really basing your opinion on poll data two years old with another candidate (CONRAD)? Did I really see that? I let that fly the first time because I was shocked. You are saying that Hoeven would perform well against Dorgan because he polled well in a potential matchup two years ago against Conrad. You need to read this book below...

    I would rather speculate that use your wild brand of statistics.

    10:16 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Has John Hoeven done anything to become less than extraordinarily popular in the last two years that I'm not aware of? And is Bryon Dorgan significantly more popular than Kent Conrad?

    No, I didn't think so.

    Yes, its two years old. Unfortunately, its the only polling availible. However, it is polling that is availible, which gives us a realistic baseline. And realistic baselines allow us to brush aside baseless statements like "Hoeven would lose to Dorgan big time."

    10:38 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - while I don't have the time to go through hundreds of comments, you have bristled at me when citing polling from last November as a frame of reference, calling one-year-old polling out of date. So you citing a two-year-old poll that matches up Hoeven against Conrad-not-Dorgan I don't think is the airtight data you think it is.

    10:54 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    There is a difference. You were using year-old polling as a reason to say why Dole's internal polling, taken recently, were wrong. Since there has been no other polls availible, then this is all we have to work with. And PMR is a much more repudible polling firm than PPP.

    I admit that I'm not comfortable using two-year-old data. However, since not much has changed in the last two years, and since all we have of SurveyUSA's tracking data indicates that Hoeven's (and Conrad's and Dorgan's, for that matter) approval ratings were steady and solid, we can at least use it to reach reasonable conclusions, such as: there's no reason to believe John Hoeven would lose "big time" to Bryon Dorgan.

    11:01 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Ahhhh, I get it, va blogger. You're always justified in however you frame your argument and we're always wrong. And we're not just wrong, we're partisan cheerleading hacks. Cool. I wasn't clear on that earlier. Good times.

    When you say, "since not much has changed in the last two years" -- how do you know? Are you up on the ins and outs of North Dakota local politics over the last year? Do you know what issues most affected North Dakota voters in 2007? The arrogance you present with your unfounded assumptions is either frightening, amusing, or just time-wasting.

    (I'll also note that you typed: "I understand that you are from North Dakota and I am not. That, however, doesn't make you right and me wrong." Again, I don't have time to go through hundreds of comments, but you've bashed me for not being from Virginia when discussing Mark Warner and his gubernatorial record - even though you're quite wrong, as I was a Virginia resident in 2001 and voted for Mark Warner for Governor. I guess homefield advantage only applies when it's your homefield.)

    11:08 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    11:21 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    I know this much; Hoeven might be subject to a primary challenge from within his own party in North Dakota. The hardliners in the party may question whether he is a true Republican because he changed parties earlier in his career. This will come up. The Farm Bill, Homeland Security (the border with Canada), and Social Security are the big issues in North Dakota... and if Hoeven supports privitaztion of Social Security, he's in trouble.

    11:22 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I pay pretty close attention to politics on all levels, including statewide. I followed Conrad's re-election bid in 2006 as well as Hoeven's upcoming bid, and I've done some prep work for Dorgan in 2010. I don't subscribe to any local newspapers, but if something big that would've caused a disruption in any of the four top office holder's approval ratings, I probably would know about it. So would you.

    To that end, I gave matthew ample opportunity to correct me if my assumption was indeed wrong. Since neither him nor you have, then it stands to reason that John Hoeven, Kent Conrad, and Bryon Dorgan have about the same approval ratings currently as they did back in November of 2006, when they were last polled by SurveyUSA, and September 2005, when the poll in question was taken.

    If matthew is able to provide some local insight that I or others have glossed over, I'll gladly listen and learn from it. However, baselessly stating that Dorgan would defeat Hoeven big time isn't such a case.

    I never claimed that being from Virginia made me an expert on the subject. Certainly, there are those who know more about Virginia politics than I do. However, since I have information that those not from the state might not, such as Mark Warner's blueprint for victory in 2001 and why he's never been challenged on his record or public statements, that is simply glossed over by folks (such as yourself) who simply say "Mark Warner is a popular former Governor. He's a shoo-in!!!", then I will post that information.

    But I'm interested, "guru". Do you think John Hoeven would lose "big time" to Bryon Dorgan, should they both run in 2010?

    11:23 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA, we can also show you Dorgan's prior margins of victory and protect from there on... will that statisfy your desire for statistics? We can also show Bush's approval raiting and project the Senate race based on his prior approval rating. Give me a break, please... my earlier post should provide you some insight on the local issues... Hoeven said he'd keep on open mind on privatizing Social Security... North Dakota has one of the largest populations of Social Security recipiments, per capita, than most states in the union... these people are not going to go for that... how is that for local insight.

    11:34 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    That's pretty swell, Matthew.

    There's no question that Dorgan has been easily re-elected. So has Hoeven. The question is what would happen when the two of them face off.

    Look at the poll I posted. The number one response is "undecided". That's because they are both enormously popular figures. I'm not saying Hoeven would win, but I'm certainly not dumb enough to say he'd lose big. There's simply no reason to believe that is the case.

    11:42 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA, I saw your two-year old poll (which I won't comment on anymore) and I'm betting that Social Security was not part of the poll. I do think that issue alone gives Dorgan a ten point margin... and I don't think that that is dumb to say that.

    11:54 PM, November 19, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I absolutely do, because you haven't done anything to convince me.

    7:53 AM, November 20, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Would anythnig said by the Guru, myself, the sleep, etc. convince you have anything, VA? To suggest that you are not a partisn hack is, um, Jim Carrey-esque... read between the lines on that.

    9:04 AM, November 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Yes. An insightful analysis of a situation that would impact the numbers would convince me. All you've told me is that Social Security is a big issue. Wow. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Do you have any numbers or proof that John Hoeven's position on the matter, whatever it may be, is unpopular with the electorate? And do you have any proof that it would be enough to have Sen. Dorgan to take a "ten point" lead over the Governor?


    So you haven't convinced me.

    I could simply say "Dorgan's position on the War on Terror is unpopular, and John Hoeven will start off with a ten point lead." But since I offer nothing to substantiate any of that, its as worthless as your "insight".

    12:12 PM, November 20, 2007  

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