Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Tidbits

  • North Carolina: Earlier this week, the Charlotte Observer slammed Elizabeth Dole on immigration:

    Sen. Dole worked hard to help kill a decent immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate in July. It wasn't perfect, but it provided a practical, intelligent way to secure the border -- and pay for it. It also took the sensible step of providing illegal immigrants a conditional path to legal status. Too bad lawmakers such as Sen. Dole were more interested in shouting "amnesty" and opposing any step toward legal status than they were in helping the folks back home.
    Subsequently, Dole weakly responded to the paper: 1) confusing inaction with accomplishment 2) listing how she would throw literally billions of dollars at the problem without explaining where those billions would come from, and 3) focusing on ways to enhance border security without addressing exactly what her position is on what should be done with the more than ten million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

  • South Dakota: A new (though apparently partisan) poll sees Senator Tim Johnson absolutely crushing his hypothetical Republican opponent by a 67-29 margin. The poll also clocked Johnson's favorable-unfavorable at 64-18.

  • Mississippi: Yup, the scheduling for the special election to replace Trent Lott will ultimately be determined by the courts. Why do I think that even GOP Gov. Haley Barbour knows that he's full of it and trying to get away with a fast one? Because in defending his desire to pull the special election off until Election Day 2008, he's (apparently rather vociferously) "claiming executive authority." It shouldn't matter if Barbour is the Pope or Superman or whoever. The Mississippi state Constitution has language that determines the process. It's up to the Mississippi courts to determine the interpretation. "Claiming executive authority" seems like a gambit of desperation.

  • Oregon: The Oregonian calls out Gordon Smith for his contradictory comments on Trent Lott's apparent endorsement of segregation. I think Gordo's Christmas wish is that this story goes away.

  • Virginia: Conservative state delegate Bob Marshall has formed an exploratory committee as he considers a Republican primary challenge to Jim Gilmore.

  • Kentucky: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Horne received the endorsement of Democracy for America's Kentucky chapter.

  • New Hampshire: A new ARG poll actually sees Republican John Sununu leading popular Democratic former Governor Jeanne Shaheen. How can this be? Two explanations. First, the Shaheen name has been in the press in a negative light over the last couple weeks thanks to Bill's comments. If that's the reason, it should blow over after the New Hampshire primary activity wears down. Second, the ARG polls may have an anti-Democrat or pro-Republican bias. Why would I suggest that? Because ARG also saw wildly popular Democratic Governor John Lynch only poll 48-32 in a hypothetical match-up against Republican Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta. Lynch won re-election last year with 74% of the vote. To only poll at 48% in a hypothetical match-up seems awfully low. If that's the reason, these numbers should not be cause for concern.

  • 29 Comments:

    Blogger Johnny C said...

    Guru,

    Re the NH poll it seems there are two other explanations you missed. Sunnunu is actually ahead. Even though ARG is not biased the poll is an outlier. There is a reason the pollsters always say 19 times out of 20. Even the best pollster using the best methodolgy can get an inaccurate result -- it is why we have elections rather than simply polling a portion of the electorate.

    2:24 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    I also think we've been taking New Hampshire. When Shaheen joined the race, we all kinda thought that it was an automatic pick-up. Since then, we've talked about Colorado, New Mexico, a possibility in Oklahoma, and Alaska. The resources haven't really been contributed to New Hampshire. You KNOW the GOP will do all they can to retain the seat, so the Dems will need to step up.

    2:51 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Just as a heads-up, Barbour could also be thinking of funds for the state, since setting up a special election would be costly, and having it at the same time as the general election wouldn't cost a cent.

    4:06 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    Looking at the Seats Democrats are favored to pick up in 2008.
    CO,NH,NM,and VA.

    New Mexico is an automatic pickup. The Demographics in NM favor the Democrats. NM has a strong Hispanic,Native American electorate which favors the Democrat. The population in ABQ-SF which favors the Democrat is greater than the population in SNM which favors the Republican. The Democratic Nominee Tom Udall has strong electoral support among Democrats and is very popular in the ABQ-SF area. compare that to Heather Wilson's weak support among Republicans. Udall has strong support among Independents. Udall gets between 55-60% of the popular vote while Wilson gets between 40-45% of the popular vote.

    Virginia- is an automatic pickup due to high unpopularity of Jim Gilmore and high popularity of Mark Warner. Warner wins by a landslide margin.

    Unlike Tom Udall of NM. Mark Udall-CO does not have Statewide name ID in CO. But Like Tom, Mark has a strong electoral base among Democrats and is popular with Independents.

    That leaves us NH. While Democratic Party support among the Udalls- Mark in CO and Tom in NM is strong and Independents in VA overwhelmingly favor Warner-VA. Shaheen's support among Democrats and Independents is not that strong. Sununu is no Santorum- He has not made any enemies or has done anything controversial to get voters to reject Sununu.

    4:10 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger said "Just as a heads-up, Barbour could also be thinking of funds for the state, since setting up a special election would be costly, and having it at the same time as the general election wouldn't cost a cent."

    If that was what Barbour was thinking, don't you think he'd be out there SAYING it? It scores a lot more points than "executive privilege" for crying out loud.

    4:18 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger rukind said...

    I WAS MOTIVATED TO DONATE TO THE CAUSE OF A VETO PROOF DEM. MAJORITY IN THE SENATE. I HAVE MS AND HAVE BEEN DENIED STEM CELL THERAPY THAT MIGHT HAVE HELPED ME. BUSH TALKS TO GOD, GIVE ME A BREAK. JJ

    4:31 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger rukind said...

    HELLO THERE. YOU INSPIRED ME TO CONTRIBUTE MONEY, FOR THE FIRST TIME. I HAVE MS AND I WANT A VEYO PROOF DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY IN THE SENATE. BUSH AND HIS FACIST HENCHMEN HAVE DENIED ME THE POSSIBILITY OF HELP FROM STEM CELL THEREPY. WHO GIVES THEM THE RIGHT.

    4:32 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Well, I think we found someone worse than Neal.

    8:16 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger bluefish said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    9:15 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger bluefish said...

    I agree with the Guru and disagree with johnny c. If you look at all the other polling in NH you see a very different trend with this newest poll by ARG. Take a look for yourself:
    NH Senate Polling

    9:26 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    NH: Probably just an outlier, but there are also some specifics in there worth looking at. There were more Republicans in the sample than Democrats. That reflects voter registration data in a historically Republican state, but NH has been turning sharply blue just in the last two or three years, so that weighting may no longer be representative. There were more undecideds among Democrats than Republicans -- probably because of Shaheen-spouse's bad media. They'll move back to the Shaheen column by election day.

    9:45 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    I wondered if Bill Shaheens' actions would hurt his wife's senate campaign. I hope it can be saved.

    Great news about the Change for Ky/DFA endorsement for Horne.

    10:26 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger Patrick said...

    The ARG polls have all been outliers this cycle. The Presidential polls from ARG have been all over the place, and never in line with the RCP average. I personally pay no attention to ARG results.

    12:34 AM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    VABlogger - If saving money was more important than state law, you would be setting a disastrous and catastrophic precedent in the courts.

    2:33 AM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - you never addressed my simple question in response to your comment (probably because it calls out your lack of common sense in the comment), so I'll repeat (question is bolded for your convenience):

    va blogger said "Just as a heads-up, Barbour could also be thinking of funds for the state, since setting up a special election would be costly, and having it at the same time as the general election wouldn't cost a cent."

    If that was what Barbour was thinking, don't you think he'd be out there SAYING it? It scores a lot more points than "executive privilege" for crying out loud.

    10:25 AM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I'm neither Haley Barbour, nor do I work for Haley Barbour, so I don't know what you want from me. I also don't think Haley Barbour particularly cares what you think scores a lot of points, nor is there any reason for him to.

    11:37 AM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    JTM-- the precedent isn't just saving money. The law is ambiguous, which is why the Republican Governor and Democratic Secretary of State viewed it one way, and the Democratic Attorney General viewed it another.

    11:39 AM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - your current status of not actually being Haley Barbour didn't stop you from commenting:

    "Just as a heads-up, Barbour could also be thinking of funds for the state, since setting up a special election would be costly, and having it at the same time as the general election wouldn't cost a cent."

    So I'm asking, based on whatever ESP you had when you made the above comment, wouldn't you also say that IF he was thinking what you suggested in your comment, wouldn't he also SAY it out loud, as it is a better reason than simply claiming "executive privilege."

    It's pretty convenient that you can make a suggestion about what ole Haley's thinking, but when common sense dictates that that suggestion is way off, you hide behind "Well, I'm not him; I don't know what you want from me."

    Way to bring something to the table, va blogger.

    12:12 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Gordon Smith may have had his "macaca" moment. This might help Chuck Schumer with some new ad content.

    12:36 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I didn't make a statement about what Barbour was thinking. I made a statement about what Barbour could be thinking. Please learn to read before you baselessly criticize me for giving you information that you did not know.

    Matthew, the reason why Allen's comment had such an impact is because it could be used to fuel a larger narrative about Allen's racial insensativitiy. Such a narrative does not exist in Gordon Smith's case.

    12:52 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    In regard to the ARG poll, one must keep in mind that ARG said Shaheen was ahead by 5 points while all the other polls said she was ahead 15-20. I think it would be wise to take ARG polls with many large grains of salt.

    1:21 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger said: "I didn't make a statement about what Barbour was thinking. I made a statement about what Barbour could be thinking. Please learn to read before you baselessly criticize me for giving you information that you did not know."

    Uh oh - I think va blogger is approaching his sanity tipping point again.

    1:35 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA, I was using the "macaca" comment more in the sense that it has a big bang type of feel to it... it is too early to know whether Gordon Smith's ambiguity on the issue may hurt him.

    2:00 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Its simply stunning to me. I raise a perfectly legitimate reason why the Governor of Mississippi would prefer the November date, and you go out of your mind. There is absolutely nothing controversial or partisan about anything I've said in this thread, yet you've remained completely hostile towards me.

    I don't understand how you lack the basic maturity to differentiate between a partisan argument and a simple discussion of reality. Why do you absolutely strive to turn every discussion of ours into a partisan debate?

    I'm taking the high ground here and giving you the last word, if you choose to accept it. All I've done in this thread is open your eyes to a possibility you apparently hadn't considered before. If that's so offensive to you, then please grow up.

    2:14 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Oooohhhh - va blogger says I have to grow up!

    va blogger said: "Its simply stunning to me. I raise a perfectly legitimate reason why the Governor of Mississippi would prefer the November date, and you go out of your mind. There is absolutely nothing controversial or partisan about anything I've said in this thread, yet you've remained completely hostile towards me."

    And all I responded with was:

    "If that was what Barbour was thinking, don't you think he'd be out there SAYING it? It scores a lot more points than "executive privilege" for crying out loud."

    That's not hostile at all. Your argument, had it come out of Barbour's mouth, would have "scored a lot more points" - that's actually partly complimentary to you - the fact that it didn't come out of Barbour's mouth, though, refutes your thought that that was what he was thinking.

    If you want to whine that I'm being hostile, go ahead. You complain and whine when people so much as disagree with you or demonstrate the error of your thought. I'm doing my best to not call you a crybaby, but you make it awfully hard, va blogger. (Now accuse me of name-calling cuz I typed the word "crybaby.")

    Off to that airplane.

    Happy holidays!

    2:40 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    No, S2G, that's not all you responded with. Since I was at a loss of words for you demanded me pry into the thoughts of the Governor of Mississippi, you followed up your response with this:

    va blogger - you never addressed my simple question in response to your comment (probably because it calls out your lack of common sense in the comment), so I'll repeat (question is bolded for your convenience):

    I went ahead and bolded the hostile statement, in case you were unable to find it for yourself.

    After I calmly informed you that I was not, in fact, Haley Barbour, you responded to me with this:

    QUOTE
    So I'm asking, based on whatever ESP you had when you made the above comment, wouldn't you also say that IF he was thinking what you suggested in your comment, wouldn't he also SAY it out loud, as it is a better reason than simply claiming "executive privilege."

    It's pretty convenient that you can make a suggestion about what ole Haley's thinking, but when common sense dictates that that suggestion is way off, you hide behind "Well, I'm not him; I don't know what you want from me."

    Way to bring something to the table, va blogger.

    ENDQUOTE

    Both sarcastically suggesting that I had mind-reading capabilities, which seems perplexingly dumb, given I've never made any statement that would lead any reasonable person to such a conclusion, and sarcastically suggesting that I provided nothing of substance, despite the fact that the Governor's concern for the cost of a special election may, in fact, be a factor that he considered, which is something that you did not consider.

    But please, for posterity, point out where you found the error in my thought. Where oh where did you EVER type a single letter that actually was relevent to the point I brought up?

    You fucking child.

    7:09 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - Congratulations. For that absolutely unnecessary obscenity and personal attack at the conclusion of your last comment, I will now summarily delete every comment you leave on this blog from now on.

    I have given you every benefit of the doubt and have not deleted a single comment you've left, even when you have repeatedly used inappropriate language after my repeated requests and warnings.

    All done. Buh-bye, psychopath.

    8:49 PM, December 23, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    9:20 PM, December 23, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    10:38 PM, December 23, 2007  

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