Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Guru's 600th Post

  • In honor of the Guru's 600th post in just over a year, give a few bucks to Tom Allen. That'd be swell.

  • Larry Sabato's tally of "the ten hottest Senate elections" includes only one Democratic seat, Louisiana, and nine Republican-held seats, including Alaska and Mississippi and the more obvious ones (CO, ME, MN, NH, NM, OR, VA).

  • Oklahoma: Don't forget about State Senator Andrew Rice's liveblog session at Daily Kos at 4pm Eastern, 3pm Central, 2pm Mountain, 1pm Pacific (in just over an hour).

  • Kentucky: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Horne has officially entered the 2008 Senate race to oust Mitch McConnell. His campaign website is up and he has a three-minute introductory video with a message that is nothing short of spectacular:

    Simply put, while Mitch McConnell carries George Bush's water on Iraq, I carried a rifle in Iraq.
    Holy cow. Game on! Ditch Mitch KY and BlueGrassRoots offer more insights and Horne's entire press release announcement. Kudos to the folks at Draft Horne for their efforts.

  • Louisiana: A new Survey USA poll has Senator Mary Landrieu narrowly leading state Treasurer John N. Kennedy 46-42. This is not great. This is not even solid. But it is not that bad and could be much worse. Remember, Kennedy's re-election ads from little more than a month ago are still fresh in voters minds while Landrieu has not been in campaign mode in five years. That said, this should be a tight race, as it will be the only reasonable pick-up opportunity for Republicans. As such, even though the DSCC has a huge fundraising advantage over the NRSC, I actually expect the NRSC will devote relatively large sums of money (what money they have) to Louisiana in an attempt to prevent the possibility of going two consecutive cycles without a single Senate pick-up. Stay tuned.

  • Idaho: Another interesting tidbit out of the recent Idaho Senate polling data:

    3. Jim Risch is not as strong as conventional wisdom dictates and Democrat Larry LaRocco is rated as popular. Asked to rate their feelings toward some people and organizations using a scale from 0-100, voters rate Risch a “56,” compared to LaRocco who scores a “57.” Despite his years as State Senate President Pro Tempore, and five years as Lt. Governor (including six months as Governor), the supposed Republican frontrunner has no advantage.
    If voters hold LaRocco and Risch in roughly the same regard, then LaRocco's big challenge is preventing the knee-jerk vote-Republican sensibility of some Idaho voters by explaining why his positions and a Democratic Senate majority better suit their needs. Expect a tight race in Idaho.

  • Minnesota: Al Franken has some terrific rhetoric on the stump:

    "In reality, the Democratic Party is both the liberal and conservative party in this county," he said. "There is nothing conservative about this brand of the Republican party that we've seen the last few years. There is nothing conservative about running huge deficits. There is nothing conservative about voting in earmarks for such things as the $230 million bridge to nowhere. There is nothing conservative about violating the Geneva convention and torture. There is nothing conservative about suppressing science. There is nothing conservative about cronyism, such as Brownie and Katrina."
    Norm Coleman is toast.

  • Colorado: A good sign: Democrats' charge that Backwards Bob Schaffer is ducking the big issues is gaining earned media. We'll see in the coming weeks and months how this impacts polling numbers that are currently neck-and-neck.

  • New Jersey: A new Quinnipiac University poll puts Senator Frank Lautenberg's approve-disapprove at 42-33. For a New Jersey Democratic incumbent at this point in the election cycle, that's actually pretty stellar. Jersey, man.

  • Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Fans of an independent and objective media (remember that quaint idea?) won't like this latest development.

  • Republican Presidential candidates like to make stuff up.

  • This is messed up. Like, Roland Emmerich movie messed up.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    "Expect a tight race in Idaho."

    S2G, I propose a wager. If Larry LaRocco is the Democratic nominee and Jim Risch is the Republican nominee, I will wager that Risch wins by a margin of ten percentage points or more. I'll stake $100 on that claim as well.

    Would you be willing to bet $100 that LaRocco will keep the race within ten points?

    4:25 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger Ajax the Greater said...

    VA Blogger,

    How about if I give you any Democrat other than Landrieu/Johnson +10 for $100?

    Got $100 to wager on McConnell vs. the field +10?

    How about $100 on Cornyn vs. Noriega +10?

    How about $100 on Stevens vs. the field +10?

    How about $100 on Dole vs. the field +10?

    How about $100 on Collins vs. Allen +10?

    How about $100 on Schaeffer vs. Udall +10?

    How about $100 on the NM field vs. Udall +10?

    How about $100 on Sununu vs. Shaheen +10?

    How about $1,000,000,000 on Gilmore vs. Warner?

    If you cant hold Idaho by +10%, you are looking at losing over 35 states in the presidential in 2008.

    Some rogue gallery of candidates you got there VA Blogger, you must be truly proud of your party and your people.

    5:29 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I don't know why Ajax wasted his time with that post, but I'm sure he feels better about himself now, so I suppose there's some plus positive.

    S2G specifically said "expect a tight race in Idaho". I, for one, am not expecting a tight race. If S2G truly is, I'm curious to see if he'd accept my wager. Everything else you're talking about is, as current, irrelevent.

    5:35 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger, I'm not going to accept your wager because I absolutely never want to interact with you in person - you're obnoxious enough as a commenter on a blog.

    That said, I expect Idaho to be a single digit race one way or the other - ditto for Texas, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

    Regarding your comment, "I don't know why Ajax wasted his time with that post, but I'm sure he feels better about himself now, so I suppose there's some plus positive." -- I can't fathom why you post much of the thoughtless blather that you post other than making you feel better about yourself, so I wouldn't be too harsh on any other commenters, va blogger.

    6:38 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    Swing State Project with his official statement: Mike Moore out in MS. Damn it.

    8:10 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You wouldn't have to interact in person. I have a PayPal address. I'm sure you could get one if you don't have one already. It'd be painless. If you honestly expect LaRocco to improve upon his 19-point loss against Risch in 2006, then put your money where your mouth is.

    8:40 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    I am SOOO glad to hear that Andrew Horne is finally running against McConnell! Hooray! I was actually at a "Operation Democracy" event today (we were delivering petitions to Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) asking him to co-sponsor Rep. Neil Abercromby (D-HI)'s legislation forbidding Bush to attack Iran without prior Congressional approval) when the news that Horne was announcing online came. A spontaneous cheer came up--even from those of us who had supported Yarmuth over Horne in the '06 primary. (That was the right move. Yarmuth was far more well known and had a more developed platform and beat Bush-lover Anne Northup(R) and has done a great job since.) Horne has learned much since his '06 Democratic primary run for the 3rd District Congressional seat. His opening statement outlines a broad platform that should put big money Mitch on the defensive.

    I have volunteered to work on the campaign. Now we need contributions. McConnell has $10 MILLION in campaign cash! Can we get an expand the map spot for Horne here, Guru?

    10:23 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger Peter said...

    Congrats Guru!

    11:21 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA Blogger, I'm willing to bet your favorite beverage (at a Northern Virginia watering hole) that the Democrats pick up five U.S. Senate seats in 2008.

    11:25 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Let me modify that bet... at least five.

    11:29 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Matthew, I have no desire to share a beer with you. I will be more than happy to accept a wager for the equal cost. First, let me ask: are you claiming that the Democrats pick up five seats, or five seats net?

    11:29 PM, December 13, 2007  
    Blogger Eric In Manassas said...

    With Moore out in Missippi I just can't see how we can win that. That basically just leaves Alaska as the last state where either we could pick up another competitive seat...assuming that somebody doesn't jump in North Carolina. I still have no idea why we don't have someone a lot better there, we actually have a decent bench in North Caroline and the best we can do is a State Senator? That's disappointing. I think we're looking to pick up 3-4 seats with Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico and either Colorado/Maine/Minnesota/Oregon/Alaska (if Begich is in) and assuming we lose Louisiana. Landrieu is up by 4 points in a deep red state in a Presidential year. She's toast.

    2:13 AM, December 14, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    You don't have to share a beverage with me, VA... for clarification, I'm not sure about our net gain... but I think we will win five seats... does that help? I'm being ultra-conservative in my projection.

    Five dollars. I'm cheap.

    8:28 AM, December 14, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    So, to further put context, I'd say our net gain is four our higher... that might be a better way to clarify... I'm being ultra-conservative in my projection.

    8:40 AM, December 14, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Well, considering that Virginia, New Mexico, and New Hampshire, as they stand right now, are leaning towards pick-ups, that's three net right there. While the only other competitive states are Oregon, Colorado, and Minnesota, with an ouside chance at Maine, and a seat defense in Louisiana, you're betting that you win 3 out of those 5 races. I think that's entirely possible, and therefore won't bet on it.

    9:14 AM, December 14, 2007  

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