Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Friday, December 28, 2007

Post-Christmas Catch-Up

  • Idaho: The Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey likens Democratic Senate candidate Larry LaRocco to Rocky Balboa. If LaRocco is Balboa to Republican Jim Risch's Apollo Creed, I trust the result will be more similar to Rocky II than the original. One fun fact that Popkey mentions in his column: during their Lieutenant Governor campaign against one another last year, when Risch could not get the specific debate format he wanted (which would have resulted in Risch and LaRocco not actually debating but appearing on stage one after the other, never actually interacting), Risch refused to debate, not unlike a coward.

    Meanwhile, Risch is getting another Republican primary opponent:

    An Iraq veteran from Wilder says he will run to replace U.S. Sen. Larry Craig.

    Army Reserve Col. Scott Syme, 53, announced Christmas Day he will challenge Lt. Gov. Jim Risch and elk farmer Rex Rammell in the Republican Primary. Larry LaRocco has announced he will run for Craig's seat as a Democrat. Craig is stepping down at the end of his term in January 2009.

    Syme, who grew up in Weiser and is now a real estate broker in Caldwell, will kick off his campaign Thursday morning at the Washington County Courthouse in Weiser.

    "I think a lot of people are dissatisfied with career politicians being the only ones with a chance," he said Tuesday.
    An Iraq veteran could galvanize a chunk of Republican voters and, at least, give Risch a headache if not a run for his money.

  • Alaska: Uh oh. The foreman for the construction job that the corrupt VECO Corporation oversaw on the home of Ted Stevens has given an interview on the proceedings, during which he called it "ludicrous" that the cost of the job was in line with what Stevens claims to have paid for it. It continues to look awfully bad for Stevens.

  • New Mexico: Joe Monahan has heard fundraising amounts on the Republican Senate candidates (note: actual filings are due next month - this is just hearsay): Steve Pearce $450,000; Heather Wilson $350,000. It will be interesting to compare to Democratic Congressman Tom Udall's take once numbers are out.

  • Maine: The Vice Chair of the local County Democratic Committee smartly responds to a string of astroturf on behalf of Susan Collins that has been clogging the pages of the Kennebec Journal. I hope the Kennebec Journal wises up and pays closer attention to authors of the letters they print as we approach Election Day. (To see the astroturf in question, check here and here for the links.)

  • Kentucky: The Louisville Courier-Journal has dubbed Mitch McConnell "The Obstructer."

  • Nebraska: Tony Raimondo has scored a big addition to his team as he inches closer to a 2008 Senate bid, former Kerrey/Nelson/Fahey campaign honcho Paul Johnson. Still no word from (Draft) Scott Kleeb on a possible bid.

  • Georgia: Spineless Saxby Chambliss is taking heat on tax issues from Allen Buckley, a Libertarian Party candidate for Senate in 2008. Couple that with the loud chorus of boos Chambliss got over immigration reform back in May at his state's Republican convention, and, clearly, a lot of folks who should be populating Chambliss' base aren't too enthused about him. I don't think there is a critical mass of discontent with Chambliss among Georgia conservative circles (yet) for it to make an electoral difference, but it's always nice to hear.


    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

    It was great to see the Louisville Courier-Journal finally acknowledge what I have said about McConnell for years! All the more reason to support the candidacy of Andrew Horne. What's the chance of your adding him to the Expand the Map page? He's raised significant funds in small amounts and won 2 big endorsements ( and Change For Kentucky--the state chapter of Democracy for America) in the 2 weeks of his candidacy. Plus, he has been traveling Eastern KY and speaking out against mountain-top removal!!!

    7:06 AM, December 29, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    I'm following Horne closely, especially after his impressive introductory video. Kentucky's filing deadline is just a month away, so I'm keeping a close eye on developments.

    10:40 AM, December 29, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

    Yeah, I ran that video twice on my blog, Kentucky Fried Politics ( The day he first announced & again the day that endorsed him.

    Unfortunately, the DSCC seems to be courting Bruce Lunsford, a Democrat in Name Only--and, if we have a divisive primary, McConnell will laugh all the way back to the Senate! I was impressed at the way Horne waited until it was clear that bigger name KY Dems like Crit Luallen were NOT going to run before he announced. He knows the stakes are too high for an ego trip--and he has learned much about campaigning since his '06 primary loss to Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) for the 3rd District seat that Anne Northup(R) held for 10 LOONG years. (Yarmuth was the better candidate in '06, but, as I said, Horne has grown.)

    12:46 PM, December 29, 2007  
    Blogger bryzaguy said...

    Love this blog. Keep up the good work.

    12:08 AM, January 02, 2008  
    Blogger bryzaguy said...

    Just thought you might want Scott Syme's (Idaho Senate Candidate) website address. It's

    12:09 AM, January 02, 2008  

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