Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday Briefs

  • Mississippi: A primarily Democratic pollster found that former Governor Ronnie Musgrove is leading Republican Rep. Roger Wicker by double-digits (48-34) in a possible match-up to succeed Trent Lott. Mississippi's Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has ten days from this past Tuesday, the day Lott formally resigned, to appoint a successor until a special election. Whether the special election will be held in the next 100 days or on Election Day 2008, of course, will likely be decided in the courts.

  • Alaska: Ted Stevens' first Republican primary opponent has stepped up to the plate, and it's someone Ted is rather familiar with:

    Anchorage developer David Cuddy is making another run against Ted Stevens.

    Cuddy said he would file a letter of intent after New Year's to run in the 2008 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. He last challenged Stevens over a decade ago.

    Cuddy comes from one of Alaska's most prominent banking families. He's a former state legislator and used to be president of First National Bank of Anchorage. He spent time earlier this decade living in Los Angeles, consulting for the entertainment industry.

    Cuddy spent roughly $1 million, most of that from his own bank account, in an unsuccessful effort to wrest the party nomination from Stevens in 1996. Cuddy got just 27 percent of the primary vote then.

    Cuddy, 55, ran that race as a conservative who said he wanted to shrink government and cut taxes. It turned into a hard-hitting campaign in which Cuddy accused Stevens in a series of advertisements of breaking the law and abusing the perks of power. The Federal Election Commission ended up dismissing a claim by Cuddy that Stevens' 1990 campaign committee improperly spent campaign contributions on him and his staff.

    Cuddy said Friday that in this race he doesn't plan to make an issue of the federal investigation of Stevens.

    The FBI and IRS raided Stevens' Girdwood home in late July as part of a probe into corruption in Alaska politics. Stevens has not been charged.
    Cuddy has experience in the public sector, experience in business, conservative cred, and money to at least partially self-finance a run. And Cuddy should make it a point to say at every single campaign stop, "I don't intend to make an issue out of the numerous corruption investigations by the FBI, IRS, and others into Ted Stevens' wheelings and dealings." Heck, he should say it every other paragraph so people know for sure that he doesn't intend to make it an issue. By the way, shrinking government and cutting taxes (and, based on that, probably limiting the earmarks for which Ted Stevens is so notorious)? Sounds like a candidate the Club for Growth could really get behind in a primary challenge to Stevens.

  • Oklahoma: Jim Inhofe misleading the public on climate change and global warming? No!?! Actually, yes.

  • Idaho: Democratic Senate candidate and former Congressman Larry LaRocco released his position paper on immigration issues.

  • Texas: Stop Cornyn has rounded up its 12 Days of a Cornyn Christmas. My favorite: Four Undisclosed Earmarks.

  • A Republican dirty-trickster, pissed at the Republican establishment for throwing him under the bus, tells all in a new book. It should be very enlightening reading. (Fun fact: the author frequently compares Mitch McConnell to "a sheet of drywall.")


    Blogger Eric In Manassas said...


    Those numbers really aren't that good for Musgrove. It's good that he's at least leading, but it's not great. Musgrove was won a state-wide election (at least one), and as such has a lot more name recognition. Moreover, he'll be hurt by this being a Presidential election year. He would at least keep this seat competive and force the GOP to drop some more money in the seat. And if the GOP is spending money to hold a seat in dark red Missippi I can't see anything but good that comes out of that.

    The primary challenger for Stevens is actually probably a bad thing, he looks like he has a credible shot at knocking Stevens out (or more likely forcing him into retirement) and that'd make it much less likely that Begich would enter into the race and that we'd have a serious shot at contesting it. I just can't see how we can win that seat with out Tubes Stevens on the ballot.

    12:23 AM, December 23, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    Presidential Race coattails will have a great effect on the so called Competitive US Senate Races.

    Democratic Held Senate Seats that are Safe- Not being contested by Republicans- Incumbent Democrat running unopposed.

    Democratic Held Senate Seats- that are Safe- Republicans fielded token opposition- sacrificial lamb challengers.

    Democratic Held Seat that is Vulnerable- or Potentially competitive.

    Republican Held Seat that is Safe- Not being contested by Democrats- Republican incumbents running unopposed.

    Republican Held Seats that are safe - Democrats fielded token oppositon- Sacrificial lamb challengers.

    Republican Held Seats that are Vulnerable or potentially competitive

    Based on Presidential Coattails- The Democrats are favored to hold on to NJ(Lautenberg). Republicans will be favored to hold on to
    AL(Sessions),AK(Stevens),GA(Chambliss),ID(OPEN-Craig),KY(McConnell),MS(OPEN-Lott),NE(OPEN-Hagel),NC(Dole),OK(Inhofe),TX(Cornyn),and WY(Barasso).

    NM(OPEN-Domenici)and VA(OPEN-Warner) are Safe Pickups for the Democrats due to Strong Democratic Candidates- Tom Udall(NM) and Mark Warner(VA) and weak Republican opposition(Jim Gilmore(VA)and Heather Wilson(NM). Both of these races will be 60-40 races. +2D

    Republicans are favored to hold on to ME(Collins)-due to Collins high popularity.

    CO(OPEN-Allard),LA(Landrieu),MN(Coleman)NH(Sununu)and OR(Smith)are Tossups.

    The Democratic Presidential Nominee's victory in NH will help Democrats unseat(Sununu-NH) while the Republican Presidential Nominees victory in LA will help Republicans unseat(Landrieu-LA).

    Senate Races in CO,MN,and OR are pure tossups however- Democrats have a slight advantage in winning CO and Republicans have a slight advantage in winning OR.

    MN is too close to call.

    10:12 AM, December 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1:32 PM, December 24, 2007  
    Blogger Zachary said...

    Musgrove should not be too thrilled with his numbers. That he is already below 50% is a bad sign and that margin will likely decrease as Wicker's name recognition rises.

    Keep this in mind, in 1996, the first Nebraska polls had a similar margin, 49-36 Ben Nelson over an unknown named Chuck Hagel.

    Then again, I never had high hopes for Mississippi after Moore said "no".

    The race I am keeping an eye is Colordado - should be VERY close.

    Come on, more and better Udalls!

    6:54 PM, December 24, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    Merry Christmas from the loyal opposition.

    10:21 AM, December 25, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    My US Senate Prediction.
    8 US Senate Races are in play during the 2008 US Senate Election cycle
    CO,LA,ME,MN,NH,NM,OR,and VA.
    3 of those states- One party has an advantage of winning.
    Democrats have an advantage in winning VA and NM
    Republicans have an advantage in winning ME.

    5 of those states are Tossups.
    CO,LA,MN,NH,and OR.

    I will give the Democrats CO and Republicans OR.

    That leaves us LA,MN,and NH.

    10:20 AM, December 27, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    Neal, neither Maine nor Virginia is competitive. We have Maine. You have Virginia.

    10:39 AM, December 27, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    We also have New Mexico

    4:40 PM, December 27, 2007  

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