Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Saturday Items

  • New Mexico: Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez has dropped out of the Senate race and pledged his full support to Congressman Tom Udall. Not having to spend heavily in a primary or deflect any political attacks from Chavez makes Udall's advantage over Republican Congresscritters Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson (who should have a very costly, bruising primary) even stronger. Current polling already shows Udall with a significant leg up on both the ethically-compromised Wilson and the far-right-wing Pearce.

  • Oregon: A new poll by The Oregonian and KGW-TV puts Gordon Smith's approval down at 40%; and, better yet, KGW-TV's broadcast of the poll numbers points out that Smith's approval among Republicans is below 50%. Smith should take the time to savor 2008; it will be his last year as a U.S. Senator.

  • Kentucky: With state Auditor Crit Luallen and state Attorney General Greg Stumbo making it clear that a 2008 Senate bid by either is unlikely, there is apparently a push to get newly-elected Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo to enter the Senate fray against Mitch McConnell. Especially if Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Horne is aggressively working to round up support, I wouldn't expect Mongiardo to go for it, having just been elected to the Lt. Gov. office, but you never know. Democratic businessman Greg Fischer also continues to consider a bid. Meanwhile, the DSCC catches the dishonest McConnell in a bold-faced lie about his record on health care, touting support for medical research just a month after voting against funding for medical research! McConnell just doesn't care about the truth. In related news, Keith Olbermann declares McConnell to be the Worst Person in the World.

  • North Carolina: Public Policy Polling makes an interesting comparison between undecided voters in the 2008 Democratic Senate primary and those in the 1998 Democratic Senate primary.

  • Virginia: Republican Jim Gilmore continues to demonstrate how hilarious he is.

  • USA Today looks at the Udall family political dynasty. (HT: Colorado Pols)


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Something that goes under-reported: Ron Wyden's approval rating in that same poll is just 45%.

    4:54 PM, December 08, 2007  
    Blogger Johnny C said...

    If Wyden is only at 45% and the gov at 38% it would seem that the people of Oregon are in a very anti-incumbent mood. Not a good sign for Smith (Wyden is lucky he does not have to run in 2008). VA have you seen the actual poll? Does it test any of the representatives - that kind of anti incumbent mood could be dangerous for all of the office holders up in 2008.

    5:01 PM, December 08, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    The Republican Times Disgrace? Raising Kaine is on a roll... good find, Guru.

    5:27 PM, December 08, 2007  
    Blogger Eric In Manassas said...

    va blogger,

    That's a good point, but Wyden isn't running this year. If Wyden's numbers are like that when he's next up for re-election than that'd be a fair point, it looks to me right now that there is a heavy anti-incumbent feel in Oregon right now. That hurts Senator Smith.

    8:06 PM, December 08, 2007  
    Blogger Tom said...

    Hey! Mark Udall is not using his old site: anymore

    His new site is:

    NOTE: .com NOT .org

    9:26 PM, December 08, 2007  
    Blogger Tom said...

    oops! I mean Tom Udall sorry!

    9:26 PM, December 08, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Perhaps, but it'll be interesting how someone like Jeff Merkeley can run an anti-incumbent campaign, given his career and resume.

    10:50 PM, December 08, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - It shouldn't be too difficult for Jeff Merkley to run an anti-incumbent campaign given that A) he's not the incumbent and B) he disagrees with the incumbent on numerous issues, putting him more in line with Oregon voters than the incumbent.

    12:17 AM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    However, Oregon voters clearly are frustrated with both their state government and federal government (given Kulongowski's even lower approval rating in the same poll), and Merkley is a state government leader, and is a career politician.

    10:04 AM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    Frohnmayer for Senate!

    10:46 AM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - I see, one Democratic politician get a lackluster approval rating, so of course you can immediately apply it to another Democratic politician and make it reflect poorly on him, no questions asked. That's how it works. Why even bother inserting a Democrat's name when gauging approval, since it applies to any Democrat?

    Oh, and career politician? Do you EVER get tired of the lies, va blogger? Ever? Merkley is in his fifth two-year term as a state legislator. In other words, the 51-year-old Merkley has been an elected politician for less than a decade. Before that, he spent seven years as President of the World Affairs Council of Oregon. Before that, he was Director of Housing Development at Human Solutions. Before that, he was local executive director of Habitat for Humanity. Before that, he was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.

    Where do you get "career politician?" Could it be, va blogger, that you are once again lying? Do you feel ashamed or stupid when you're caught in a lie? Or do you just not care?

    12:09 PM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    "va blogger - I see, one Democratic politician get a lackluster approval rating, so of course you can immediately apply it to another Democratic politician and make it reflect poorly on him, no questions asked. That's how it works. Why even bother inserting a Democrat's name when gauging approval, since it applies to any Democrat?"

    What in the world are you talking about?

    Its not a matter that one politician's rating rubs off on another. This isn't comparing politicians, this is a matter of government. Oregonians are frustrated with the federal government. How do I know? Because the President, Congress, Senator Smith, and Senator Wyden all have sub-par approval ratings. Oregonians are also frustrated by local government. Kulongowski has an even lower approval rating than Smith and Wyden. It stands to reason that, if Oregonians are frustrated with federal government, state government, and officials belonging to those entities, they are also frustrated with the leader of the Oregon House of Representatives. According to the polls, it doesn't matter what party they belong to. Voters are frustrated. But I agree with you: Democrats should try to increase partisanship, because that's clearly what voters are looking for.

    12:38 PM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    va blogger-?

    What are the odds that you have a picture of Senator Joseph MaCarthy(R-WI) tattooed on your ass?

    3:08 PM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Oregonians want an end to the Iraq War. A vote for Smith is a vote for the status quo.

    5:48 PM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Merkley supported the war the same time Smith did. Gordon Smith now favors a change in course in Iraq. Where's the difference between them?

    7:31 PM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    The difference, va blogger, is that you are, once again, completely lying. Do you ever feel the slightest bit ashamed?

    I assume that you're refering to Merkley's voting in favor of a resolution supporting the troops in Iraq, and disingenuously twisting that to represent support for the war? I assume that, va blogger, because time and time again you're completely dishonest.

    Anybody interested in the truth can check out Merkley's floor speech on the resolution I assume va blogger is refering to. va blogger, if you're not refering to that resolution, however, please enlighten us.

    9:39 PM, December 09, 2007  
    Blogger Neal said...

    Merkley was a member of the Oregon State House of Representative when he supported the so called no binding resolution supporting the US Troops in Iraq and its mission. The last I check- State Legislators have no power in deciding whether or not a war occurs. Smith as US Senator has the authority to approve the declaration of war.

    Oregon is a blue state at the national level- Because Democrats will have the advantage at the national level-. A Republican Senator from a Blue State like Smith is highly vulnerable.

    9:02 AM, December 10, 2007  
    Blogger jak said...

    When Va Blogger has nothing left to go on, he can always resort to that old Republican standby - flagrantly distorting the record of his political opponents. In 2003, Jeff Merkley said the following in regard to his vote on the pro-troop (NOT pro-war) resolution:

    "Colleagues, I have not been and am not today persuaded that Iraq was a significant threat to the United States or that the war we fight today is the best strategy to fight terrorism or the wisest application of our superpower resources. But that is a conversation or a debate for another day.

    Today I rise to praise our young men and women serving our nation at great personal risk. Today we are not Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal; we are Americans concerned about the safety and support of our troops."

    If anything, Va Blogger is illustrating that Merkley is a fair-minded, principled statesman able to put petty, Va Blogger/Unabridged/Paid Liar partisan-style politics aside, and do what is best for the country in his own sagacious judgment.

    Merkley understood the vital importance of expressing our unqualified support for the troops in harm's way, even while he sharply disagreed with the chauvinistic civilian policies which placed them there.

    He understands that support of our armed forces is not a political issue but a moral imperative, and that warmongering and true patriotism ought never to be conflated as the current administration and its congressional lapdogs have done.

    Indeed, as Bush and Cheney did everything in their power to politicize the Iraq War, Gordon Smith went along every step of the way, going so far as to tell the Oregonian: "I've done everything that conservatives want." His election-year conversion comes four years too late for the dozens of Oregonians sent home in body bags as a result of his actions.

    1:32 PM, December 10, 2007  
    Blogger jak said...

    "Perhaps, but it'll be interesting how someone like Jeff Merkeley can run an anti-incumbent campaign, given his career and resume."

    That is one of the most pathetically dishonest statements Va Blogger has ever contrived. He's wondering how a relatively unknown state legislator can run an "anti-incumbent" campaign against an unpopular, two-term United States Senator. How can state treasurer John N. Kennedy run an anti-incumbent campaign against Mary Landrieu in Louisiana? How can state representatives Joel Dykstra and Michael Lange challenge Tim Johnson and Max Baucus respectively?

    Va Blogger constructs a false narrative about virtually every race in a pathetic attempt to handicap and smear the Democratic candidate and unduly enhance the Republican candidate. One could argue that the Guru does the same with the parties reversed, but unlike Va Blogger, the Guru doesn't fabricate material facts to support his views.

    6:34 PM, December 10, 2007  

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