Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Tidbits

  • Thank you so much! On the Expand the Map! ActBlue page, Tom Allen has reached the 10 contribution plateau and Rick Noriega has reached the 20 contribution plateau. My last ask for a while: Larry LaRocco is just one contribution away from the 25 contribution plateau. Can we get Larry LaRocco one more contribution?

  • On a personal note, it's always fulfilling to see a draft effort website auto-forward to the campaign website of the candidate they were trying to draft. What do I mean? Click on or and see where they go.

  • New Jersey: Another Garden State Republican, Ramapo College professor Murray Sabrin, is considering a 2008 Senate bid, joining businesswoman Anne Evans Estabrook and state senator-elect Joe Pennacchio. It's getting awfully crowded in there.

  • Oregon: The Oregon Republican Party is having a very difficult time finding anybody to run for statewide offices. My question: does this help or hurt Gordon Smith? It could help him because, with no other viable candidates for other offices, the OR-GOP and party activists would focus singularly on his re-election bid. But it could hurt him because, with no other exciting Republican candidates revving up the base, it could deflate enthusiasm among Republicans and hurt Smith's turnout. Worse for Smith, what if some real wingnuts run unopposed for the Republican nominations for these statewide offices and spout far-right-wing Republican rhetoric, reminding moderate Oregon voters why they typically haven't elected Republicans statewide (except for Smith) in a long while.

  • North Carolina: Call me a crazy person clinging desperately to a glimmer of hope, but this exchange from Democratic Governor Mike Easley seems interesting:

    He has spent nearly 30 years in public office as a district attorney, attorney general, and now governor. Easley says he has avoided efforts from other Democrats to convince him to run for the U.S. Senate.

    “So next year when we have this interview we can talk about what I will do in the future,” he said.
    Next year he can talk about it? That wasn't a "I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not running for Senate." North Carolina's filing deadline isn't until February 29th 2008 (thank goodness for leap years). Maybe somebody should kick into gear a Draft Easley effort?

  • Texas: Want to know how low Texans regard John Cornyn? Even his alleged "supporters" don't really pay attention to the job Cornyn is doing:

    Cornyn presented his candidate paperwork for the March 4 primary at the Republican Party of Texas headquarters, alongside Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams. As he introduced Cornyn, Williams inadvertently said Cornyn "now serves us as a member of the United States Supreme Court," before correcting himself.
    Inept or apathetic? Either word could apply comfortably to Cornyn's style of governance.


    Blogger Eric In Manassas said...

    Getting Easley into the race would be a HUGE coup and would give us another top tier race. The problem from what I've heard from my family in North Carolina (a few of whom are active in the state democratic party) is that Easley is more likely to run for the Senate in '10 against the weaker Bill Burr. We should have SOMEBODY in that race though, a State Senator just isn't going to keep that race competitive. This isn't South Carolina we're talking about, we've got serious candidates in NC.

    1:12 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Good point, Eric... can anyone tell me what is happening with Erskine Bowles?

    1:16 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    We have our dream candidate running... Andrew Horne is in!! Wow!!

    1:22 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    I totally missed that post on Thursday... wow.

    1:24 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    First, its "Richard" Burr, not Bill. Second, I have a hard time believing Burr would be weaker than Dole, though part of that is attributed to the repeated ad nauseum yet non-sensical ramblings of liberal blogs that insisted, week after week, that Liddy Dole was vulnerable and North Carolina would be a top tier race. However, Burr ran a good campaign for a Senate leadership position, and although ultimately losing to Lamar Alexander, its clear that Burr has the support of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and, at some point in the future, will be in a leadership position.

    Third, its my understanding that Mike Easley is not interested in a Senate gig whatsoever. Its not that he doesn't like the year or thinks that he'll lose to Dole but beat Burr, its that he doesn't want to move to Washington and he doesn't want to be a legislator.

    But by all means, maintain a three-year "Draft Easley" project. It will be a constant source of amusement, I promise.

    1:34 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger Eric In Manassas said...

    va blogger,

    1) Yes, you're right, I mispoke/mistyped/got it wrong, whatever. I mixed his name up with the stand-up comedian.

    2) Burr is a presumably easier candidate to beat for a number of reasons.
    a) He didn't win his previous election by a particular large amount (only 5%) against a non-politician. He won a state that Bush carried that year by 12 points. He underperformed by 7 points, that's not insignificant.
    b) Richard Burr is a freshmen senator, you are never more vulnerable than your first re-election bid. Dole is a more entrenched incumbent with (presumably) a higher name recognition. Moreover, Dole is running with a Republican (or Hillary) helping her on the top of the ticket, Burr won't have that advantage.
    c) Dole is well-connected and has higher name recongition. Burr according to this has a lower approval/disapproval rating than Dole. He also has MUCH lower name recognition, a third of his constituents do not know who he is. After 3 years in the senate that's not real good numbers.

    3) Senator Dole IS vulnerable, when you start off with under 50% approval rating you are vulnerable. No top tier challenger ever materialized to challenge her, that doesn't mean she couldn't have been effectively challenged if the right candidate had jumped in. Sort of like say, with Frank Lautenberg in New Jersey.

    4) Maybe Easley won't jump in, maybe Rounds and Hoeven won't jump in either. Mark Warner probably isn't going to like going from top dog to Senator, but he's still running. It depends on how ambitious he is, maybe he'll run and maybe he won't. He hasn't confirmed either way. Do you give up on John Hoeven and Mike Rounds because they haven't expressed interest in running for the senate?

    5) If you're going to be a condescending ass, it's time to stop whining when you get banned from various websites.

    5:18 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Somehow VA is still on NLS.

    5:58 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger GSOBadger said...

    I agree that the big guns in the NC Democratic party will go after the "easy pickings" - Burr in 2010. Remember that no one has successfully defended that seat since Sen. Ervin in 1968 - that's right, in every election since 1974 that seat has been won by a first time Senator. It has gone Republican in every Presidential year and Democratic in every non-Presidential year. With Burr's approval ratings he ranks as one of the most likely incumbent losses in 2010.

    On the other hand, don't underrate Kay Hagen. I personally think she will run an excellent race. She will be hurt by the significantly higher Republican turnout in this state in Presidential year elections. But, if 2008 turns out anything like 2000 and 2006, this could end up being one of those surprise races.

    8:17 PM, December 16, 2007  
    Blogger Brian said...

    Easley=pick up, but from what I've read he's unlikely to ever run for the Senate. Still, a draft Easley movement wouldn't be a bad idea. What about the current state AG? I seem to remember polls from earlier in the year showing him almost in a statistical dead heat with Dole.And no Bowles, he's already blown two Senate races.

    1:27 AM, December 17, 2007  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Brian, if I recall correctly, although I don't have a link, I believe the Lt. Governor and the Attorney General are going to go at it for the governor's race in 2008.

    I would recommend checking the 2008 governor's races on wikipedia. If the Attorney General is planning on running for governor, it will be there under North Carolina.

    6:00 AM, December 17, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    JTM, the AG is running for re-election; the Lt. Gov and Treasurer are running for Gov.

    9:11 AM, December 17, 2007  
    Blogger Sean said...

    Dole's a freshman too.

    11:20 AM, December 17, 2007  
    Blogger mainefem said...

    Suzie Q's slimy supporters are so much?

    A stateouse official, Rep. H. David Cotta (R-China) is writing LTEs regarding Collins's "independence," (but fails to indicate his official role/title).


    2:06 PM, December 18, 2007  

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