Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Massive Thursday Rundown

  • Q4 fundraising numbers are out, and the DSCC again whoops the NRSC. In December alone, the DSCC outraised the NRSC $6.1 million to $3.1 million. In Q4-2007, the DSCC outraised the NRSC $13.3 million to $8.4 million. In the 2007 calendar year, the DSCC outraised the NRSC $55.4 million to $31.8 million. And, for cash-on-hand-minus-debt at the end of 2007, the DSCC crushes the NRSC $27.9 million to $12.1 million. Huge.

  • In a study of competitive House seats, the following finding was discovered:

    Key finding: "Democrats start off even with Republicans, 45% to 46%, in a challenging battleground that Republicans won by a 10-point margin in the past two elections."
    A terrific trend that should impact Senate battlegrounds as well.

  • New Hampshire: Speaking of Q4-2007, Republican John Sununu finally released his take of $920,000, which is only about 75% of popular former Governor Jeanne Shaheen's take of $1.2 million for the quarter.

  • Virginia: Some more Q4-2007: popular former Governor Mark Warner took in a hefty $2.7 million.

  • Michigan: Again speaking of Q4-2007, Senator Carl Levin took in another $840,000, bringing his cash-on-hand to just under $5 million.

  • Iowa: And yet again speaking of Q4-2007, Senator Tom Harkin took in another $802,000, bring his cash-on-hand to $3.4 million.

  • Oklahoma: Did somebody say Q4-2007? State Senator Andrew Rice reports an impressive take of $540,000, more than 70% of which came from Oklahomans. $225,000. [Correction: The $540K figure is the total take for 2007.]

  • Maine: And one last item on Q4-2007. We see another tight fundraising quarter between Democratic Congressman Tom Allen and Republican Susan Collins. Allen brought in $813,000 while Collins brought in $963,000. Meanwhile, Susan Collins and Karl Rove really are thick as thieves:

    Collins Gets Chummy With Rove

    Last weekend, the prestigious black-tie, closed-to-press Alfalfa Club dinner featured former Secretary of State Colin Powell, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, a host of members of Congress and, of course, President Bush. But we hear it wasn’t the campaign digs of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) that raised eyebrows, but rather Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and her chumminess with GOP Svengali Karl Rove.

    Sources say the two seemed to be enjoying a grand old time together, laughing and being very playful, which has the chattering class, well, chattering.

    This is not the first time their friendship has caused some rubbernecking. Turn Maine Blue, a progressive blog, recently launched a YouTube video that shows a CNN clip of the two — now prepare yourselves — walking together., an independent site that is “keeping an eye on Maine’s junior senator,” says, “It seems likely to me that we haven’t seen the last of that particular clip.”

    Meanwhile, we tried to find out whether Collins is Rove’s BFF, but he e-mailed that he was “running for [the] airport” and didn’t elaborate. As for Collins she said: "It is a great opportunity to catch up with a lot of old friends, including Karl Rove, Bill and Janet Cohen and Mary Margaret Valentini.”
    It's no surprise that Collins and Rove are tight, given what a good "team player" Collins is, and how in the Bush administration's pocket she has been these last seven years.

  • Wyoming: Could Republican Mike Enzi be considering retirement? The Hill reports:

    Enzi’s low fundraising numbers and the Senate GOP leadership’s repeated snubs of his bid for a coveted seat on the powerful Finance Committee have fueled speculation that the senator may leave Congress. ...

    “I’m not making any announcements because Wyoming people don’t like long campaigns,” Enzi said Tuesday. “The whole atmosphere changes once there’s an announcement.”

    He added: “I’m not telling anybody; I haven’t even told my family.”

    According to his most recent campaign filing, Enzi had $522,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the fourth quarter of 2007, collecting just under $110,000 in receipts since the previous quarter. That is far less than a typical Republican Senate candidate at this point in the election cycle.
    Enzi is, in the Guru's opinion, the safest Republican up for re-election, so he can certainly take his time; and it certainly doesn't take a ton of money to run in Wyoming. That said, it's something to keep an eye on, especially if there are Democrats who might consider a Senate bid for an open seat.

  • Colorado: George W. Bush will be fundraising for Backwards Bob Schaffer's 2008 Senate campaign today. Why is W taking such an interest in Bob Schaffer's campaign? Because Big Oil Bob knows how to play nice with W's corporate cronies in Big Oil, illustrated by Schaffer's atrocious record on energy and the environment. In response, ProgressNow released a scathing web ad on Big Oil Bob.

  • Oregon: Oy. More hijinks from a staffer from Steve Novick's 2008 Senate campaign. Fresh off of a Novick staffer's conflict-of-interest brouhaha over her leading an organization that was endorsing in the primary, we have another Novick staffer caught editing the Wikipedia entry of primary opponent Speaker Jeff Merkley. And, again (for now at least), there is silence from the Novick campaign higher-ups. C'mon, guys, this is beneath Democratic politics. Novick should remind his staffers that their actions reflect on him and that this stuff doesn't provide a positive reflection. In other Oregon news, Speaker Jeff Merkley has a message for Republican Gordon Smith: a rollover car accident couldn't slow Merkley down; so what chance does Gordon Smith have?

  • Minnesota: MN Blue catches Smilin' Norm Coleman pandering to conservatives (in other words, rhetorically selling out Minnesota moderates).

  • New Mexico: The conservative Club for Growth is getting involved in the NM-GOP 2008 Senate primary in support of Congressman Steve Pearce. This is exactly the type of support that will help him in the primary and hurt him in the general against Congressman Tom Udall. Good times.

  • Nebraska: Scott Kleeb should decide on whether or not to join the 2008 Senate race shortly after Super Duper Tuesday. Meanwhile, The Hill indicates that Senator Ben Nelson is motivated to get very personally involved in seeing Republican Mike Johanns lose his 2008 Senate bid:

    Johanns infuriated Nelson when he resigned his [Secretary of Agriculture] Cabinet post last fall to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Hagel.

    “He told me it [Agriculture Secretary] was the job he always wanted and I told Democratic senators that when I got them to vote for his confirmation,” Nelson said Wednesday after speaking at a breakfast on energy policy sponsored by The Hill. “Then he resigns to run for the Senate, and my Democratic colleagues all call me and say, ‘What happened? You said he was serious about being secretary of Agriculture.’”
    So Mike Johanns isn't just a quitter; he's also a liar.

  • North Carolina: I don't remotely think John Edwards will run for his old Senate seat now that he's withdrawn from the Presidential race. But that might not stop potential Draft John Edwards efforts.


    Blogger Ari said...

    To be technically correct, Guru, if John Edwards were to run for the North Carolina senate seat that Elizabeth Dole currently holds, he would not be running for his old seat. That seat is currently held by Richard Burr.

    4:24 PM, January 31, 2008  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

    Elizabeth Edwards is getting sicker, folks. That's the real reason that Edwards quit before Tsunami Tues--if he had stayed in he could have garnered enough delegates to keep Hillary from winning the nomination outright. The longer that race goes on, the better for Obama.

    So, with Elizabeth getting sicker, I doubt very much Edwards will begin another campaign.

    BTW, because I want a huge Dem. majority, I am glad we are outraising the GOP in $. But this is sad for longterm progressive politics: If Dem pols find they can fundraise as easily or better than the GOP, will they really push for public financing and keeping money out of politics? Because that's the only way we will get longterm elected officials that answer to the people instead of the wealthy donors.

    4:45 PM, January 31, 2008  
    Blogger Hokie Guru said...

    Nice to see you dab into the House, Senate 2008 Guru... TOM DAVIS IS NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION!!! YES!!!!

    11:29 PM, January 31, 2008  
    Blogger Quixote said...

    If Edwards were to run for NC Senate, would he be able to roll his leftover presidential money into his senate campaign?

    4:51 AM, February 01, 2008  
    Blogger Torrid said...

    Quit being dishonest about the Oregon Senate campaign. The "hijinks" you're referring to is the Merkley campaign making up a fake scandal, being smacked down publicly by the group they were supposedly defending, and turning out to have their concerns addressed BEFORE they went to the press to complain. Classy.

    If you're going to support a candidate whose only apparent engagement of his opponent is to have him smeared personally by surrogates, at least correct the record when--as you've had to multiple times--the facts turn out not as you reported them.

    11:50 AM, February 03, 2008  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    torrid - you're absolutely right. Everybody imagined that Liz Kimmerly was both a paid staffer for the Novick campaign AND the coordinator of a group endorsing in the primary in a suspiciously hasty fashion. Every imagined that conflict of interest. You're absolutely right.

    11:23 PM, February 04, 2008  

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