Alaska: Ted Stevens' own pollster is conceding Stevens' vulnerability, and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich isn't shy about piling on:
"He's more vulnerable than he has been before," conceded Anchorage pollster and political consultant Dave Dittman, who is working for the Stevens campaign.As kos has suggested, if Begich did not plan on running, he would let people know by the end of 2007, so that others might mount campaigns. Begich's silence is an indication that he is biding his time and may announce in the Spring. And with poll numbers looking so promising so early, Begich can afford to bide his time while the specter of Stevens' corruption looms large. (HT: Cliff Schecter)
Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich predicts both Stevens and Alaska Congressman Don Young will be gone after 2008.
"The delegation for the first time in decades will have serious competition for those seats," said Begich, 45, who is contemplating a run as a Democrat against the 84-year-old Stevens. "And I do believe those seats will change over." ...
Begich said people, at times lifelong Republicans, come up to him every day and urge him to run. Some don't like Stevens but many think it is just time for a new generation, he said. That's liable to be a theme in any Begich campaign for the Senate.
Mississippi: Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove is touring the state today as he announces his 2008 Senate bid, and he isn't shy about criticizing GOP Senate-appointee Roger Wicker's record:
He criticized Wicker’s party-line voting record, saying:Meanwhile, with former Congressman Ronnie Shows also entering the race, and with the special election taking the form of a "Louisiana-style jungle election," many wonder if both Musgrove and Shows being in the race will help Democrats by increasing turnout and forcing a run-off between Wicker and the stronger Democratic candidate, or if they will hurt each other and help Wicker avoid a run-off. Stay tuned as events unfold!
• Wicker voted eight times to raise the national debt and helped take the federal budget from a surplus to a $200 million deficit.
• Wicker voted five times against toughening border security and opposed tougher penalties for businesses that hire illegal aliens.
• Wicker voted 10 times against raising the minimum wage and eight times against extending unemployment benefits to people who had lost their jobs.
“The American dream has hit a ceiling,” he insisted as he continued to hammer concerns for the economy.
He also criticized Wicker for supporting tax incentives for companies that took their jobs overseas and for pork barrel projects, including the so-called “$400 million bridge to nowhere” in Alaska.
Maine: Maine Owl offers a terrific analysis highlighting the hypocrisy of Susan Collins grandstanding against issues of corruption in the United Nations' Oil-for-Food program in Iraq while doing absolutely nothing in her role as Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affair Committee to offer any oversight against the Bush Administration and its corporate cronies relating to Iraq.
Virginia: Republican Jim Gilmore will definitely have primary opposition in the 2008 Senate race in the person of conservative state delegate Bob Marshall.
Minnesota: Al Franken just announced via press release that his Q4 fundraising take for 2007 will hit about $1.88 million, bringing his cash-on-hand to over $3 million. You may recall that Franken's impress fundraising prowess has made Norm Coleman look bad in 2007. Also, MN Blue offers a thorough round-up of the 2008 Minnesota Senate race so far. An excellent primer, especially on Norm Coleman's patented Norm-speak.
Oregon: Another reason Speaker Jeff Merkley could thump Gordon Smith? Voters will respect the fact that Merkley won't let running for Senate interfere with his execution of his current duties as Speaker of the Oregon state House.
Nebraska: Republican quitter Mike Johanns raised $1.5 million for his 2008 Senate race, about 40% of which came from his fundraiser with George W. Bush. Johanns has $1 million in cash-on-hand.