Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Saturday Tidbits

  • Mississippi: Democratic former Governor Ronnie Musgrove is in the 2008 Senate race for the seat from which Trent Lott resigned. He will apparently hold a series of announcement events on Monday.

    This is shaping up to be Musgrove vs. Roger Wicker. One poll saw Wicker leading Musgrove 47-39 and another poll saw Musgrove leading Wicker 48-34. In other words, this will be a close, competitive race. Mississippi blogger Will Bardwell highlights five issues that can beat Wicker: SCHIP, Big Oil, Iraq, the minimum wage, and college loans. I'd add that Wicker's ethical questions surrounding his cozy relationship with the Aurora Corporation could be potent, as well. Fun fact: "Musgrove and Wicker are longtime friends and shared an apartment in Jackson when they served together in the state Senate."

    But wait! A single Associated Press report is just breaking that Democratic former Congressman Ronnie Shows will also run for the Senate seat! I'll keep an eye out for more stories. If true, expect polling in the coming weeks to determine which Democratic Ronnie, Musgrove or Shows, matches up more strongly against Wicker.

  • Louisiana: It looks like GOP Rep. Richard Baker is very likely to retire from the House at the end of this term to head the hedge-fund industry's trade association. Should this occur, he would join fellow Louisiana House Republican Jim McCrery in retirement. Couple this with Bobby Jindal's departure from the House to the Governor's office, and there are two clear reasons why this helps Senator Mary Landrieu's 2008 Senate re-election bid. First, it simply means more work to do for the LA-GOP and more races that they thought they could take for granted that make now see competition and require a division of limited resources (resources that could have been solely focused on the Senate race). Second, with all the impending House rookies coming from Louisiana this November, as SSP's James notes, "that might even help Sen. Mary Landrieu by making her seniority seem all the more crucial."

  • Oregon: Following yesterday's announcement that the electrical workers' union has backed Speaker Jeff Merkley candidacy for Senate in 2008, the Oregon chapter of the American Federation of Teachers has followed suit. They also join such other prominent unions as the Oregon AFL-CIO and Oregon AFSCME Council 75 in backing Merkley.

  • Kudos to the New Hampshire Republican Party for not accepting Fox News as its Propagandist-in-Chief.


    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

    Lots of good news. Now, if only the NH Democrats were as tough with ABC/Disney over their exclusion of Dennis Kucinich who polls nationally better than Biden, Dodd, and Richardson--all of whom were given invitations before Biden and Dodd dropped out.
    The Mouse is trying to repeat the DesMoines Register's exclusion. No, Kucinich can't win. But his inclusion expands the conversation. And that expansion makes it clear that Clinton is too conservative.

    Heck, even in the debates he managed to get into, he had to ask himself questions or answer about UFOs for crying out loud!!!

    3:56 PM, January 05, 2008  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    The news out of MS is NOT good -- there is no primary before a special election, which means that it doesn't matter who matches up better against Wicker, Shows or Musgrove. If both are viable, they will split the vote and we will lose. Someone needs to get Shows out of the race.

    9:32 PM, January 05, 2008  
    Blogger JeremiahTheMessiah said...

    Sleep, if Musgrove and Shows break 50%+1 when they are put together, the one who gets more of the vote will go on to run against Wicker.

    If Wicker wins the first bout with >50%, he has no runoff. If he wins with <50%, there is a runoff. We need Shows and Musgrove to get turnout up, and let the winner fight Wicker. If you understand the system, having two or three Democrats actually helps get a runoff.

    5:05 PM, January 06, 2008  
    Blogger Rob Millette said...

    the problem here is that Mississippi has its cutoff for entering the primary the 11th of Jan. Ronnie Shows won't be able to get into the 3rd district race, where he is desperately needed if he goes for this race. Its also very likely that Musgrove could break 50% in a special election since he is known statewide and Wicker is not.

    5:21 PM, January 06, 2008  
    Blogger The Sleep said...

    Jeremiah: Colour me sceptical. It seems to me that has always been the strategy of the losing party in LA. I don't know LA history but certainly in the last couple of cycles it has never worked. The party that coalesces around a single viable nominee seems to be the one that breaks the 50 barrier. I guess we'll see.

    10:47 PM, January 06, 2008  

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