Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thursday Items

  • Distance from their next targets on the Expand the Map! ActBlue page: Tom Allen only $12, Larry LaRocco only $97, Rick Noriega only $112. Please contribute a little if you can! Thanks!!!

  • Oregon: Steve Novick's Senate campaign is reporting that it took in about $210,000 in Q4. It will be interesting to compare that figure to Speaker Jeff Merkley's take. Meanwhile, Democratic primary debate negotiations are moving along at an awkward pace:

    At issue: while the Merkley team wants debates with all candidates included, the Novick camp wants just the two Democratic frontrunners to square off.
    Given that Novick has been working hard to portray himself as the outsider, insurgent campaign, it definitely rubs me the wrong way that his camp is trying to keep other, lesser-known candidates out of at least the early debates, keeping them from gaining exposure. Kudos to Merkley's move for inclusion.

  • Idaho: Democrat Larry LaRocco highlights how paranoid and generally freaked out Republican Jim Risch sounds in his fundraising appeal. LaRocco also notes that two-thirds of his contributors are from Idaho.

  • New Mexico: Joe Monahan gives us a heads up that January 23 is Steve Pearces loves Dick Cheney Day. He also reminds us that Cheney did a fundraiser for Heather Wilson back in November, bringing in about $110,000.

  • Texas: The Dallas News laughably questions if the campaign to oust John Cornyn is "Mission Impossible," particularly given Cornyn's allegiance to George W. Bush. Need we remind the Dallas News that Bush's approve-disapprove in Texas, according to a June Survey USA poll (the last month SUSA polled in Texas**), was gauged at a lousy 41-57, and that Cornyn's approve-disapprove was clocked at an abysmal 42-43, making Cornyn one of the least popular members of the Senate. (**Count me as a believer in the conspiracy theory that Cornyn's camp got the local media outlets sponsoring the SUSA polls in Texas to stop, given that it revealed Cornyn's awful numbers. Texas mysteriously stopped having month-to-month tracking in June.)

  • This is the most powerful political ad I've seen in a long time:


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

    Yes, and it came out just as I was finally deciding to endorse John Edwards and volunteer for him--although with KY's primary in May, the nomination will probably have long been decided. And it will be hard for Edwards to get past NH and also hard for him to win the general election within the funding limits of federal matching funds--although that shows the strength of his convictions.

    My evolution to endorsing Edwards is found here:

    I'd love to help you expand the map, but I have to split my very limited salary between helping Edwards and helping Andrew Horne. Sorry! I have encouraged Texas members of my family (the ones who aren't Republican!!) to support Noriega with time and money.

    I am skeptical that Dems can win Idaho this year, but I REALLY hope Larry LaRocco proves me wrong! :-)

    2:41 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger Kevin said...

    Excellent point about Merkley wanting to include all of the lesser-known candidates.

    It seems pretty obvious that Novick's campaign wants to ride Merkley's coattails without wanting anyone else to.

    3:19 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger Johnny C said...

    Before we laud Merkley too much or criticize Novick too heavily, I think it is only fair to note that having everyone on the stage is a good strategy for Merkley. It lessens Novick's stature and makes him appear one of a fringe pack rather than an equal. Much like an incumbent benefits from a debate with numerous challengers (none of whom have time to distinguish themselves) Merkley benefits from having everyone there. I happen to agree with Merkley's position but let at least acknowledge that this is as much politics as principle (or at a minimum politics and principle coincide here).

    4:35 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    johnny c - It may be politically advantageous for Merkley. (Maybe it won't be. As the perceived front-runner, perhaps Merkley will just have more people trying to take shots at him...)

    Regardless, it is the right thing to do, no?

    5:07 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger youngbuckbear said...

    What do you get when you cross GOP losers and Buckcherry?


    5:21 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger Torrid said...

    Please correct this information, it doesn't appear supported by any facts. According to my conversations with both the Novick and Neville campaigns, no objections were raised by any campaign about all candidates participating--and in fact, Neville confirms she is invited to the first two debates proposed (that Novick has also agreed to). The only reference that indicates otherwise is in PolitickerOR, which itself cites Willamette Week. However, no such statement is ever made, by the campaigns or the paper. Further, in a prior article appearing in the Oregonian, the Novick campaign explicitly welcomed all candidates.

    I have two sources who were at the negotiations--including one of the candidates who would certainly say so if they were excluded--who make it clear that what is written about Novick in this case is not true. What did your conversations with the campaigns yield?

    6:02 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger Rob Millette said...

    If I were the guru, I'd be adding Andrew Horne to my expand the map project anyway. Since I think he willat some future time, I think you are helping him expand the map.

    6:36 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger Torrid said...

    The article cited about Novick now no longer contains the line cited in this story, see the updated version at:

    8:14 PM, January 03, 2008  
    Blogger Sean said...

    Seems my predictions about the Iowa results (at least on the Democratic side) were pretty acurate. =)

    12:42 AM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger Johnny C said...

    True Guru,

    I agree it is the right thing to do but it is an easy spot to be principled for Merkley because (at least in my opinion) it is also good tatics for Merkley.

    9:56 AM, January 04, 2008  

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