Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Items

  • Maine: It has now been three weeks since I sent my open e-mail to Susan Collins' communications staff about hearings she held (or didn't hold) during her tenure as Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. I guess I'll just have to send it again and hope for a response.

  • Minnesota: Rasmussen Reports just released a poll showing Al Franken with a narrow 49-46 lead over Smilin' Norm Coleman (and Coleman with a narrow 47-45 lead over Mike Ciresi). This represents an overall ten point gain for Al Franken since Rasmussen's October poll showing Coleman with a 49-42 lead. This is also the second polling operation to see Franken with a narrow lead over Coleman, but Coleman with a narrow lead over Ciresi, following a Minnesota Public Radio poll conducted at the end of January.

  • Louisiana: Despite the support of former Governor Jeb Bush's political machine and an edge in the polls within days of the primary, Mitt Romney managed to lose the Florida Republican primary to John McCain by almost 100,000 votes. Romney's campaign director in Florida was Mandy Fletcher, who is now joining the campaign of recent-Republican state Treasurer John Neely Kennedy. With Fletcher's recent experience in stunning losses, we hope more of the same is brought to Treasurer Kennedy's campaign against Senator Mary Landrieu. Does Fletcher have extensive familiarity with the political landscape of Louisiana, at least? Says Fletcher, "The only two people I know in Louisiana is a guy from high school who works for the Saints and Alan Levine." We'll take that as a "No."

  • Idaho: Serving as another signal that Democrats across the country are committed to a competitive Senate race in Idaho, Montana Senator Jon Tester will be the special guest at a fundraiser in early March for Senate candidate and former Congressman Larry LaRocco. Also, today is the day that LaRocco will unveil his new radio ad criticizing Republican Jim Risch for dishonestly breaking his promise regarding tax increases.

  • New Mexico and Colorado: The Udall boys, Congressman Tom and Mark, get some great press in Outdoors Magazine in a profile that outlines one of the methods by which Democrats have worked to reclaim the Mountain West:

    They've positioned themselves as conservationists, forging alliance with sportsmen and farmers while painting Republicans as tools for mining and gas.
    The Democratic agenda clearly works best for Americans. I fully expect Congressmen Udall to effectively make the case to their respective states in this regard.

  • Tennessee: Former Nashville Mayoral candidate Kenneth Eaton is about to enter the 2008 Senate race against Lamar Alexander. On the Democratic side, only former Green Party member Chris Lugo is in the race, while former Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Bob Tuke continues to consider a bid.

  • Over at Booman Tribune, an analysis is offered as to which Democratic Presidential candidate would offer the longest coattails to Democratic candidates for Senate, based on the Presidential candidates' performances in each state's primary/caucus. If you consider Virginia, New Hampshire, and New Mexico relatively safe Democratic Senate pick-ups, the next five tightest races are Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, and Alaska. Four of those five states have already had their Democratic primary/caucus (Oregon's turn isn't until May 20). All four were won by Barack Obama, and won by a very sizable average margin of over 34% (ranging from 19% in Maine to 49% in Alaska). By this particular metric that BooMan analyzes, Obama stands out as a potentially much more helpful top-of-the-ticket for Democratic candidates for Senate than Hillary Clinton would be.


    Blogger joeboo22 said...

    Ensign claims he is close to recruiting two heavyweights to run in Iowa and South Dakota.... I don't know about Iowa but South Dakota I can only think of two if Rounds isn't the one..

    Bill Janklow
    Larry Deadrick

    I don't think either of them would be considered a Heavyweight....

    3:41 PM, February 19, 2008  
    Blogger Ari said...

    Very good observation about how Democrats can win in the West. I keep reiterating to all the Dems I know that the south is the past, while the west is the future for the party. And I am of the opinion that we need a western VP on the ticket this year. Imagine the coattails throughout the Mountain West if we ran an Obama/Schweitzer ticket this year. We would force McCain to spend resources defending his own turf!

    5:10 PM, February 19, 2008  

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