September 30, 2007
Think Big III: The Search for Candidates
by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math
I still firmly believe that the second priority after taking back the White House has to be increasing the Democratic margin in the Senate. At this point in the election cycle, the priority has to be making as many seats as possible potentially competitive. Dems already have an edge in Colorado, Virginia, and New Hampshire, so I'll leave those off the list. Otherwise, folks should consider adopting one of these fine candidates and throwing them some coin:
- Oregon: Jeff Merkely Update or Steve Novick
- Maine: Tom Allen
- Minnesota: Al Franken
- Texas: Rick Noriega
- Oklahoma: Andrew Rice
- Idaho: Larry Larocco
- Kentucky: Greg Stumbo (though Andrew Horne might run and get DSCC backing)
- Alabama: Vivian Figures
If none of these candidates strike your fancy, hope that one of these candidates enters the race:
- North Carolina: Grier Martin
- Nebraska: Bob Kerrey
- Kansas: Jim Slattery
- Alaska: Mark Begich
I haven't yet included New Mexico, where Pete Domenici's approval is cratering, or Wyoming, where Barasso isn't really an incumbent yet and Governor Freudenthal might be coaxed into running. At this point, only Lindsay Graham, Thad Cochran, Michael Enzi, and that m##*!)*&#*ing c*#*(!&)er, Saxby Chambliss appear truly invulnerable.
Update: Senate 2008 Guru's Expand the Map! Actblue page specifcally recommends Rice and Larocco to expand beyond the top six of CO-VA-NH-OR-MN-ME.
September 30, 2007 | Permalink
Supposing Tom Allen beats Susan Collins in Maine, is there any chance that Olympia Snowe will see the writing on the wall and become a Democrat? I don't think she'll be sitting too comfortably after watching popular New England Republicans like Chafee and Collins fall.
Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Sep 30, 2007 5:20:24 PM
Enzi? Barrasso? Both Wyoming Senators are up for reelection?
Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Sep 30, 2007 5:20:56 PM
I think it's more likely that Snowe would just start thumbing her nose at the Senate leadership. It's not like she needs them for reelection.
Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 30, 2007 5:21:33 PM
Cryptic Ned: Yes, Barasso has a special election to finish his term, and it's Enzi's regular turn.
Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 30, 2007 5:22:04 PM
i love franken. but he's not going to win this [easy] seat.
franken should quit, give all his money to ciresi (a guy who can win, post-ventura). until then, no coin.
Posted by: mydream | Sep 30, 2007 5:41:27 PM
Bob Kerrey?? Are you kidding?? Why in the world should I want another Lieberman in the Senate? Isn't one already too many?
Posted by: beckya57 | Sep 30, 2007 5:51:28 PM
The view from North Carolina is that Liddy Dole is ripe for the picking. Her support is practically nonexistent, largely because she's never here and no one can think of a damn thing she's accomplished since getting elected. I honestly can't think of single positive thing said about her by anyone in years.
Posted by: keptsimple | Sep 30, 2007 5:52:37 PM
keptsimple: then where is the challenger?
Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 30, 2007 6:00:29 PM
If you can believe it, incumbents have a stronger advantage in New Mexico than other places. If Domenici's support really does continue down the tubes - especially if that convinces him to retire - then this turns into a big chance for Democrats.
If Domenici retires, Heather Wilson will probably run for his seat, in part to avoid the fact that she won't be able to keep her own seat. NM-01 is primed to go Democratic, especially if it's an open seat.
Tom Udall (NM-03) could win Domenici's seat easily, but he's waiting around to see if the big D either retires or gets really vulnerable. That district shouldn't have too much trouble sending another Democrat to Congress. With very few things that need to go our way, NM's Congressional delegation could become 4/5 Democratic and pretty much stay that way forever.
So if you've got some cash to drop on Congress, don't let New Mexico drop off the radar the way it usually does.
Posted by: Stephen | Sep 30, 2007 6:00:35 PM
OR: No love for Steve Novick?
Posted by: George Tenet Fangirl | Sep 30, 2007 6:10:25 PM
Thanks Fangirl. I also wanted to point to Steve Novick as a genuine progressive with an impressive background who really could take the seat from Gordon Smith.
Posted by: Anthony Cantor | Sep 30, 2007 6:19:50 PM
Neil: to add here, if Collins is willing to vote with the Ds on cloture votes, she doesn't really need to become a D herself. She didn't vote for Cloture on EFCA, so I can't see her switching parties.
Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 30, 2007 6:56:38 PM
The real question is what is going to happen to politics in the U.S. after the Republican Party collapses. Will there be only one political Party? Will the current Republicans start voting in the Democratic Primaries? Which groups will benefit from the one party state and who will lose power?
Posted by: superdestroyer | Sep 30, 2007 6:58:44 PM
I don't think the GOP's going to collapse; they survived 1964, after all. Even if they do, there will always be a business-friendly party in the US, though a version that isn't so thoroughly corporatized, racist and reactionary would be nice.
Posted by: beckya57 | Sep 30, 2007 7:16:36 PM
An Andrew Rice victory in Oklahoma would be a double win: we would get a great legislator, and Jim Inhofe could go back to free-lancing meanness.
Posted by: Ereshkigal | Sep 30, 2007 7:20:38 PM
"keptsimple: then where is the challenger?"
Good question. Although the fact that the challenger isn't Erskine Bowles is somewhat comforting. Bowles squandered a 20 point lead against the charmless Richard Burr 3 years ago.
It's my understanding that Congressmen Brad Miller and Bob Etheridge have both decided against running. Retiring Governor Easley isn't runnng either.
So, um, I guess that's where the challenger ISN'T.
Grier Martin isn't a bad idea though. A recent poll show him trailing Dole by single digits - damn good considering he hasn't declared and nobody knows who he is.
Posted by: keptsimple | Sep 30, 2007 7:29:52 PM
If the Democrats do not get 60 seats in 2008, they will surely get them in 2010 and then the Republican Party will become irrelevant.
My guess is that after a second rout in the presidential election of 2012, the Republican Party will collapse. Demograhics changes in the U.S. were going to make it no matter what but the incompetence of the Bush Administration has not only destroyed the brand but ensure that their are no new Republicans candidates in the future.
Since no group currently in the Democratic Party will want to risk losing any party by leaving the one, dominant party, the most likely scenerio is for the Democratic Party to be the only relevant political party much like DC, Chicago, or Mass. function today.
Posted by: superdestroyer | Sep 30, 2007 7:30:07 PM
To quote a great film, "let's not start sucking each other's dicks quite yet."
Posted by: keptsimple | Sep 30, 2007 7:53:27 PM
If it works out that way, that's good with me, Nicholas. The big question is which side of cloture on universal health care she'd take. Here I'm thinking that the (D) or (R) beside her name would make a difference.
Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Sep 30, 2007 8:23:45 PM
In Maine, I get the sense that both Collins and Snowe see the writing on the wall - they're fast becoming th only northeastern Republicans left, which can't be lost on them, or their party. I also get the impression that Snowe is stronger than Collins, and may help drag her colleague across the finish line if needed. All of which is to say, it's going to be a bit of stretch to really take advantage of suspicions of Collins' vulnerability. The two of them really shore each other up, and they both try to look "just contrarian enough" to win over people who otherwise wouldn't vote for the current state of the GOP. If she's going to be pushed out rather than retire, I'd say it's now or possibly never.
Posted by: weboy | Sep 30, 2007 8:35:51 PM
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