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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 11:27 AM
Original message
Thoughts on the Senate
The Senate looks much more winnable then the House, but will still be difficult to win back. However, I can't stand the idea of Congress being in Republican hands for another session, so we need to work on winning back these seats:

Open seats

Georgia
OK, this one looks almost impossible to win back. Sen. Zell Miller is retiring and this looks likely to go to either Rep. Johnny Isaakson or Rep. Mac Collins, both Republicans. This would be a Republican takeover, though considering Zell's voting record, it will seem like a holdover.

Illinois
However, Democrats seem assured to win back this seat. Sen. Fitzgerald is retiring and the Democrats look to be the winners in this state that's trending further left. State Sen. Barack Obama, Maria Pappas, and Comptroller Dan Hynes are the frontrunners for the nomination.

South Carolina
This would probably be a Republican takeover, if the Democrats didn't have such a wonderful candidate in State Supt. Inez Tenenbaum. The Republicans look to have a fractured and divisive primary in the wings, though For. Gov. David Beasley could be the clear-the-field candidate.

North Carolina
Erskine Bowles nearly won this seat in 2002 against superstar candidate Elizabeth Dole. If Sen. Edwards were on the ticket, this would probably help Bowles against Rep. Burr. I'm going out on a limb and predicting this as being 2004's closest race, and it could go either way.

Louisiana
Democrats have scored many major victories here as of late, with reelecting a senator, winning a House seat, and electing a Democratic governor. Rep. Chris John, For. Atty. Gen. Richard Ieyoub, and Treasurer Kennedy are all looking at the race, and will probably face off against Rep. David Vitter in a runoff. This should go to the Democrats, especially with Sen. Breaux helping them (though it will more than likely be Breaux protege John).

Florida
Sec. Mel Martinez has the blessing of the Bushs, but For. Rep. Bill McCollum and Speaker Johnny Byrd both will be strong in the primaries. The Democrats have Education Commissioner Betty Castor is leading Rep. Peter Deutsch for the primaries. Considering how well female Democrats have been doing in the South lately, Castor could best Martinez, especially if the national Democrat is running strong.

Oklahoma
Rep. Brad Carson is a strong, strong campaigner who is running against Kirk Humphreys, a mayor (mayors usually have a tough time winning statewide). Oklahoma just elected a Democratic governor and could follow suit by electing a Democratic senator.

Vulnerable Incumbents

Alaska
Normally, a Republican wouldn't have any difficulty winning in Alaska, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski was appointed by her father, an unpopuolar governor, and has made little impact in Alaska. She's running against a popular two-term governor, Tony Knowles. Murkowski's one advantage is that Bush will win Alaska by at least twenty points. This could be close, but Knowles will definitely run strong.

Pennsylvania
This state strongly elected a Democrat in 2002 as governor and has a strong Democrat running for the Senate, Rep. Joe Hoeffel. Rep. Pat Toomey is running a tough race against Sen. Specter, and either nominee could end up damaged by the primary. Hoeffel could pull this off, making it even easier to take Pennsylvania's other senate seat in 2006.

Missouri
This seat will be close. Missouri is a good opportunity for the presidential candidates (even those people who want to write off the South would admit that Missouri is a golden opportunity). Missouri races are always close, and Nancy Farmer could be the upset of this year's Senate cycle.

South Dakota
Sen. Tom Daschle is a high profile Democrat in a Republican state. He has a very strong competitor in For. Rep. John Thune, who nearly beat Sen. Tim Johnson in 2002. Both sides will gain tons of money, though Daschle's clout will be weighing heavily on South Dakotans minds.
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lcordero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. The House of Representatives needs to be won
All legislation can be blocked from the House of Representatives and there is no recourse no matter what.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. I started a thread on the House of Representatives
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mastein Donating Member (294 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. NC and IL
Edited on Mon Feb-02-04 11:39 AM by mastein
I think lots of Dems are PO'ed at Edwards for not "taking one for the team" and running for his senate seat again. Unless we have a very strong candidate, I think we will ultimately concede the seat.

Edit: IL will be a landslide for whoever escapes March, unless it is a LaRouchie.
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
3. in PA it is going to be hard to beat Arlen
he used to be more palatable, he has been running to the right for quite a while. Bizarre that a hard righter is trying to unseat him. We are very stodgy here in PA, we like the evil that we know. (sarc) Don't know much about the Dem candidate going against him.


Getting Slick Rick out of office is going to be a big chore in 2006, regardless of what happens. We sent money to the last Dem attempt to unseat Santorum and it was money I consider wasted, since the state DNC/ candidates spent all their energy beating each other up and did little to drum up support for the candidate. I hope that they will run someone with guts and a really big mouth. Boy, our state is weird.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. How do you feel about Bob Casey, Barbara Hafer, or Catherine Baker Knoll
I've heard all three of their names thrown about.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. I can't understand why Dick Santorum isn't vulnerable...
Pennsylvania went to Gore and Santorum is about as fascist as Tom DeLay, just not as obvious.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-12-04 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #20
28. Rick Santorum is a RW darling
Edited on Thu Feb-12-04 09:54 AM by yellowcanine
and has been somewhat lucky so far. But his hubris, which has been increasing as he has accumulated seniority, may nail him yet.
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. Don't forget Colorado!
I think we may also get a pick up in my state, as remote as that may seem. I wouldn't rule it out.
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DocSavage Donating Member (594 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
7. Massachussetts?
If Kerry wins, who does Romney appoint to finish his term?
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Massachusetts
I keep forgetting that (my apologies). Romney will either select For. Gov. Paul Cellucci (this would be a good step toward his reelection plan, since Celluci is fairly popular) or Andrew Card (sucking up to the right for his 2008 presidential bid). However, whomever is selected will have to take on a very strong Democrat in 2006 (Massachusetts Senate seats don't come up often, so I suspect there will be a big primary bid). Probably either Rep. Marty Meehan (who could also run for governor), Rep. Barney Frank, or For. Rep. Joe Kennedy II would run.
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NewJerseyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. My thoughts
GA: I agree that this seat is pretty much lost. Johnny Isakson might even have a better voting record than Miller considering Isakson is at least pro-choice and seems kind of moderate for a republican. I think he will win the primary since he has the money but Collins has a chance since he can rally the conservatives.

IL: This seat should be ours. Obama is the most liberal it seems and Hynes is the most moderate and I think those two are probably leading Pappas by a little. There is an early primary so we should know who the nominee is soon. The republicans will probably nominate someone too conservative to win and Illinois is increasingly liberal.

SC: Tenenbaum is a good candidate but South Carolina is very republican and I think the republicans have an advantage. I don't think that Beasley is popular enough to clear the field and if someone like Charlie Condon is the republican nominee I think that we can Tenenbaum might even be the favorite.

NC: Bowles is a very good candidate but it wasn't really that close between Dole and Bowles. Dole won by almost 9% and that is the worst performance by a democrat in NC in a long time. But, Burr is no Elizabeth Dole and I think that the margin should at least be closer.

LA: Chris John is probably the favorite here. The state seems to be moving towards the democrats because of the high black population and the DSCC is trying to clear the field for him to battle against Vitter. Vitter is a good candidate but the cajun + African-Americans = democratic victory formula has worked in recent elections.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Miller's Collins's and Isaakson's ACU ratings for 2003
Miller-75
Collins-88
Isaakson-84
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NewJerseyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. That's because Miller skips a lot of votes
He missed four of the votes in the ACU rankins so if he voted with the republicans there he would have had a higher rating.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. Regarding LA, Vitter represents a mostly rich white constituency...
This isn't exclusive but I'd say it's a good bit of his district, or at least those that vote. I'm not so sure that he's a particularly strong candidate.
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NewJerseyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
11. More thoughts
I accidentally submitted the last post before I was done.

FL: I doubt that Mel Martinez will win the republican primary because he isn't that well-known and McCollum seems to have the lead. Byrd and Webster could also win. They are all too right wing though and may have trouble winning against a moderate like Castor. However, if Deutsch or Penelas wins the primary I think that we are in trouble. They aren't good candidates.

OK: Carson is a very strong candidate and I think he may have a slight advantage. Humphreys is also fairly strong but he has a primary challenge from the right and now former Congressman Tom Coburn might jump in. I think he would be the best republican candidate since he represented OK-2 before Carsona and would cut into is base of rural support so I hope he stays out. Carson doesn't have much of a primary battle and should be strong heading into the general.

AK: I feel that this race is also a tossup like a lot of races. Knowles is a good candidate and won election statewide twice, under abnormal circumstances though. The Murkowskis appear unpopular and her name will hurt her a lot. She still may face a conservative primary challenge that could hurt her even more.

PA: If Specter survives the primary he probably wins. The conservative will still show up to vote for Bush and I doubt they will skip over Specter's name. Toomey will portray him as very liberal and that helps him in the general. However, if Toomey wins I doubt he can win statewide. It seems to me that the republican primary is the main battle here.

MO: I just don't see Bond losing. He also wins narrowly and Nancy Farmer seems very similar to his past opponents. A Bond victory with about 52% is likely. However, Bond got 53% in 1998 after a lot of black voters turned against democrat Jay Nixon and Bond got 33% of the vote. But, Bond's opposition to Ronnie White may hurt him and rallying the black vote around the democrat could help a lot.

SD: Daschle should be the favorite there but I view him as just as vulnerable as Tim Johnson was in 2002 and they have same opponent. That race was close and this race should be close as well. Daschle's criticism of Bush may be too much for conservative South Dakotans to handle.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Thanks for your thoughts
I agree that Missouri will be difficult, but Farmer is a good candidate and I keep getting the feeling that she will be the surprise win of this cycle, much like Maria Cantwell ( :bounce:) in 2000 and Saxby Chambliss ( :puke: ) in 2002.

On Pennsylvania, is it an open primary? With Hoeffel basically assured of the win, will Democrats cross over and vote for Toomey in the primary, or would that be too risky?
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goobergunch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Pennsylvania is a closed primary
Even independents can't vote.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Temporarily switch parties?
Well then again that would make it so you can't vote in the presidential primary. Is pennsylvania's primary early enough to even matter?
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NewJerseyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-02-04 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I don't think it is open
Even if it was, it would be hard to vote for Toomey. I want him to win but he could theoretically beat Hoeffel and Toomey is a lot worse that Specter. Specter is in line to become Judiciary Committee chiarman (or hopefully ranking member) and I really don't want Senator Toomey and chairman Kyl. That would be bad for potentially stem-cell research and of course judicial nominations and maybe supreme court justices. If Specter wins he may be planning on 2010 retirement and he would have no reason not to oppose a right wing nominee like he opposed Bork.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. I agree that Specter will make a much tougher competitor than Toomey
But will Specter survive the primary? There was an article out today about Specter's son supporting John Edwards for president. This could be a factor in the senatorial race, with Specter being portrayed as a liberal.
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rhite5 Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
16. Thanks for the discussion! Bookmarking.
I hope further discussion and developments from the Primaries, etc. get posted here, so we can have some continuity.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
17. Democrats are maintaining good pace in fundraising
Here's the article: http://www.rollcall.com/pub/49_74/news/4266-1.html

Democratic Senate candidates in four of their party's five Southern open seats largely fought their Republican rivals to a fundraising draw in the fourth quarter of 2003, financial reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission show.

In the two Republican-held open seats in Illinois and Oklahoma, Democrats outraised their GOP opponents in the last three months of the year.

The seven open-seat contests are the epicenter for the fight for control of the Senate, as few incumbents on either side of the aisle are in serious jeopardy.

Deutsch continued his torrid fundraising pace, bringing in $751,000 in October, November and December; former state EducationCommissioner Betty Castor (D), considered the favorite in the Democratic primary, reported $431,000 in contributions, while Penelas had $366,000 in donations.

The article states that Bowles and Tenenbaum led their Republican competitors in the fourth quarter, though the leading Republican funraisers (Reps. Richard Burr and Jim DeMint) have more money from past fundraising. David Vitter was leading Chris John $1.8 mil to $1.1 mil, though John hasn't formally entered the Senate race yet, so that (and Breaux's support of the representative) will likely balance things out. Brad Carson raised $1.1 mil, more than expected. Blair Hull led the Democrats for fundraising in Illinois, though that's largely from his own money. Dan Hynes came in second, followed by Barack Obama. Tony Knowles led Lisa Murkowski for fundraising this cycle, though Murkowski has the lead overall.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-05-04 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
19. Polls show Tony Knowles leading, third party candidate enters
Here's the article: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4157338 /

This is survey No. 3 in our series of 12 leading up to the general election in November. Since Channel 2's last poll at the beginning of January, the race has picked up a third declared candidate.

Jim Sykes has announced he is running for U.S. Senate as a Green Party candidate, and he has said he is running to win. So we have added him into the mix, asking respondents to choose between Democrat Tony Knowles, Republican Lisa Murkowski, the Green Party's Jim Sykes, or a candidate of another political party.

Despite the addition of Sykes, whom we'd expect to draw support more from Knowles than Murkowski, we see Knowles widening his lead in this race. He currently has 44.6 percent of the vote to Lisa Murkowski's 40.6 percent, and Sykes with just 3 percent. Some 4.8 percent favored another candidate, and 7 percent were undecided.

Among voters age 18 to 50, Knowles leads by 11 points, but among those aged 51 and older, Murkowski leads by 4. That is certainly good news for Murkowski, but there's an unusual subplot here, because things don't get better and better for her as voters get more senior
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DebJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
23. someone please bump this for tomorrow night thanks
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
24. More news on Louisiana: Chris John to enter the Senate
Here's the link: http://politicsla.com/articles/2004/February/020504_joh...

Acaidiana Congressman Chris John, D-Crowley, officially entered the fray to be Louisiana 's next U.S. Senator today. He made appearances in Crowley and Baton Rouge where he promised to remain an independent voice in the Senate.

The 44-year-old, four-term Congressman says that he expects a difficult race ahead. He expressed hope that the race would not fold into a negative campaign, but was quick to point out that if it did he would defend himself.

I will work to create jobs, and craft policies that export Louisiana farm products, manufactured goods and service, rather than exporting Louisiana jobs and recent graduates.

The quote was an open stance on the president's economic policies such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement and bi-lateral trade talks with Australia . John said that he would not support CAFTA or any other trade deals that would harm Louisiana agricultural products. John also played down the concerns swirling around the campaigns that a possibly popular President Bush coupled with too many Democrats could help Republican David Vitter to victory this fall.

With John and State Treasurer John Kennedy both in, this looks likely to have a runoff. For. Atty. Gen. Richard Ieyoub could also enter the race, though currently it seems unlikely.
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-04 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
25. If Kerry Gets Nod, MA Gov Romney appoints Repub to Kerry's Senate Seat
so count that into the fray too...
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-11-04 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
26. New Analysis on the Alaska Race here
I apologize that this is from Roll Call, but it is a good article-http://www.rollcall.com/pub/49_77/politics/4337-1.html

But with controversy still hanging over the way she came to office, the Alaska Senate race between Murkowski and former Gov. Tony Knowles (D) will be one of the most closely watched contests in the country this year.

Lisa Murkowski made no excuses about her circumstance when she told the news magazine's John Stossel: "The fact of the matter is, I'm in the United States Senate today because my father, who is now the governor, was able to appoint me."

When he was running for governor in 2002, the Legislature tweaked the succession law to deny his predecessor, Knowles, the ability to name Frank Murkowski's Senate replacement, enabling the elder Murkowski to choose his own successor after he won the governor's race.

"It's an issue we have been bringing up but ... we don't have to," says Knowles spokesman Bob King. "It's very much an issue that's in the public's mind."


Basically, the article discusses that Lisa' reelection chances are being hurt by the way that she made it into office and her father's low approval ratings. It talks about the recent poll that had Tony Knowles ahead and also about the seedy ways that the Republicans changed the law so that Frank Murkowski, and not Tony Knowles, would select the replacement.
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mndemocrat_29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-11-04 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
27. Here's a good link for polls on Senate races
This is a fairly good place to find different polling for Senate races. Currently, some of the polls are out-of-date, but as the election nears, they are updates more rapidly:

http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/CurrentPolls.htm
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Nailzberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-12-04 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
29. Hull is now leading IL
Hull is now at 29%
Dan Hynes and Barack Obama 19%
Maria Pappas 14%
Skinner, Washington, and Chico are in single digits.
The undecided was 5% and the margin of error was less than 4%

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