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Senate races 2008: I'm liking the Dem chances to win some seats and keep most.

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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:23 AM
Original message
Senate races 2008: I'm liking the Dem chances to win some seats and keep most.
If you have a R senator re-upping, what is your take on their chances? It appeasrs to me that many are VERY vulnerable.

Class II - Senators Whose Terms of Service Expire in 2009

Senators in Class II were elected to office in the November 2002 general election. Their terms run from the beginning of the 108th Congress on January 3, 2003 to the end of the 110th Congress in January 2009.


Baucus, Max (D-MT)
Biden, Joseph R., Jr. (D-DE)
Durbin, Richard (D-IL)
Harkin, Tom (D-IA)
Johnson, Tim (D-SD)
Kerry, John F. (D-MA)
Landrieu, Mary L. (D-LA)
Lautenberg, Frank R. (D-NJ)
Levin, Carl (D-MI)
Pryor, Mark L. (D-AR)
Reed, Jack (D-RI)
Rockefeller, John D., IV (D-WV)


Alexander, Lamar (R-TN)
Allard, Wayne (R-CO)
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA)
Cochran, Thad (R-MS)
Coleman, Norm (R-MN)
Collins, Susan M. (R-ME)
Cornyn, John (R-TX)
Craig, Larry E. (R-ID)
Dole, Elizabeth (R-NC)
Domenici, Pete V. (R-NM)
Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY)
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)
Hagel, Chuck (R-NE)
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)
Roberts, Pat (R-KS)
Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)
Smith, Gordon H. (R-OR)
Stevens, Ted (R-AK)
Sununu, John E. (R-NH)
Warner, John (R-VA)
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LakeSamish706 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. The big problem still exists with the ability to alter votes on the voting machines...
though. That is the one thing I thought that the Dems. would get to right after there Nov. 06 victory, but it doesn't seem to have been all that important to them and it may cost them in the 08 elections if there not very careful.
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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. Bigger Dem majority=Lieberman no longer has us by the balls.
At the very least.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm predicting six pickups for the Dems, one for the GOP.
This is a little out of date -- some retirements I haven't included yet that could affect the final outcome -- but here's how I break it down:

Incumbent: Jeff Sessions (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: After Rep. Artur Davis said he wouldnt run last year, the challenge was left to state Senator Vivian Davis Figures. There probably wont even be a primary, and if there is, it wont be particularly notable.
Outlook: Sessions will crush Figures by at least 20 points. While there have been some rumblings in the South as to whom to support in the Republican presidential primary, with none of the candidates looking too good, that discontent doesnt transfer to a guy like Sessions, whose approval ratings have hovered in the high 50s/low 60s for pretty much ever. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Ted Stevens (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: Probably Anchorage mayor Mark Begich. Other names have been tossed about, including state house minority leader Ethan Berkowitz and former governor Tony Knowles, but Begich apparently has the backing of the party.
Outlook: The Cook Report, Congressional Quarterly and all the other prognosticators have this as a likely GOP pickup, but I think theyre underestimating the loathing with which many Alaskan GOP voters greet Ted Stevens after the IRS raid. That raid could not have come at a worse time. Given the pace of your typical federal investigation, charges should be forthcoming just in time for next years elections. Id say its a tossup, but I hate weaseling out that way. Instead, Im assuming that charges are filed, and Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the Senate, goes down in ignominy. (SWITCHES TO DEM)

Incumbent: Mark Pryor (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: The initial hope of the GOP faithful was that Huckabees presidential run would go down in flames early, allowing him to start a campaign against Pryor. But after the Iowa straw poll, Huckabee is now the top of the second tier. Hes in the presidential campaign until at least February. That leaves former Rep. Asa Hutchinson.
Outlook: Hutchinson lost the governors race in Arkansas in 2006 even with a Green Party candidate running as a potential spoiler for Democrat Mike Beebe. In short, this is Pryors to lose. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Wayne Allard (R) is retiring
Challenger: With Allard out, and after a slew of potential GOP candidates including everyone from Tom Tancredo to John Elway said they wouldnt run, this comes down to former Republican Rep. Bob Schaffer vs. Democratic Rep. Mark Udall.
Outlook: Schaffer couldnt even beat brewing magnate Pete Coors in the 2006 GOP senatorial primary. Coors, of course, went on to get smacked around by Democrat Ken Salazar. So, while the polls have this race in the single digits, count on a Democratic win. (SWITCHES TO DEM)

Incumbent: Joe Biden (D) is simultaneously running for president and re-election
Challenger: None yet.
Outlook: This is an easy pickup for the Dems, but if Biden decides to withdraw from this campaign to focus on the presidency (yeah, right), this could turn into a serious race, as the GOP has a ready-made candidate in Delawares sole congressman, Mike Castle. The Dems could run Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, though in this age of political familial dynasties (see Clinton, Bush, Kennedy hell even Jack Carters unsuccessfuol Senate run in 2006), I wouldnt be surprised to see a run by Bidens son, state attorney general Beau Biden. In any case, this is all useless speculation. No way Biden will pull out of this race. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Saxby Chambliss (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: After winning a primary against investigative reporter Dale Cardwell, DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones will run against Chambliss.
Outlook: Much as I loathe Chambliss after what he did to Max Cleland to win his seat, Jones stands little chance against the man. Polls have Jones losing in high double digits, and the gap has only widened. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Larry Craig (R) is retiring. Or not.
Challenger: If Craig retires, well see a free-for-all as potential GOP candidates rush to fill the gap in this blood-red state. If Craig drops out early, allowing Gov. Butch Otter to name a replacement (likely Lt. Gov. Jim Risch), that candidate would have a huge advantage. In any case, the GOP candidate will face perennial Idaho Dem. Candidate Larry LaRocco in the general election.
Outlook: The GOP could put up a ham sandwich and win in Idaho. Polls taken back in September have almost every Republican in statewide office in Idaho beating LaRocco in a senate race if they choose to run. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Dick Durbin (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: Some half a dozen potential GOP candidates have sprung up, but all of them are previous losers in other contests, and none have won a major election. Perhaps the most likely to pull off the primary win is Jim Rowe, but only because his defeat in 2006 makes him a more-recognizable name.
Outlook: Durbin should wrap this one up nicely, (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Tom Harkin (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: A couple of nobodies have declared their candidacies (Steve Rathje chief among them), but a bona fide candidate has not yet declared. Rep. Tim Latham may change all that. If he does get in, hell be a shoe-in to win the primary.
Outlook: Whoever wins the primary is immaterial. Harkin cant lose, especially after 2006, when Iowa turned as blue as the tears of losing GOP candidates. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Pat Roberts (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: Roberts runs unopposed.
Outlook: Even popular Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would have a tough time here, though she would make it a close race. As it stands, though, Roberts should coast. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Mitch McConnell (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: So far, the only declared candidate is state attorney general Greg Stumbo, but a whole laundry list of Dems have signaled a potential candidacy. Most noteworthy among them is Rep. Ben Chandler, who actually beat McConnell in some early polls.
Outlook: If Chandler runs, hell win the primary, and McConnell is in for a race. If Stumbo goes unopposed into the general, hell probably get beat pretty bad. Either way, McConnell should pull off a re-election (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Mary Landrieu (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: Pretty much every Republican Landrieu has ever defeated to get where she is today is coming back from the grave to run against her. Her 2002 rival Suzanne Terrell will run, as will 1996 opponent Woody Jenkins. But theyll probably all get beat in the primary by John Kennedy, who switched to the GOP in August, probably in order to run against Landrieu.
Outlook: Its tough to admit, but I cant see how Landrieu wins this. The strong Democratic vote in New Orleans has still not returned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and outside of New Orleans, Louisiana has turned more and more red over the last several election cycles, with Bush winning easily here in 2004 and elected a Republican senator the same year. The peccadilloes of said senator, David John Vitter, wont be enough to turn out a hostile anti-GOP vote. (SWITCHES TO GOP)

Incumbent: Susan Collins (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: The Dem. Challenger will almost certainly be Rep. Ted Allen.
Outlook: The Rothenberg Political Report lists Collins as vulnerable, but I dont think so. Shes hugely popular, and the polls have her winning in double digits. Unless the trust that Maine voters have in Collins can be hammered by pointing out a few, somewhat petty, inconsistencies (the fact that she pledged to run for only two terms, for example), Collins should win this. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: John Kerry (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: Former congressional candidate Jeff Beatty has declared, and theres a long list of potential candidates, but come on now. This is Massachusetts, for Gods sake.
Outlook: Massachusetts hasnt elected a Republican senator in over three decades. Kerry coasts. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Carl Levin (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: Probably Levins 2002 opponent, Andrew Raczkowski.
Outlook: The fact that the GOP cant drum up anything better than last years loser should tell you something. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Norm Coleman (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: Sensing blood in the water, a motley crew of DFL Party candidates has risen to challenge Coleman, a Republican senator in a decidedly blue state. Hell, theres been so many potential Dem. candidates that a couple have already dropped out. The primary will likely come down to lawyer Mike Ciresi and that one guy with the glasses who used to work on SNL. On name recognition alone, Al Franken should pull off the primary.
Outlook: The polls have had Coleman winning by a handful of points for months now dont you believe it. While Coleman has been ahead in the polls, his lead has been slowly shrinking. By the time the general election rolls around, Mr. Franken will be ahead by a dozen points. Im sorry, did I say Mr. Franken? I meant Sen. Franken. (SWITCHES TO DEM)

Incumbent: Thad Cochran (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: Theres a few potential rivals, including Erik Fleming, who lost to Trent Lott in 2006; former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who lost to Haley Barbour in 2003; and former attorney general Mike Moore. Moores probably the Dem. candidate here.
Outlook: The only way the Dems had a chance in Mississippi would be if Cochran retired and they came out guns blazing with a very strong candidate. Neither of those things has happened. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Max Baucus (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: Baucus will face former House Majority Leader Mike Lange, whose last moment of fame occurred when he ripped into a bizarre, obscenity-laced tired against popular Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Outlook: Baucus was already pretty safe, but with competition like this, all he has to do is run a commercial featuring Langes infamous press conference and the race is over. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Chuck Hagel (R) is retiring
Challenger: A slew of candidates have announced on either side, but the likely candidates are former Gov. and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns for the GOP and former Sen. Bob Kerrey for the Dems.
Outlook: Kerreys days as a politician are behind him, especially in heavily conservative Nebraska. Before he announced his retirement, some polls showed incumbent Hagel losing to a more-conservative candidate in the GOP primary. Theres little room for a Democrat to maneuver here. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: John Sununu (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: Likely challenger is 2002 opponent Jeanne Shaheen.
Outlook: The only reason Sununu is even in office is because of the phone bank scandal. Most New Hampshire voters know this, and theyll vote accordingly. (SWITCHES TO DEM)

Incumbent: Frank Lautenberg (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: 2006 candidate Tom Kean Jr. is likely to return. In fact, the only potential GOP rival who could beat Kean in the primary is Christine Todd Whitman her break with the Bush administration way back in 2003 (and subsequent pro-centrist book Its My Party Too) might make her a viable candidate to moderate Republicans fed up with Bush but unwilling to move to the D list.
Outlook: Lautenberg should easily beat Kean, but Whitman could prove a real challenge. Even if Whitman runs, though, Lautenberg is the likely winner. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Pete Domenici (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: Democrats Jim Hannan and Don Wiviott are running. Neither has any political experience to speak of.
Outlook: The US Attorney scandal didnt hit Domenici as hard as I thought it would, and now that A.G.A.G. is gone, the scandal seems to have gone with him. Unless new developments arise that put Domenicis role in the firing of David Iglesias back in the headlines, this should be a win for the incumbent. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Elizabeth Dole (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: None yet. And with Gov. Mike Easley and Rep. Brad Miller both out, the candidate will probably be a little-known name from the state house or senate.
Outlook: Might have been different with an Easley run, but as it stands, its Dole by a mile. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: James Inhofe (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: State Senator Andrew Rice
Outlook: Rice doesnt have a chance. This is Oklahoma, and Inhofes bizarre views on global warming will only help him here. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Gordon Smith (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: After a primary against activist Steve Novick, Oregons speaker of the house, Jeff Merkley, will face Smith.
Outlook: Smiths approval ratings have been consistently falling, while his disapprovals swing upward. His attempts to grow more and more moderate, even liberal, will not help him. Voters wont vote for a fake Democrat when they can have the real thing. Gordon Smith is the Lincoln Chafee of this race. (SWITCHES TO DEM)

Incumbent: Jack Reed (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: None yet.
Outlook: Reed by a mile. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Lindsey Graham (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: None yet.
Outlook: South Carolina is conservative. (How conservative is it?!) Its so conservative that right-wing tool Lindsey Graham is being challenged in the GOP primary by people running to his right! That joke would be funnier if I wasnt kidding. And while those yahoos dont stand a chance, neither does a Dem. challenger. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: Tim Johnson (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: State Rep. Joel Dykstra will run against Johnson, assuming governor Mike Rounds stays out of the race (and all indications re that he will).
Outlook: Without a big name like Rounds, the GOP cant take this seat. Johnson gets the sympathy vote if nothing else, especially now that he has made public appearances and proven that hes not a permanent vegetable. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Lamar Alexander (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: With big-name candidates Harold Ford and Gov. Phil Bredesen sitting this out, the Dem. candidacy will likely go to a smaller fish, possibly Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell.
Outlook: Even if Ford or Bredesen got in, Alexander would probably coast. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: John Cornyn (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: Probably state rep. and Afghanistan war vet. Rick Noriega
Outlook: In a June poll, Cornyn had higher disapproval ratings than approval, and Noriegas war experience could ah, who am I kidding? This is Texas. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: John Warner (R) is retiring
Challenger: Popular former Gov. Mark Warner is in, as is GOP Rep. Tom Davis, who may face a primary against former Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Outlook: I dont care if its Davis or Gilmore. Virginia is fed up with the GOP, and the voting base is trending northward, toward the bluer regions of the D.C. suburbs. This ones a win for the Dems. (SWITCHES TO DEM)

Incumbent: Jay Rockefeller (D) is running for re-election
Challenger: None yet.
Outlook: Rockefeller has approval ratings in the high 60s. Nuff said. (STAYS DEM)

Incumbent: Michael Enzi (R) is running for re-election
Challenger: None
Outlook: With the special election happening at the same time, any potential Dem. candidates are likely to look there to unseat a Republican in Wyoming. Thus, Enzi will coast. (STAYS GOP)

Incumbent: John Barrasso, appointed to replace late Sen. Craig Thomas, will run for re-election
Challenger: None yet, but if Gov. Dave Freudenthal runs, this could get close.
Outlook: In heavily red Wyoming, I gotta go with the GOP (STAYS GOP)

So there you have it. A grand total of six (6) pickups for the Dems and one (1) for the GOP, leaving the final tally of the Senate at 56 Dems and 44 GOP still not filibuster-proof, but with a Dem. president, therell be a lot of opportunities to get things done.

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quispquake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Being From Maine...
I don't think Collins has a lock...Tom Allen is a VERY well liked congressman, and Collins's continued backing of the worst Republican Party policies at the expense of the people of Maine HAS BEEN NOTICED...and yes, her promise for two terms doesn't help...I also see a MAJOR turnout for a Democratic Presidential candidate, which will only help Allen.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I haven't seen any polls more recent than November, but back then she had a 20-point lead...
that's an awfully large deficit to overcome.
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AlinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. NM with Udall might win that state for us.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Agreed. Especially now that Domenici is retiring.
Like I said in my post, my list needs to be updated in spots. In any case, you've got a good point that NM is now in play.
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm optimistic that '06 was indicative of a trend.
We picked up seats at all levels of government and kept all of our incumbent ones. If that's a trend, '08 will hopefully be more of the same, regardless of who we have at the top of the ticket.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
5. Oh, so we can have an even larger number of Dems in office,
Making excuses for not doing shit. Just what we need :eyes:
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Is there an alternative? A few more seats and we have a veto-proof majority even if an RRR
takes the WH.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Sure, there's always an alternative
Vote for people who will actually do what you want, follow the mandate of the people rather than squandering it for bullshit resolutions and raising their own pay.

Sorry, but I've had it with much of the Democratic party, after thirty seven years of hard work and loyalty I get a trashed economy and an illegal war in return. Frankly the blame lies at the feet of both parties, and both parties need to get the boot.

I'm going to a much more issue oriented, conscience oriented involvement in politics. Party politics is simply not going to be our salvation since both parties have become rotten from the inside out, corrupted by corporate cash. Hell, can you honestly tell me that Hillary is going to do anything meaningful when she is the top recipient of health industry money? And Biden, the man who's in the finance industry's back pocket? The list of infamy goes on and on, and frankly the only one who isn't tainted is Kucinich who takes no corporate cash.

The same goes in Congress, they are, for the most part, nothing but corporate whores, bought and paid for, and what you and I and the rest of the country want comes in a distant second, or even third, to what corporations want.

A veto proof majority, HAH! Like that's going to do any damn good. Both parties are invested in this war, invested in the status quo, and despite the country going to hell around us, they aren't going to do anything that will endanger their precious corporate masters. Shit, just the other day a great, grand new gas mileage standard was announced with great fanfare---35 fucking mpg by the year 2020 :eyes: Oh yeah, that's progress baby.

We need real change in this country, and as has been demonstrated for the past twenty years, neither the Dems nor the 'Pugs can provide this change. So frankly, it is time to look outside this box, thing outside this box, and vote for real, effective change in this party. Back in the 1850's Whigs scoffed at the notion of rebellion within their ranks. One election cycle later they were on the dustbin of history and the first third party candidate, Lincoln, was in office as a Republican. We can make this sort of change again if we unite to do so, if we simply don't keeping lapping up the scraps that are thrown to us and calling it good.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Unfortunately, That Means The Repigs Get To Rule for The Next 20 Years
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 12:03 PM by AndyTiedye
while your new third party tries to form. We haven't got 20 years.

We have to make do with the parties we've got.

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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. The Republicans put a man into the WH four years after they were formed
All it takes it determination and effort.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Even 4 Years of pResident Huckabee or pResident Ghoul or pResident Mittens Would be a Disaster
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 06:28 PM by AndyTiedye
and it wouldn't be just 4 years either, given how entrenched the Repiglies are already, and how much more so they would be after 4 more years.

I don't think another party would be able to get off the ground at this point, and certainly not in time to save the country.

The only role of 3rd parties in the US is as spoilers. (e.g. Nader 2000).

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. it takes time to build a third party and it needs to be done first on the
state level. You better get cracking. I don't really give a shit how people who think that dems and repubs are the same, vote. It demonstrates such a delusional frame of mind.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Oh I realize what you do and don't give a shit about
Sadly that makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution. What I find delusional is people who keep doing the same thing over and over again, like voting the two party system, and yet expect a different result every time. In some circles friend that's known as insanity. Think about it.

Oh, by the by, who's to say that I'm not already "cracking" What, you think I'm on DU all day and night?
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. If the Repiglicon Wins the WH, They Probably Take Back Congress Too

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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
11. Recent polling in Alaska
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 12:06 PM by Blue_In_AK
has shown that either Democratic candidate for the House (Don Young's seat) could beat him if the election were held today. Anchorage's Democratic mayor, Mark Begich, who hasn't declared yet but everyone assumes will run, can beat Ted Stevens. Unless Young and Stevens are challenged in the Republican primary by some other worthy Republican here, it looks like Alaska will go Democratic next year.
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