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Here's an overview for those who don't follow the ups and downs of the various Senate contests obsessively.

We start with a Republican advantage of 51-48-1 (with the independent caucusing with Democrats). We need a net gain of two seats to take back the Senate. We can hold it 50-50 if Kerry wins, but it would necessitate the same sort of power-sharing agreement Daschle wrestled out of the GOP in 2000. And such an agreement would close down the Senate. It would be better to either hold the Senate outright, or not have it so Kerry can run against Senate Republican "obstructionists" in 2006 and 2008.

Here are the battleground Senate seats, ranked by chance of switch. Oh, and I don't do "toss-up", as I find it a sort of cop-out, like "50% chance of rain".

1. Illinois (R open seat):
The big question here is whether Democrat Barack Obama will get more than 75 percent of the vote. This one is so in the bag, as Republican carpetbagger Alan Keyes makes an ass out of himself, that Obama has spent more time campaigning for other candidates than himself.

Definite Dem pickup

2. Georgia (D open seat):
While Denise Majette has showed some life as of late, this race will mark a switch from Republican-pretending-to-be-Democrat Zell Miller to a bona fide Republican.

Likely Rep pickup

3. Colorado (R open seat):
Proven Colorado vote getter -- Democratic Attorney General Ken Salazar -- has held solid leads in polls against bad-beer maker Peter Coors. Coors has lots of money, and the NRSC is dumping a lot of cash into the state, so we can't put this one in our column just yet.

Leans Dem pickup

4. South Carolina (D open seat):
Republican Jim DeMint looked to be running away with the race against Democrat Inez Tenenbaum. Then the DSCC ran some of the most effective ads of any race this cycle -- hammering DeMint for his proposed national sales tax. Throw in outsourcing as an issue in this textile state, and suddenly Inez is nipping at DeMint's heels. If the election were held today, the state's strong Red bent would give DeMint the victory. But the election is not today, and Inez has the momentum.

Leans Rep pickup

5. Oklahoma (R open seat):
We shouldn't be competitive in Oklahoma, but we have a hell of a candidate in Brad Carson, and they have a candidate from hell in Tom Coburn. Carson weathered Coburn's post-primary bump, and has held consistent, if erratic, leads in subsequent polling.

Leans Dem pickup

6. Alaska (R incumbent):
Another state where Dems shouldn't be competitive. But we have a super candidate in former governor Tony Knowles. The incumbent is Republican Lisa Murkowski, who was appointed to the seat by her daddy when he moved in to the governor's mansion. Her father's short tenure as governor hasn't been smooth sailing, while the nepotism issue has haunted Lisa from day one. Meanwhile, Knowles has run the perfect, error-free campaign.

Leans Dem pickup

7. North Carolina (D open seat):
Democrat Erskine Bowles held strong leads through most of the summer, but after enduring a barrage of negative ads from Richard Burr and the NRSC, that lead has evaporated into a dead heat. If the election where held today, Bowles would eeke out a narrow victory. But the election is not today, and Burr has the momentum.

Leans Dem retention

8. Kentucky (R incumbent):
This race shouldn't be on the radar screen, but Republican incumbent Jum Bunning is literally falling apart. His erratic and bizarre behavior has raised alarm bells in the state's media, and the beneficiary has been Democratic long-shot Dan Mongiardo. Bunning still has the advantages of incumbency in a Red state, but those are eroding by the day, alongside Bunning's mental faculties.

Leans Rep retention

9. South Dakota (D incumbent):
Depending on the poll, Senate majority leader Tom Daschle is either up comfortable, or up narrowly. One or two outliers (Rasmussent) have shown his republican opponent, John Thune, with a narrow lead. Dascle is the only Democratic incumbent in any danger this cycle, but Daschle has weathered many a close race as a Democrat in this solidly Red state. And SD Democrats have proven they can win, given their hold on the state's two Senate seats and at-large House seat. Those victories are never easy, however.

Leans Dem retention.

10. Louisiana (D open seat):
Since reconstruction, Lousiana has not sent a Republican to the Senate, and this year should be no different. The wild-card in this race is the runoff. This seat will be decided in a December runoff election between Republican Daivd Vitter and either Chris John or John Kennedy for the Dems. If Kerry wins the White House, and control of the Senate comes down to this race, the GOP will be able to make a compelling case for divided government.

Leans Dem retention

11. Florida (D open seat):
This year's hurricane season has made this Senate race something of a bust (no one thinks politics while they're trying to rebuild their lives). Castor has had the early advantage, though Martinez has been pounding her for alleged ties to accused terrorist sympathizer Al-Arian. Castor just turned the tables on Martinez, running a hard-hitting ad featuring a picture of Al-Arian with George Bush. This race is down in the gutter, but I'm giving Castor the edge given the strong GOTV operation in the state on behalf of Democrats.

Leans Dem retention

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 09:48 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hurricane damage (none)
    The parts of the state which received the most damage are the parts that historically go R.  Turnout in those areas is likely to be depressed.
  •  What would happen... (none)
    If the GOP got 50 seats and the Dems 49 with a Kerry win? Does Jeffords vote in this for a Dem or stay out of it? Is there even a vote?
    •  50-48-1 (none)
      Jeffords vote does count when deciding control, so 50-49-1 means Democratic control with a Kerry win.

      Or, at least a few months into 2005.

      Kerry will obviously have to give up his seat, which will make things 50-48-1 until the bay state votes on Kerry's replacement.  I believe that would be by March or April.  In short, 50-50 isn't quite enough.

      Right now I'm just daydreaming about the 4 seat net gain that is within reach.  Ah, a boy can dream.

    •  Jeffords would vote with Dems (none)
      ...however there would be a weird issue with Kerry, his seat would be open until a special election which I think wouldnt happen until March (anyone else know when that special election is?)

      Also, If former Republican Governer Weld ran for that he might win it

      •  Weld's not in (none)
        Aside from the concerns about residency brought up further down the thread (and ask GovMitt how much that matters in the Blue Commonwealth), Weld is probably not interested and definetly not welcome.  What's more, there is no saying that he'd give the Dems control.  After the GOP screwed him on his ambassador's post, there is no love lost there.  And remember, they screwed him because he wasn't willing to pledge pure fidelity to the Republican leadership, so it is still a relevant issue.
      •  The rumor is Barney Frank (none)

        I was there when Frank's Press Secretary that he would likely run for Massachusetts Senator if Kerry wins the presidency.  If he won, I think that would make him the first openly gay US senator.  

    •  Jefford votes with the Dems (none)
      He is a Dem in everything but name, so, the Dems get control (with Edwards breaking the tie).
    •  And then there's Chaffee... (none)
      who is just about ready to do a Jeffords.

      O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

      by ogre on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:44:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So if this poor engineer can still add... (none)
    You are predicting the needed +2 Dem?


    •  Yup (none)
      Interesting rankings kos, I'm curious to see what Chuck Todd will come out with in his next rankings. His last were 10/13, but obviously the Bunning race is breaking rapidly, and I think he's fooling himself with OK. I thought his assessment of CO was too conservative, but I suspect your assessment of SC is a bit rosy.

      What you didn't really address, though, is that the Senate may very likely be decided post-Nov. 2 by two things: first, the LA runoff in December, and second, in the event of a Bush win, look for Chafee to jump ship Jeffords-style.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
      Ow, my blog.

      by Corax on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:11:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ya think (none)
        jeffords and chafee would ever form bull moose II in this case?  Any chance of them pulling other shat-upon repubs like McCain or moderates like Snowe, Collins, etc? Giuliani fits ideologically but he probably wants the repub prez nomination, however, if chafee et al catalyze a moderate exodus (including rank and file), he would have no chance of winning primaries.

        The Republicans need a divided country. But we don't. --Big Dog

        by froggywomp on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:51:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans for Obama (none)
    Had to be a site for them, didn't there?

    The main question is how negative will Keyes' coattails be? Enough to swing a house seat anywhere?

    We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

    by easong on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 09:53:48 AM PDT

    •  IL-08 (none)
      is teetering on the brink. Yahoo reported the other day that the NRSC is going up with an emergency ad blitz against Bean--before the Trib endorsement which basically called Crane a useless sack who cares nothing for his district. Couple that with the expected 40% for Bush in IL and 25% for Keyes, and you have yourself an upset.
    •  In the collar counties (none)
      The 6th, 8th and 11th are all great candidates for capture.

      Bush's debate drool proved once again that the President is the master of lowered expectorations.

      by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:39:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The 13th isn't bad, either. (none)
        Incumbent Judy Biggert shot herself in the foot with NCLB, as her home school disctrict failed the standard.  (one she served on the school board for before being elected to Congress)

        She has been caught up in the Delay flap, accepting money from him years ago, serving on the Ethics comittee, and refusing to recuse herself or sponsor an independent investigation when the case came before them.

        She has also been published as high on the list of Representatives accepting private travel money.

        Locally, Lucent Technologies has had massive layoffs, and HR-1322 (a bill to strengthen pension obligations) never left committee, a committee upon which Representative Biggert also serves.

        She did get the Tribune endorsement, but this district could flip.  And I don't think it will take much of a tidal wave to do it.

      •  2006 (none)
        IL-08 is our best bet for a pick-up this year. While we may have a decent chance in IL-06 and IL-11, 2004 may just be a softening up for eventual victory in 2006.
        If we had a strong candidate down in IL-19, it too could be snatched away from the GOP.

        Those four IL victories plus a favorable court ruling on Texas could make Pelosi speaker in 2007.

        Speaking of leadership, how about Obama for majority leader in a couple of years? He's certainly making friends by campaigning for other US Senate candidates.

        * "I still believe in a place called Hope." --Bill Clinton

        by diversecity215 on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:10:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How about my (none)
        IL-10. This was one of the closest races in the country when it was open in 2000. It went for Gore easily, and will do the same for Kerry.
  •  Great overview! (none)
    I am headed to North Carolina (from Georgia) to help GOTV in Raleigh Durham area. Working for K/E but also for Bowles. I think Bowles certainly has the advantage in name rec. and my friends tell me Burr is an embarrasment. Still, this is the state that continued to elect Helms! Scary!
    Really hope Carson can hold out in OK. The other guys is just too awful for words!
    •  NC (none)
      I see that the Kerry/Edwards signs have popped up everywhere.  Interesting....

      Bowles is in a very very close race.  I'm afraid that Burr's momentum and constant linking of Clinton and Bowles together will make the difference.  Burr's latest ad claiming Bowles was the man that dropped the ball on Osama is about as ludicrous as they come, but may be widely accepted by the folks that will make the difference.  Sometimes I wonder about this state...

      •  NC-Charlotte (none)
        I was driving around Charlotte (NC) today and noticed new K/E signs all over the neighborhoods near downtown. I also had 2 coworkers ask me for K/E bumper stickers today. They were already backing Kerry but just now decided to put stickers on their cars. This will mean out of our 10 employees, 5 will have K/E stickers and 0 have Bush.

        If you stick to your guns but your aim is off, you are worthless. We need a straight shooter as President: John Kerry.

        by gogaddy on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:29:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bowles in NC (none)
          This race has definitely tightened and the Democrats have history working against them in that no Democrat has won a Senate seat in NC in a presidential election year since 1968 and this particular seat has switched parties in the last 4 elections (1980, 1986, 1992, & 1998) meaning that it is the Repug's "turn" to hold this seat.

          On the other hand, while polls has consistently showed Bush leading Kerry in the state most have had the margin surprisingly close.  In the past two Senate elections held in NC during presidential years the Democratic nominee has run about 3-4% ahead of the national ticket.  So if Kerry, with the help of John Edwards, can get 46% or 47% (or maybe better) Bowles may be able to stumble over the finish line.  This may be one race were the party might want to send John Edwards in for a quick stop or two in the last week or so of the campaign.

          •  The last polls published (none)
            by the News and Observer were after a huge ad blitz by the NRSC. Those were those "tie Bowles to Clinton" ads.

            THe Dem Senate committee has since started fighting back, with some trememdous, hard-hitting (and fact-based) attacks on Burr, focussing on the fact that he's in (over his head) the pockets of big money special interests and votes to put their interests ahead of NC citizens.

            On top of that, Bowles has a large personal fortune that he really hasn't tapped so far in this race.

            Bowles is not in danger, IMHO.

            My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

            by Bill Rehm on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:12:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just Yesterday (none)
              the News & Observer here in Raleigh FINALLY endorsed Bowles. Hopefully this will get things moving.

              I agree with you on the new Bowles ads. About damn TIME we saw a spark from him! I hope they got these out early enough to stem Burr's momentum. I just wish they hadnt let it get so close.

              "Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight!" - Garrison Keillor

              by RNinNC on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 03:08:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  K/E in NC (none)
        I have to concur that there seems to be more K/E signs popping around in NC, including, of all places, Gaston County (gasp!)  I moved to NC from Wisconsin twelve years ago, and I have never seen such open support of a Democratic presidential candidate.  In fact, I have been stopped several times (nervously, I might add) only to be complimented on my K/E bumpersticker (as well as my "Somewhere in Texas...a vilage is missing its idiot" sticker).  I hope that it all bodes well on November 2.
    •  NannyR, your comment (none)
        my friends tell me Burr is an embarrasment. Still, this is the state that continued to elect Helms! Scary! troubles me.

      Folks  in Carolina,  like Georgia, can have a lot of pride in their state.  I understand they don't always appreciate being told what to do by Out-of-Staters.   Indeed, I have have seen Democratic workers from earlier elections  claim that New  Yorkers who drove down to volunteer for  Gant may have done more harm than good in the campaigns  against Jesse Helms.

      I heartily endorse your comments here on dKos , but  please  show a kinder, gentler face when you cross that border into Carolina. 'Cuz we gotta win this one, and we really need good  people like you to be as effective as possible.


      (p.s. I am a former small-town Texan, who is also crossing a border to help K/E win  this  election).

      •  True (none)
        I don't think people appreciate to be told how to vote. Helms' unpopularity among the perceived liberals up north wasn't going to win a whole lot of love in NC.

        It's kind of like if hardcore wingnuts would drive from Kansas to campaign against Hilary Clinton in NY. Would newyorkers appreciate that? I would imagine not.

        Presidential election is of course different by nature.

        Now, would someone please get rid of Katharine Harris and Jeb Bush for me? Thanks.

        I predict Castor will win, by a hair. If she loses, that also will be by a hair. I wouldn't count out some tactic of purging vote rolls after the election if Kerry wins FL, that could also harm Castor.

        Well, tinfoil hat off.

        Republicans best friend is ignorance.

        by Jonesyboy on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 02:45:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (none)
        Helms got a lot of support from middle of the road folks because 1) folks knew where he stood, a good Southern trait, 2) he stood up for tobacco back when that was a big part of our economy, and 3) Jesse Helms had the best constituent services ever.  Need a rush job on the passport?  Call Jesse Helms.  

        As a native North Carolinian, if you're trying to convince people to go for Bowles you've got to stress that Bowles will deliver for NC -- tobacco buyout support, etc.  I don't know what region you're going to -- if it's Down East talk jobs, jobs, jobs.

  •  very nice overview (none)
    and seems to be very objectively done - nice work kos.  thanks.

    There are two sorts of people in the world, those who are charming and those who are tedious.

    by crawford on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 09:54:53 AM PDT

  •  Salazar also (none)
    got the endorsements of both Denver papers, for whatever that's worth.
    •  More than just that, though... (none)
      Salazar also picked up the Pueblo Chieftain and I believe the Grand Junction Sentinel (as well as the Boulder Daily Camera).  Don't know about the Ft. Collins Coloradoan, but aside from that one, it's a clean sweep on the endorsements for Salazar.

      If it wasn't for Coors' name-recognition, this race wouldn't be close.

  •  SD, LA & FL (none)
    I am not sure how any of these races can be called 'lean Dem', the latest polls from SD and FL show a tie.

    And in LA Vitter is getting 43, John and Kennedy combined are getting 31, although it looks like it will result in a runnoff, the Dem will have to pickup a lot more votes, LA is a Red state to being with plus dont Republicans tend to turnout more in runoffs?.

    ....i really hope we win all three but I think these three are at best 'too close to call' (btw Tradesports has the Republicans picking up FL and LA)

    •  No ties (none)
      As Kos said...

      Oh, and I don't do "toss-up", as I find it a sort of cop-out, like "50% chance of rain".

      So, no ties for the purpose of this.

      •  If forced to pick a side (none)
        then I think SD and LA are lean Republican right now (there isnt any evidence they are lean Dem)
        •  No evidence. Right. (none)
          Except the polls.

          Zogby (9/24-28): Daschle 48, Thune 46
          M-D (9/20-22): Daschle 50, Thune 45

          Meanwhile, we've had five polls in October in Florida. Three were dead heats (including the partisan Strategic Vision), one gave Castor a 7-point lead, and the last (Q-poll) gave her a 4-point lead amongst registered voters, a 1-point deficit amongst likely voters. Split the difference, and she has a slight edge.

          I see no evidence to make them lean R.

          •  October Polls (none)
            SD (which I said I think is just too close but I can imagine a Dem Lean)
            Rasmussen 10/12: TIED / Thune 49, Daschle 49

            FL (average or recent polls, even without Strat Vision show a Martinez lead)
            Mason Dixon 10/16: TIED / Martinez 45, Castor 45
            Strat Vision(R) 10/14: TIED / Martinez 47, Castor 47
            Strat Vision(R) 10/6: Castor +3/ Martinez 45, Castor 48
            Mason Dixon  10/5: Martinez +5/ Martinez 46, Castor 41
            Quinniapiac  10/5: Martinez +1/ Martinez 48, Castor 47
            SUSA 10/3: Martinez +4/ Martinez 50, Castor 46

            well these are all 3 way polls but Vitter is in the mid 40s and trending up, he might get over 50.

            ...i Know this is your site so I dont want to argue with you. I agree with all the others but I really think these 3 races are too close to call, and if forced I think LA and FL might be lean R, I guess I dont want people to think we got this thing in the bag, more money to the DNC, DCCC, etc. Keep on fighting

            •  Eh? (none)
              Those polls with Martinez in the lead look pretty old.
            •  Can I Respectfully Interrupt ... (none)
              ... this difference of opinion just for a moment?

              I simply want to say that the fact we're even having this discussion -- how many seats will the Dems pick up? -- in a year when we're had to defend so many incumbencies, in a year when many Dem incumbents from red states are not even seeking re-election -- is nothing short of incredible.

              However this comes out at the end, it will likely prove to be an incredible year for Dems, and something to build on for the future.

              Okay, I've said my part. Continue with the back-and-forth. :)

              "Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --George W. Bush

              by RevJoe on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:07:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well unfortunately these 3 states are not pickups (none)
                FL, SD and LA are Democrat states....therefore if we lose any of these 3 then taking back the Senate goes into doubt (depending on how many we pickup in IL, AK, CO, OK)
                •  I think kos gets it right (none)
                  It's doubtful that Daschle will lose. It's possible, but it seems like he's near death every time and he usually manages to pull it out. The polls aren't bad either -- it's a nail-biter, but there's no reason to think it's anything but lean-Dem.

                  The only reason some of the polls from 1-2 weeks ago show a Martinez lead is that was when his "Castor is a terrorist's best friend" bullshit was really running. She's hitting back now, and recovering nicely.

                  She's got the endorsement of several newspapers, a good record with programs like Florida's Healthy Kids that actually don't suck (and that's the acceptable bar for state programs here) and she's a moderate. She's also got the overwhelming support of the senior citizens community (a huge factor) and the youth vote (a surprise factor this year) -- which is a strange combination. She'll pick up most African Americans thanks to the D next to her name, and I have a feeling she'll pick up most Arab-Americans for the same reason (though they may be holding their noses no matter who they vote for with the mud-slinging going around over these ads). She's going to pull it out --- she's about ten times more organized than Martinez, and she's got the momentum right now. The only X factor is the non-Cuban Latino vote (I'm ceding the Cuban vote to Martinez). I personally think it won't break with Martinez, but if he sweeps it, this may be a real nail-biter and come down to a few hundred votes. (This is a view from Florida, by the way.) Dem lean is a good pick.

                  As for LA, I have no earthly idea. That state is weird, and it will come down to a run-off either way. We won't know until we see what that race will look like, IMO, and I'm amazed anybody even tried to analyze it.


                  "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

                  by ally on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 12:00:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The only way the GOP (none)
                    wins LA is if what's-his-face goes over 50%. Otherwise, it's a runoff and all the Dem voters will coalesce around the last standing Dem candidate.

                    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

                    by Bill Rehm on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:20:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Pull Your Head Out (none)
                    That state is weird

                    Yeah, we're weird.

                    Every state office is held by a Democrat except one (and he's considering changing back).  

                    And no Republican has been Senator since Reconstruction.

                    While clueless people like you blabber on about ways to elect Democrats, perhaps you should pay attention to us weirdos.  We are already doing it!

                    Without music, life would be a mistake.

                    by Cory on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 01:33:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  hold up (none)
                      I meant it's a weird election process because we won't know the two candidates until November. I didn't mean the people in the state are weird. I was talking about it in the context of the election process. Sorry if I offended or was unclear. (I also don't think you can call a race on historical precedence alone.)

                      If it makes you feel any better --- our election process isn't weird here in Florida, but it corrupt. ;-)


                      "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

                      by ally on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 08:06:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Gotcha (none)
                        I meant it's a weird election process because we won't know the two candidates until November. I didn't mean the people in the state are weird. I was talking about it in the context of the election process.

                        Ah, I gotcha.

                        I've become a bit testy after reading a number of comments lately criticizing us down here.  Our political ways may be strange, but they (usually) produce terrific results for Democrats and those that complain about us should realize that.

                        But I obviously misunderstood what you were trying to say.  Sorry to jump all over you.

                        If it makes you feel any better --- our election process isn't weird here in Florida, but it corrupt. ;-)


                        Without music, life would be a mistake.

                        by Cory on Wed Oct 20, 2004 at 07:18:03 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Cajun rant (none)
                      Who knows cajun rant. does it weird too?
                  •  Florida vote "tallying" (none)
                    Doesn't anyone hear think that for Castor and Kerry to win in Florida they have to win BIG? Say by 8-10 points? I personally think that with this years' Katherine Harris and Bubba Jeb working to suppress, deny and intimidate voters in Democratic areas, it will take a large majority to overcome such cheating.

                    I am just glad I live in Minnesnowta where a person can register and vote at the same place on the same day.

                    •  Not that big, but yes (none)
                      I would say shave two-three points off their leads and still have at least a two-point win to avoid major lawsuits. I'm thinking more like 4-5.

                      It's harder to steal votes now than it was last year (here at least) and it never affected a margin of 8-10 points ---- at least there's no statistical evidence to show it ---- when they did it last year. If it comes down to the wire, though, they'll steal it.


                      "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

                      by ally on Thu Oct 21, 2004 at 08:31:53 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Vitter won't get 50 (none)
      There are other Dems in the race that are also getting support, beside Johns and Kennedy. Louisiana Dems know how to pull out victories in their special elections.
      •  Also (none)
        I'm not sure were you are getting the thing about Republicans and runoffs. Go back the last two cycles. Dems have cleaned up in the runoffs. That includes Rodney Alexander's improbable victory in a solidly Red district as a Dem.
        •  but (none)
          in general the largest Dem turnout is in the General Presidential elections (look how the Dems got trounced in the 2002 MidTerms by Republican GOTV) Plus LA is a Red State.

          I want Dems to take LA, but at this point it looks more like a Republican pickup, or as I said...too close to call. You are essentially saying a. The Republicans wont get 50.01+ AND will lose a runnoff, that just seems to be a stretch

          ...but hope springs eternal

          •  2002 was a huge year for LA dems (none)
            Landrieu beat back a challenge from the best the LA GOP could offer, and Alexander won as a Democrat in a solidly Red district.

            In fact, LA saved the national Dems from utter humiliation in 2002. That December runoff saved our collective sanities.

            •  we have to agree to disagree (none)
              I think these 3 are too close to call....I hope you are right
            •  re: party affiliation & states' self-images (none)
              for better or worse, LA is a state that is invested in electing democrats, much as RI is invested in electing republicans.  in both cases, there's some serious (and consistent) deviation from current party agendas in the actual voting, but the party affiliation is part of the state's self-image.  a democrat in the south looks a lot like a republican in the northeast, and in both cases it rings true that when given the choice between a republican and a republican, people will always vote for the republican.

              for the purposes of control of committees, people like mary landrieu are important to retain, but it would be nice to get to a point where people who actually voted with the party would be elected.  I of course would rather have more chaffees, and as the republicans move farther right I hope to see more folks jumping ship.  the next step would seem to be pushing the zell millers, landrieus and liebermans out of the dems, but that's going to be a long haul.

              •  Landrieu (none)
                is actually a reasonably secure vote for the Dems.  Baucus, Breaux, and Ben Nelson are all more likely to vote with the Rs than she is (I'm excluding Zell), and Prior and Lincoln are both comparable to Landrieu.  We need all sorts of Dems, though I'm certainly not crying over Zell's retirement.
          •  LA Calling (none)
            LA is a Red State

            LA did vote for Bush in 2000, but went for Clinton in 1992 and 1996.  And every state office is held by a Democrat except one and he's considering changing party affiliation.  As well, Louisiana has not had a Republican senator since Reconstruction.

            The latest American Research Group gives Bush a lead of 50 percent to Kerry's 42 percent, with a margin of error of four points.  Had Democrats actually decided to try for Louisiana, I think they would've succeeded.

            Anyway, David Vitter has no Republican opponent so he has grabbed what Republican vote there is. The 3 others in the race are all Dems and are splitting the rest of the votes. To get to 50% and win the race without a runoff, Vitter would need a considerable amount of Democrat support. Anything is possible, but it's doubtful he'll get it. Conservative Dems might see Vitter as a possibility, but with Breaux's conservative pick Chris John being an option, there's really no incentive for them to cross party lines and vote for Vitter.

            Once the race is reduced to Vitter and a Democrat (either John Kennedy or Chris John), Vitter will lose (as Republicans keep learning).  Registered Democrats here outnumber Republicans by more than 2-1, so when Dems organize, we win.

            This race will probably end up like last years' governor's race between (D) Kathleen Blanco and (R) Bobby Jindal. Jindal surged ahead of the Republican pack, easily making the run-off, while Blanco fought it out with the pile of Democrats.  Many political pundits speculated that Jindal would be able to siphon off some of the conservative Dem votes and give him the win, but it didn't happen.  Democrats stayed with Blanco and she ended up with 52%.

            Without music, life would be a mistake.

            by Cory on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 02:18:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You Sure? (none)
        There's still some undecideds, and Vitter only needs 5-6 points to get to 50. Bush is going to win LA by 10 points or so, and Vitter's the only R in the race. I'm worried he'll get 50. Someone please explain why everyone's so sure he won't!
        •  If there were (none)
          six points to get for Vitter, he'd be getting most of them now.

          O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

          by ogre on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:55:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  SD race intangibles (none)
      The South Dakota polls don't account for a very sizable, very poor, and very Democratic Party-oriented Native American population. South Dakota Native Americans have a huge impact on elections there. Two counties in particular can deliver 6,000 or more votes for Democrats, a huge number in a state with 450,000 registered voters.

      Daschle will win 95+ percent of the Native American vote and since many of those households don't have telephones, they don't show up in the polls. Tim Johnson can thank his 95 percent reservation vote for giving him a 527 vote margin last time against Thune. At best, SD Republicans ignore the Native American population and at worst they use Native Americans as a wedge issue.

      As a native South Dakotan and former South Dakota political reporter who now lives elsewhere, let me suggest one other intangible in the Daschle/Thune race. South Dakotans have always been notoriously tough on serial candidates who try again and again to get elected. They tend to give candidates one chance and if they lose, they are seen to have had their chance. Thune was close last time, so there may be less of a serial candidate backlash, but I'll bet it's worth something in a very close race.

      •  Like George McGovern? (none)
        He lost for the Senate in 1960 then won in 1962.
        •  yea, exactly like that. cripes. (none)
          You pull up a single example from 1960 and figure you've got it figured out? Yes, clearly there is nothing to it.

          Oh, wait... How about Leo Thorsness?  McGovern beat him for Senate in 1974 and Daschle beat him for house in 1978.

          How about Larry Pressler. Lost to Johnson for Senate, and then was waxed by Inmate Janklow for house.

          Just a theory, but I did live there for 30 years, and covered politics for several.

    •  Keep signing off Morrell (none)
      Why people keep neglecting Arthur Morrell, the Chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus is beyond me.  Not only is Louisiana 33% black, but Morrell is the only Democrat running that isn't afraid of calling himself a Democrat.

      "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

      by DWCG on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 12:20:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Which runoffs are you talking about? (none)
      Dems have won runoffs for major LA officers (senator and governor) in 2002 and 2003. Mary Landrieu also won a tough contest in '96 to get elected as Senator, although Clinton was obviously more of a help on the ticket than Kerry.

      Tradesports hates Democrats -- why are you referencing them? And didn't they say that Bush would have a massive landslide in 2000?

      I think that the GOP have a good chance, a very good chance in FL. I am worried about LA. I don't think they'll win SD, although anything is possible. ColoDem seems terrified about CO now, which worries me, because he used to think that Salazar would win.

  •  Good rundown, but . . . (none)
    I disagree here:

    It would be better to either hold the Senate outright, or not have it so Kerry can run against Senate Republican "obstructionists" in 2006 and 2008.

    I think you fight for any advantage possible. Power is all that matters. Screw perceptions and campaign issues. Those can be dealt with later. The biggest problem right now is the GOP Hammer-lock on the conference committees. You have to end that and get some Democrats into those committees. Then you can demonize Tom Delay, if you want an obstructionist. And he fits the part so perfectly.

    50-50 is very preferable to keeping the Senate in GOP control, imo.

  •  Very similar to my diary (none)
    here. I would include Pennsylvania in the list, not because Hoeffel is going to win, but because I think it is going to be as close as some of the other races.
  •  If I am counting right (none)
    This means that the Dems could net 8 seats among these races. That means that we could have a healthy majority in the Senate no matter who wins.  This makes me feel pretty good.
    •  Net 4 seems the max (none)
      If we judge these races as the only open races, the Democrats can post a net gain of 4 at the most.  If a Dem holds the seat now, winning it, while important, isn't a net gain.  The most we could do is 47-52-1.  Maybe 46-53-1 is Spector falls apart.  While strong control, its hardly a bounce of 8 seats.
      •  Plus Chafee (none)
        If the Repugs lose it in the Senate... he might just give up on them.

        Especially with Pres. Kerry....

        O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

        by ogre on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:57:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If the Dems win the Senate outright (none)
          ...Chafee will stay put.   There's no incentive for the Democrats to make a deal with him unless his defection will throw the entire Senate over to Democratic control, and Chafee won't move unless some concessions are made in terms of committee seats/chairs and the like.
  •  Good Line (none)
    I don't do "toss-up", as I find it a sort of cop-out, like "50% chance of rain".

    If only the media didn't let the talking heads get away with it, too.

    "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

    by galiel on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:01:48 AM PDT

  •  Inez Tenenbaum (none)
    Was superb on MTP...

    Russert laid into Jim DeMint for his comments on gays and pregnant single women should not be let into the classroom.

    Tenenbaum was a class act all the way and a TRUE DEMOCRAT she did not hedge on abortion issues or any Democratic values. She should be an icon to those who feel that just because they are in red states that they have to triangulate to win.

    I was truly impressed. Carson and Salazar should take heed.

    IDEOLOGICALLY PURE?...yeah right... as opposed to buying a pig in a polk and hoping that it turns out to be a Democrat.

    by Genf on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:01:59 AM PDT

    •  Is this online somewhere? (none)
      I overslept yesterday. :}

      The Rambling Rover: Politics, society, travel, oh my

      by jonathanjo on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:26:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sort of (none)
        Here's the transcript, but you won't really get the sense of how Russert laid into DeMint about his evasiveness; nor will you see DeMint's numerous smirks and squirms.

        Oh! And in my other post I forgot to mention how DeMint danced around the question of Iraq having a true say in their own government. He said they would have a democracy. But when Russert asked what would happen if they voted for an Islamic republic like Iran, DeMint said, "Well, that's not a democracy if it's like Iran." So apparently, as Bush said, there ought to be limits to freedom.

        If you stick to your guns but your aim is off, you are worthless. We need a straight shooter as President: John Kerry.

        by gogaddy on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:42:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  MTP (none)
      Tenenbaum did better than I thought she would, and DeMint did a lot worse. I don't think he's ever seen Meet The Press before, because he broke Russert's only rule: Answer The Question or Get Hammered.

      DeMint is against abortion even in the case of rape or incest, and even if the mother's life is in danger. He is a free trader in a state that has lost jobs overseas. He is for regressive taxes in a state with a relatively high poverty rate. He believes that gays and pregnant "unwed mothers" should not be allowed to teach public schools, even though he tried to cover up that statement on MTP.

      On the other hand, Tenenbaum supports the Iraq war, supports the American troops, opposes "partial birth" abortions except when the mother's life is in danger, opposes gay marriage, and basically says she is for South Carolina first and the Democratic Party second. While I don't agree with some of her stances, I think she is juuust conservative enough to capture some of the Republican voters disgusted by DeMint's crazy talk.

      If you stick to your guns but your aim is off, you are worthless. We need a straight shooter as President: John Kerry.

      by gogaddy on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:36:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Saw the SC-Sen MTP debate last night (none)
        I wasn't overly impressed with Tenebaum.  Obviously she's better than DeMint, but she seemed, hmmm, a little vacuous.  

        I think this is what bothered me. Several times she was asked to pipe in on a discussion Russert and DeMint were having, and she's give a whole recital of what they just talked about, as if it hadn't been brought up yet.  It came off as if she was just a recording, not able to adlib from her speeches.

        That, and her recital of Bush's talking points when talking about why the war in Iraq was such a good thing.  That bothered me too.

        Bottom line, I hope Tenebaum wins, but I don't think either of these will be notable senators.  

        Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

        by bawbie on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:42:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Compared to Carson (none)
          where he was trying to be a "better" Republican than Coburn she did great. I have gotten used to the DINO candidates and was shocked to see a Dem with a little backbone and spirit.

          What I did like was that she let nothing go pass and was able to debunk DeMint(ed)'s negative ads.

          IDEOLOGICALLY PURE?...yeah right... as opposed to buying a pig in a poke and hoping that it turns out to be a Democrat.

          by Genf on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:02:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  New Dynamic to the Race (none)

        Over on, Mike Rogers is looking to ad a new dynamic to the race. I heard him on Sirius radio today talking about writing an open letter to SC Senator Lindsay Graham.

        There have been rumors about Graham's personal life for years but nothing has ever been corroborated. Kind of a Strom Thurmond-has-a-black-child Part Deux but modernized to fit the day's most controversial issues.

        Well, if Jim DeMint doesn't think that "practicing homosexuals" should teach in the public schools, what would he think about a gay colleague in the United States Senate? Would he accept money from them? Would he do a commericial with him if he was popular?

        Would Jim DeMint knowingly exploit a gay man if it would get him elected while spreading hate and predjudice against them?

        Hypothetically, what would the Bob Jones people do if they found out that they had a gay United States Senator?

        •  Lindsey Graham (none)
          Of course there are rumors about Graham. I don't know if they are true or not. In the South, you are pretty much assumed to be straight until proven gay. I think many people here have the "don't ask, don't tell" mentality that as long as homosexuals don't "act gay" they aren't really gay.

          Now if any evidence were brought forth of Graham having any homosexual relationships, sure, he would be in a ton of hot water with much of the SC electorate. But clearly this has not happened and may never happen. For all we know, he's celibate. I don't think we can assume things about him or anyone else unless there's some kind of evidence.

          I have male friends whose families and some friends speculate they are gay because they are past a certain age range and are not married. Are they all gay? Is this fair? Surely not.

          If you stick to your guns but your aim is off, you are worthless. We need a straight shooter as President: John Kerry.

          by gogaddy on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:43:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have you been (none)
            over to blogactive?

            I think that there is something afoot. I do not think Mike Rogers would move forward on just suspicion.

            Remember Graham is the one that went after Clinton so bad during Monica. He also has really angered the Bush people by not following the party line. So he has made some enemies that may have an ax to grind.

            His independent style is reminicent of McCain, who he supported in 2000. The wounds are still fresh from that exchange as written about in this month's Vanity Fair (the one with Johnny Depp on the cover).Graham rode Bush to an easy victory in 2000 by invoking his name at every opportunity. Bush came down to campaign for him about 4 or 5 times. Then Graham gets to DC and doesn't do what they say. He has been especially critical about the number of troops in Iraq and the Abu Gharaib scandal. Now with SC troops actually refusing to follow orders, the Bushies might want to shut him up permanently or perhaps send a shot across the bow.

            Soldiers Saw Refusing Order as Their Last Stand

            This has an extra dimension to it because DeMint is such a freakshow about the gay marriage, gay rights, gay teachers comments.

    •  Nobody watches MTP (none)
      Hell, I don't even wake up early enough on Sunday to watch any of the Sunday talkshows.  And I can't remember the last place, outside of a campaign headquarters anyone discussed the shows.

      "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

      by DWCG on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 12:27:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many people do watch (none)
        Carson's appearance on MTP seemed to do him more harm than good. His polls tanked when people got to hear him for themselves.

        IDEOLOGICALLY PURE?...yeah right... as opposed to buying a pig in a poke and hoping that it turns out to be a Democrat.

        by Genf on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:08:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  if kerry wins (none)
    It is my understanding that if/when Kerry wins, Romney will appoint a republican senator (himself probably) until the statehouse can fix the law to force a special election.  I can't believe there will be a republican senator from MA.  #$&*@$ Romney.
    •  Romney will stay Gov. (none)
      Romney has no chance against Frank in special election. Weld might have a chance. Smart money says Weld gets the appointment.

      " You're as big a dick on your show as any show." -Jon Stewart to Tucker Carlson, CNN Crossfire (10/15/2004)

      by nyetsoup4you on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:04:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Weld is not a resident of MA (none)
        Might be a bit tough to pull off a Weld appointment given that he's lived in New York for years.
      •  Romney would have a chance... (none)
        ...especially against Frank.  Nevertheless, Romney isn't going to run.  Can't be said enough times (and seemingly that's being tested) but Romney has his eyes on the White House and knows full well that the Governor's office is a better place to launch such a run than the Senate floor.

        Weld is no favorite among Bay State Repubs.  Even less so among National GOP'ers.  Given that Romney is defining the MA-GOP in his image, Weld would be unwelcome.  Especially given their enormous gap on GovMitt's big issue, gay marriage.  Weld might actually win the election if he got through, but he would necessarily translate to a Republican majority.  I don't seem him being interested or welcome, though, so its all moot.

        Cellucci is a moderately more likely, though my money would be on Andy Card.  If that's who the GOP puts up, Frank/ Meehan/ Reich/ Capuano/ Delahunt/ Kennedy/ McGovern/ Lynch/ Neal/ Markey/ Oliver/ Tierney or whoever won't have trouble filling Kerry's seat.

        •  Boston Globe on Romney today (none)
          Romney--Missing in Action

          Interesting that Romney has done so little campaigning for Bush.

          And...on the speculation about Kerry's seat:

          "Romney has said he would not run for the seat."

          Gosh, I don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden

          by willyr on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:36:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So now the entire (none)
          MA GOP loathes gays and wants to do nothing but hurt them, just like Romney them? How awful. And yet they are still so favored to pick up a lot of seats in the state legislature this year. Devastating. I hope that people can stop them. Do you think they can?

          •  For all intents and purposes (none)
            The MA GOP is Romney right now.  He's trying to build the party in his image, which is includes hardcore anti-gay marriage views.  A guy like Weld, who read the homely at the marriage of two gay friends, is persona non gratis.

            Romney could make some modest gains, but I'm inclined to doubt anything significant will happen.  The GOP in Mass is still deader than dead.

            •  Any guesses on (none)
              seat gain? 10? 20? If he gets that many then he'll be talked up for the Presidency and he will be more likely to win reelection in 2006. Do people in MA not care at all? Republicans in MA have no problem with the hate in their state party? It's just disgusting. People are so willing to trade away any tolerance.
      •  No appointment (none)
        It is my understanding that the new law in Mass. does not allow for any appointment. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the seat simply falls vacant for several months if (when) Kerry wins.
    •  it is already done (none)
      there will be a special election

      IDEOLOGICALLY PURE?...yeah right... as opposed to buying a pig in a polk and hoping that it turns out to be a Democrat.

      by Genf on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:05:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What? No Murray/Nethercutt? (none)

    I guess now that Bush and the NRSC have given the order to abandon ship in Washington, no one in the reality-based community seriously believes Murray has any chance of losing.

    --- My opinions are my own and not my employer's.

    by Aexia on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:03:16 AM PDT

  •  If it remains 51-48-1, and Kerry wins, (none)
    then Lincoln Chaffee of RI becomes the most-loved man in the Senate. :-)

    "Bush too evil even for me", Great Old One says

    by Jon Meltzer on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:06:02 AM PDT

    •  I can live with 50-48-2 (none)
    •  Sadly (none)
      I suspect that Chaffee would stay R in the event of a Kerry win, because his beef is with Bush-style neoconservativism and radical right-wing politics. If Kerry's in, the Bush folks will be way, way out of the mainstream and there will be more room for moderates like Chaffee in the party.

      The good news is that he might be persuaded to jump if Bush wins.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
      Ow, my blog.

      by Corax on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:15:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CO Senate (none)
    Salazar has a much better favorable rating for the seat here in CO. I think a lot of people here don't take Pete Coors seriously. Especially after he said that North Dakota & the WMD's there were a threat to our security.
  •  When do we kick Henry Hyde out ? (none)
    It's about time we get the Newt spawn bigot out of Congress...
  •  Kerry Replacement (none)
    The Massachussetts legislature gets to appoint Kerry's replacement when he wins. They changed the law recently so Romney couldn't appoint anyone. Also, Weld is living in New York right now, I think, so it might be difficult for him to run.
  •  Re: (none)
    I generally agree with Kos's analysis.  I also agree with the poster who says to keep an eye on Pennslyvania.  It all depends on how close to 10% Clymer can get.

    But there are so many close races that it's impossible to predict.  Based on recent history, it would figure that Louisiana and Florida lean Dem, while South Carolina and Oklahoma lean Rep.  Bowles and Salazar have slim leads.  Alaska is a toss-up.  And Kentucky is now a total wild card.  So, things are in place for a Democratic takeover, but there are just too many close races to make that prediction with any sort of confidence.

    The Bushes run their campaigns out of a CIA manual. --- Kevin Phillips

    by Paleo on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:17:20 AM PDT

  •  Alaska may be a problem... (none)
    LA Times on Saturday had an article that in a military construction spending bill signed last week, the Thugs put in a fed loan guarantee for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska.  Is expected to provide thousands of jobs, billions in revenue, and a big boost to Murkowski.

    Plus they are trying hard to get more tax credits for the pipeline for ConocoPhilips, Exxon etc, because the poor dears haven't ripped us off enough this year!

    Go Kerry! You are so much more than an ABB! Who knew?

    by CalDoc on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:20:16 AM PDT

  •  Florida & Al-Arian (none)
    Every controversy has a past, often one that is far more complex and in far more shades of grey, blue, red, brown, etc, than one might initially expect. This controversy is no different. But to understand a controversy, one must understand from whence it came. Here are several sections on the background of the dispute between Sami Al-Arian and the Administration of the University of South Florida.

  •  a little love for the cheese? (none)
    I know it looks like Feingold is going to trounce Michels to retain his seat but the local media still plays it out to be a horserace...  

    Is everyone really that confident?  

    •  Russ is kicking ass (none)
      latest poll shows Russell F. with a 10 pt. lead!
    •  What Counties can Michels carry? (none)
      Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Washington for sure.

      Shawano, Langlade, Laffayette, Walworth, Waukesha, Dodge, and Green Lake likely.

      Richland, Jackson, Clark, St. Croix, Vilas, Forest, Florence, Oconto, Marinette, Adams, Waushara,  lean R

      Monroe, Juneau, Outagamie, Jefferson,  tossups

      all others lean Feingold, or better. Russ takes a 60,000 bulge out of Dane county alone.

      Your Blunder War is showing.

      by ben masel on Tue Oct 19, 2004 at 01:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  northwoods (none)
        Superior is a big chunk up north... Trempealeau and Eau Claire have a decent amount of population that could go to the right.  It's an intersting area up there though - they love guns and god but they're huge environmentalists too.
  •  What about Ohio? (none)
    Eric Fingerhut needs support.  While he is behind in the polls, he is a strong candidate and a great democrat.
    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati Is Site of Only Live-Audience Debate for the U.S. Senate


    Dear Friends,

    Up until now, Senator Voinovich has refused invitations from venues throughout the state to debate Eric Fingerhut in a U.S. Senate candidates' forum. (See most recent,  10.13.04 Akron Beacon Journal.) And he's ignored repeated calls from Eric, himself, to debate the issues of importance to the future of Ohio. (See  4.15.04 Fingerhut Challenges Voinovich to Debate Medicare Now)  Apparently bowing to pressure, Senator Voinovich has accepted one invitation, agreeing to publicly debate Eric one time --- and one time only --- in front of a live audience in Cincinnati Friday, October 22. (See debate details here.)

    Please join us in spreading the word that Ohio needs to see this debate. Sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, WCPO-TV, The League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area and The Cincinnati Enquirer, the hosts are making the debate available to statewide and national press for simultaneous airing or rebroadcast.

    Please call now and ask your local news outlets to bring the one and only live-audience debate between Ohio's two U.S. Senate candidates to your town. It's critical to our future and to the future of Ohio. See media contact list at !

    Please do this now today, and then forward this message on to your personal networks. It is your chance to impact this election in a big way and move poll numbers up quickly for Eric in the final weeks of this campaign for the U.S. Senate. Eric --- and Ohio --- can win this race with your help. Thank you for making a difference!

    Best regards,

    Raquel Whiting
    Campaign Manager
    voice: 216.454.0082, 614.857.9609

  •  Kos's Analysis (none)
    That's a net gain of 2, or 50 plus Jeffords.  I'll take it.

    I always said it would come down to Oklahoma and South Carolina, blessed with Democrats who have run near-perfect campaigns and Republicans who shoot themselves in the foot again and again.  Now we can add Kentucky, too.

    Win two of those three seats, win a 51 seat majority. Win one, tie the Senate. Lose all three, stay minority.  That's all there is to it.

    Bush's debate drool proved once again that the President is the master of lowered expectorations.

    by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 10:50:04 AM PDT

  •  How about California's Baxer (none)
    Any one knows California's Senator race? Is Baxer in danger?
    •  BOxer is just fine (none)
      us californians know how to vote (except maybe for Governor)
    •  No Way, Jose (none)
      Boxer -- that's B-O-X-E-R -- is not in any danger of losing this seat. She is often touted as the most, if not one of the most liberal senators, but Californians will resoundingly return her to the Senate this year. She is up anywhere from 10-17 points over former Secy. of State Bill Jones.

      "Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --George W. Bush

      by RevJoe on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:01:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She's going to win... (none)
        ...but that doesn't mean I can't still be annoyed with her for co-sponsoring Orrin Hatch's retarded INDUCE Act.  She's not getting my vote-I want her to win by less than Kerry.  Sends a message, I hope.
        •  I Respect Your POV (none)
          ... but I am not willing to withhold my vote as a punishment this fall, though I agree with you on the issue. I continue to convey my feelings to Sen. Boxer as the issues arise.

          Part of my concern is that Bill Jones is about to pump up to $5M of his personal fortune into his flagging campaign, which will make a difference, though I don't believe it will be nearly enough for him to steal the seat.

          However, my wanting Boxer to win is my sending a message to conservative and so-called "moderate" voters that my progressive (most-of-the-time)sentator is just fine by me.

          "Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --George W. Bush

          by RevJoe on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 09:54:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  we are going to have to agree to disagree (none)
    I say these 3 are too close to call, you think they are lean dem....i hope you are right
  •  South Dakota (none)
    Tom Daschle has not had many close racing in SD, at least as a Senator.  His only close race running for Sentate was his first in 1986 when he beat incumbent James Abdnor by a 52%-48% margin.  In 1992 he won 65% of the vote and in 1998 62% of the vote both times against token opposition.  Everything I have heard about this year's race is that he'd be a shoo-in if he was running against anyone but Thune so to say that Daschle has "weathered many a close race as a Democrat in this solidly Red state" might be a bit of a stretch.
    •  Thune lost to Tim Johnson (none)
      Johnson is much weaker than Daschle, and the orcs threw everything they had into getting Thune elected, in a banner Republican year, and couldn't do it.  Their numbers this time in 2002 looked a lot worse for the Democrat.  There's no reason to assume Thune will do any better this time around.

      All Democratic incumbents are safe.

      Bush's debate drool proved once again that the President is the master of lowered expectorations.

      by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:00:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Daschle (none)
        I hope you are right, and it is certainly clear that Daschle is a stronger candidate than Johnson, but this is a presidential year, turnout will be higher than 2002 and South Dakota will be a solid Bush state.  Based on all of that one would have to conclude that Daschle probably has an advantage, but only a minuscule one.

        Anyway, this race represents a break in precedent.  There has been an unspoken rule in the Senate that party leaders do not target each other, but Frist has openly gone after Daschle.  I know it is a long shot, but let's hope Frist's chickens come home to roost on this one.

        •  Majority Leader (none)
          Also don't forget that the campaign between Johnson and Thine was a campaign between Bush and Daschle. The Democrats argued that a vote for Johnson was a vote to keep Dashle the majority leader of the Senate with all the perks that brought for SD. Now that Daschle is minority leader, that argument has a lot less attraction...
          •  minority leader (none)
            It's still perhaps Daschle's biggest bona fide on the campaign trail. In speeches, he always points out how with his being in such a position of power, South Dakota is "at the front of the line" for federal dollars. Thus, removing him sends S.D. to the back of the line. It's obviously the best strategy for a small state that'd be overlooked otherwise.

            Of course, this complicates things a bit, b/c I thought the scuttlebutt was that he wouldn't be voted majority leader if/when the changeover occurs....hard to take him out when his position might be all that wins it for him (and hence, the Dems).

  •  I think kos is too optimistic (none)
    Maybe I need a morale boost but I'm afraid that the Red states are so whooped up for Dumbya that his coattails will pull DeMint, Coburn, Thune and Murkowski over the line.  That would be R+2.

    NC, FL, CO and LA could go either way.  That would mean anything from R +1 to R +5!!!  What kind of country is this anyways?

    So I'm betting on Minority Leader Clinton.

    Let's put America on a no CARB diet come November -- No Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld or Bush!!!

    by jimsaco on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:02:35 AM PDT

    •  Thune (none)
      Daschle won't lose.  Bunning has a better chance of losing.  But you're right in the sense that with so many close races you could see anything from a 4 seat Republican gain to a 4 seat Democratic gain.

      The Bushes run their campaigns out of a CIA manual. --- Kevin Phillips

      by Paleo on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:07:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't (none)
      I think we're going to see some major surprises for downticket Dems due to Bush's failures.
    •  early indicator (none)
      Knowles is doing about as well as you can expect a Democrat to do in Alaska. The same goes for Carson in OK.  But nothing, of course, should be taken for granted.

      Because the polls close at 5 PM Central in Kentucky, we'll get some idea early in the evening if Dr. Frist will have to go back to chasing cats in his spare time.

      * "I still believe in a place called Hope." --Bill Clinton

      by diversecity215 on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:28:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Leader Clinton? What are you smoking? (none)
      She could lose in 2006 and she would be a lightning rod who would hurt Senate Dems in any purple or red state.
      •  Clinton (none)
        I think it's more a seniority issue than a "lightning rod" issue. If Daschle loses (which I don't think he will), I would think that they would pick someone who has been in the senate longer than just since 2000. Maybe Feinstein or Schumer.

        "The goals for this country are peace in the world. And the goals for this country are a compassionate American for every single citizen." -G.W. Bush

        by Bundy on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 01:39:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This should help Erskine Bowles (none)
    The Raleigh, NC News & Observer reports that retired General Hugh Shelton has come to Bowles' defence.

    "When you come under attack, who do you want in your corner? How about retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    Shelton, an Edgecombe County native, manned the battlements for Democratic Senate candidate Erskine Bowles last week after Bowles' record on security issues was criticized by his opponent, Richard Burr. Shelton is appearing in a TV ad for Bowles.

    'When Erskine ran the White House budget, we requested more money, were granted more money, and spent more money on defense when he left than they did before he got there,' he told reporters.

    'The military forces which are fighting the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the war on terror, were prepared, trained and equipped during Erskine's service in Washington,' Shelton said. 'I, for one, am very proud of what they have accomplished under very trying circumstances.'"

    New Granada: tomorrow's

    by monkey knife fight on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:04:37 AM PDT

  •  Kerry's Senate Seat (none)
    Why hasn't there been much discussion of Kerry's Senate seat? If he is elected president, he will presumably resign his senate seat, which will be presumably filled by a Republican, since the Mass. governor is Republican. Ironically, if Kerry wins, the Senate is more likely to remain Republican.
  •  The Greens could play spoiler (none)
    There is a Green in the Alaska Senate race; and, if Murkowski wins, then I fear that the Green may be the difference.
  •  Help make the dream a reality (none)
    Instead of just dreaming of a senate majority, help make it a reality.  Here are links to all the democratic senatorial candidates listed above, minus Obama, who doesn't need help.

    Georgia -
    Colorado -
    South Carolina -
    Oklahoma -
    Alaska -
    North Carolina -
    Kentucky -
    South Dakota -
    Florida -

    Democracy is not a spectator sport.

    by mofus on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 11:37:21 AM PDT

  •  Going out on a limb (none)
    I think that there is a good chance of the Dems of picking up Five seats in the senate. I think a that there will be many changes in the coming cycle and that there is a real chance that if turn out is high we take the senate and close the gap to almost nothing in the House. I also note that I see Kerry winning as long as we can turn out the vote.

    One note in kansas three Dennis Moore is in a tight race against young ultra conservative Chris Kobash.. Kobash has about 300k on hand and moore has 150k. I know we are all pretty tapped out but keeping this moderate seat in our colum would be a plus...

    Every little bit helps...

    Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

    by Davinci on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 12:20:44 PM PDT

    •  I agree (none)
      North Carolina and South Dakota are in the bag, but Georgia is gone.  That puts us at 52 votes for Senate Majority Leader Frist.

      But we can pick up:

      1. IL
      2. OK
      3. CO
      4. AK
      5. KY

      With Jeffords that gives us 53 votes for Senate Majority Leader Durbin.

      The challenge is holding on to Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

      Too bad Hoeffel couldn't make a race out of Pennsylvania.

      "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

      by DWCG on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 12:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had the pleasure of seeing (none)
    Republican Jim DeMint debate Democrat Inez Tenenbaum. It was pleasurable (a) because it was a debate in which adversaries were allowed to address each other and , as I recall, any way, ask questions. But it was quite intense, and as an out-out-of-stater, I was able to form a clear impression of both candidates. The 2nd reason I was pleased is that Tenenbaum is one obvious bright and articulate lady. Although she may be to the right of the mainstream Democratic party she has a sharp tongue. Not so much Ann Ricahrds as that fine ex-Congresswoman from Colorado . . . (What's her name?)
  •  Don't Forget Congress (none)
    It's a smaller picture, but New Mexico has at least one hot race going on between the republican incumbent, "dirty" Heather Wilson, and a handsome, articulate, and apparently popular Democratic Challenger.
    •  Romero/Wilson (none)
      I know a bunch of people up in Albuquerque who are working their butts off to dump Heather (Dingbat) Wilson.  

      I was up in ABQ over the weekend and saw exactly one yard sign for Dingbat and a ton for Romero.  Hopefully this will translate into Albuquerque going for Romero and if ABQ goes D then that's the ball game in NM-1.

  •  NPR story on Carson v. Coburn (none)
    I just heard a good news story on NPR about this race.  Coburn sounds so much like a stereotypical Republican and Bush all rolled into one.  And Carson could be an up-and-comer in the Democratic party.

    They talked about how Carson is using Coburn's attacks to beat him as if with a club.  Nice!  They also discussed how Coburn's negative ads eliminated Carson's lead.  Thankfully, Coburn seems to keep putting his wacko, extreme foot in his mouth on a regular basis.

    Bottom line, it sounds like Carson can pull this one off since Oklahoma residents seem to be fed up with all Coburn's baggage.

  •  Dems +5, baby (none)
    Dems win 3-5 of open Dem seats
    Dems win 2-3 of open GOP seats
    Dems win Alaska
    Dems win 1-3 other seats from GOP incumbents
    All Dem incumbents win
  •  Don't count PA out just yet.... (none)
    Hoeffel's gaining on Specter - per the latest SUSA poll they have Specter 48 Hoeffel 41 Clymer 6.  Those numbers won't elect Hoeffel - yet - but there's two weeks to go and it's clear who has the momentum - it ain't Arlen Specter.
  •  LA: Chris John Leads Dems in latest poll (none)
    Hotline, October 18, 2004

    Independent pollster Verne Kennedy's latest LA U.S. Senate poll was conducted October 4-7 and surveyed 600 likely voters (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/17).

    Tested: Reps. Chris John (D-7) and David Vitter (R-1), Treasurer John Kennedy (D) and state Rep. Arthur Morrell (D).

    General Election Matchup

                           Now      8/30

    Vitter (R)         47%      42%

    John (D)          20%      16%

    Kennedy (D)    14%      19%

    Morrell (D)        3%        3%

    Undec             16%      20%

    margin of error +/- 4%

    Help Chris John Stop David Republican Vitter

    Help LA's Democratic Party Stop Vitter/GWB

    •  Stop Vitter & GOP money machine (none)
      Vitter leaves Demo foes in dust in money race
      By Bill Walsh
      October 19, 2004

      WASHINGTON -- Vitter's campaign said Monday that he had raised $1.75 million in the third quarter, the period covering July 18 to Sept. 30, and had $3.25 million in the bank as the Nov. 2 primary moves into the final stretch. He has raised $6.1 million for the entire election, which is expected to go to a Dec. 4 runoff.

      His U.S. House colleague, Rep. Chris John, D-Crowley, took in $988,607 over the same period and had $1.08 million on hand as of Sept. 30. State Treasurer John Kennedy, also a Democrat, reported raising $302,630 in the third quarter and had $803,126 when the books were closed.

      Read the article

      Check out

      •  Jon Corzine: "Stopping Vitter" (none)
        "Louisiana has never elected a Republican senator. And we're going to do all we can to make sure this isn't the year they do.

        Representative Chris John is in a dead heat with Republican candidate David Vitter in head-to-head polls of the presumed December run-off. Senator Allen and others claim that Congressman Vitter can get over 50 percent November 2nd and avoid a run-off.

        I'm here to tell you that we don't see it that way. We don't plan on it happening that way. And there will be a run-off.

        And I don't need to tell folks or remind folks how good the Louisiana Democrats' track record is in December run-offs."

        Senator Jon Corzine
        Washington, D.C. Press Club

  •  Latest LA US Senate Poll (none)
    By Robert Travis Scott
    October 20, 2004

    "Southern Media & Opinion Research Inc., a Baton Rouge polling and consulting firm, conducted telephone interviews with 600 likely Louisiana voters statewide on Oct. 12 and 13. The poll, with a margin of error of 4 percent, asked voters to name the candidate they would vote for if the election were held today.

    U.S. Rep. David Vitter, the only Republican in the Senate race, led with 43 percent, followed by three Democrats: U.S. Rep. Chris John with 18 percent, state Treasurer John Kennedy with 10 percent and state Rep. Arthur Morrell with about 2 percent. Nearly 27 percent were undecided, didn't know or wouldn't say."

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