And before we take the jump, I just wanted to remind you again that you can contribute to candidates on this project by hitting this ActBlue page
And, because I get grief about not pimping my other series, you can go here and join the BASICS series already in progress.
ND-AL: Safe Blue.
South Dakota - One of the more interesting races I've covered so far. Stephanie Herseth is facing the coordinator of the Oglala Sioux's Judiciary Committee, and Republican chairman of Shannon County which encompasses the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The American Indian population is about 8% of the population, and Indians are overwhelmingly Democratic (Pine Ridge has Democrats outnumbering Republicans 10:1). Most longtime Kossacks know Stephanie Herseth, and, should be pleased to know that she is well enough established that even CQ says she'll win this easily.
SD-AL: Safe Blue, unless something interesting happens.
Montana - Montana has been trending Blue these past few years, and I had great high hopes for Monica Lindeen, whom I've been supporting for over a year. But whether Tester/Burns have just sucked all the oxygen out of the air, or whether Rehberg has played it smart keeping things low-key and Lindeen's name out of the media (and I've heard both from folks I know out there), this race just hasn't caught fire. We'll see how things pan out in the next couple of months. Lindeen has some things going for her, including that her problem is name recognition and Montana television is inexpensive, as television goes; and Rehberg has an Abramoff problem in a state with plenty of Native Americans.
MT-AL: Red on track to coast in
ID-01 - Western portion of the state including parts of Boise. This is the Grant-Sali race that has been garnering so much attention. Preaching bipartisanship and against winner-take-all one-party-rule, Larry Grant is going to be a lot more conservative than we would like, but nowhere near as conservative as his opponent. And the good news is that Grant is currently leading in the polls. The bad news is that, that's not quite right... "undecided" is leading in the polls. So the best thing I can do for Grant is say "boo, bad guy, Daily Kos hates him". Now, go to My ActBlue page and give the guy some money.
ID-01: Blue to be!
ID-02 - Eastern portion of the state including parts of Boise. The Reddie, Mike Simpson, won this one last time through, with 71%. Our guy, Jim Hansen, has more of an advantage in name recognition than Monica Lindeen. He served in the State Legislature for six years and his rather served the district in Congress for three terms back in the late sixties and early seventies. He is also running on the bipartisanship wagon, as, I suppose, you would have to in Idaho. Hansen trails in fundraising by rather a lot, but has set a $100 limit, and actually has more individual contributors than the Reddie. The same poll that put Grant over Sali has Hansen down by 42.
ID-02: Safe Red
UT-01 - Northern portion of the state including Ogden and part of SLC. Bush got 73% here in 2004, and this is still the place on Earth that he is most popular. Our guy, Steve Olsen, is running as a non-politician with a strong commitment to his church and twenty years in Scouting. His three kids are (in order), Jeni, a social worker; Chris, a Navy submarine officer; and, Bonnie, a paralegal. He has a booklet on why most Utahns are really Democrats who just don't know it yet. I like this guy. He's down 57-23 in a fairly recent poll. Maybe next time...
UT-01: Safe Red
UT-02 - Southern portion of the state including parts of SLC. Our guy is Jim Matheson, an insanely popular Democrat in a district that gave Bush 66%. I love this line from The Desert News
U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson has turned many 2nd Congressional District Republicans into political schizophrenics
Indeed! Matheson is polling at 64% to the Reddie's 23%, and is leading 55-31 among LDS. The schizophrenic part? While Matheson is garnering 64%, Orrin Hatch is pulling in 63% of the District.
UT-02: As safe as any Blue seat is out there!
UT-03 - The Cental portion of the state, and, would you believe it?, parts of SLC. If there's anywhere that loves W more that UT-1, it's UT-3, where he walked away with a stunning 77% in 2004. Our guy is a fellow named Christian Burridge. He's a young guy, a lawyer, and I wish him all the best, but I just don't see him getting anywhere. In the last poll, he trailed the Reddie 56-24.
UT-03: Dipped-in-paint Red
Wyoming - I lived in Wyoming for awhile and found that the largest minority there were brown-eyed people. Honestly. Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Jews, Asians, they all have brown eyes. And they don't make a dent in the blue-eyed population. In a state that gave Bush 69% and is one of three that still likes the guy, you have to give props to Gary Trauner, our guy in WY-AL. He has tremendous fundraising, and a cheap media market. He's running against an incumbent who is weak in the state and who came out of a primary where she didn't carry the major population centers (such as they are). In April, Trauner was only trailing by 4. If he can keep on keeping on, he might just do it...
WY-AL: Stay up late, have some popcorn, and keep the champagne cold.