2008 SENATE RACES: INTRODUCTION

Yes, it's that time again. I tried getting this started last fall but it was just too early to get into it. But now I'm really getting into it. If the American public's baffling insistence on taking a McCain/Romney ticket seriously has you down, this should cheer you up.

This Senate election could not be less favorable for the Republicans. It is as if Howard Dean was given permission to design the rules and pick which seats would be up. Remember when the GOP talked about their "firewall" (which failed) to protect the Senate majority in 2006? I can't even imagine what the NRSC strategy for 2008 looks like. The most logical one might be to expect total failure and be pleasantly surprised when something slightly less terrible materializes.

Am I being objective? Yes. Consider the variables:

  • 1. Of the 35* seats in play this year, 23 are Republicans. It's harder to play defense than offense when one's party is on the outs (I'll take 2006 and the popularity of Our Leader as sufficient evidence that the Republican brand is troubled).
  • 2. The twelve currently-Democratic seats include eleven absolute slam dunks. It reads like a Who's Who of the safest people in the Senate – Kerry, Biden, Reed, Rockefeller, Durbin, Levin, Baucus, and more. The only Democratic seat in play is in Louisiana, which lost a significant portion of its base in New Orleans when the city was practically destroyed.
  • 3. Three of five open seats, all due to retiring Republicans, are in states trending Democratic: Colorado, Virginia, and New Mexico. It will take a minor miracle for the GOP to hold any of those. CO could be favorable GOP ground, but they are so desperate for quality candidates that they tried to talk John fuckin' Elway into running before settling on Bob Schaffer, a guy who lost his own party's primary for a Senate seat in 2004. Good luck with that.
  • 4. One of the incumbent Republicans defending his seat is under a seven-count felony indictment and will avoid Federal prison only due to his advanced age. The RNC has to be beside itself over Stevens' refusal to withdraw.
  • 5. Mitch McConnell, who is supposed to be masterminding a national strategy to raise funds and put other Republicans in office, is fighting for his life against a nobody and can't crack 50% in in-state approval polls.

    No, it isn't a pretty year to be a Republican running for the Senate. Maybe this is why Ron Paul and his lunatic army want to repeal the 17th Amendment. Between the 5 GOP retirements and the unfavorable geography of the incumbent Democrats up for re-election, the absolute best-case scenario is still grim. I mean if everything goes the Republicans' way – Iraq turns into a garden paradise in the next 6 weeks, the economy executes a miracle recovery, Obama beheads Michael Phelps during his convention speech – they will only lose 3 or 4 seats. A more likely scenario is a loss of 5 or 6, with a worst-case scenario of 9 to 11.

    Good luck with your nominations, President McCain.

    *35 seats are open instead of the usual 33 because of two seats which became open in the middle of a term. John Barrasso (R-WY) is running to remain in the seat vacated by the death of Craig Thomas while Roger Wicker (R-MS) was appointed upon Trent Lott's resignation.

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  • 2 Responses to “2008 SENATE RACES: INTRODUCTION”

    1. Les Says:

      I agree with you. Repealing the 17th amendments is nuts

    2. peggy Says:

      I really can't wait to read the rest of this series!