Democratic Targets in the Senate, August Update
by Chris Bowers, Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 03:57:48 PM EDT
- 1. (2) Mike DeWine is extremely vulnerable with a weak 44 / 43 approval rating. Of course, that is not the only reason he is vulnerable. As one of the Gang of 14, DeWine doesn't have many friends in the Republican base and grassroots. After his son was crushed in the Republican primary for OH-02, every Republican blog that wrote about it blamed Son of DeWine's defeat on DeWine being a member of the Gang of 14. Even further, as Hackett proved with an 11-point swing in OH-02, Ohio is clearly becoming increasingly disgusted with the Taft and other scandal-plagued Republicans who have run the state into the ground. Finally, no matter who DeWine's opponent is, Sherrod Brown, Tim Ryan or Paul Hackett, he will be facing a serious, serious challenger. The only poll on the race, by the DSCC, showed him at only 42%, but up six on Brown. Overall, I really think DeWine is toast. Of course, none of the three Dems I listed could run, making me look like an idiot. We shall see.
- 2. (1) Rick Santorum, with a paltry 45 / 44. His extreme vulnerability has already been discussed. Poll after poll shows him in a lot of trouble against Casey. Things haven't improved for Santorum, but the dramatic events in Ohio last week just made things a lot worse for Mike DeWine.
- 3. (3) Lincoln Chafee. Chafee is once again looking vulnerable after receiving something of a respite from the NARAL endorsement and Langevin dropping out. Recent polling shows that he is still in a lot of trouble, especially against Whitehouse. Whitehosue also has managed to equal Chafee in cash on hand, and nearly doubled him up in 2Q fundraising. However, with a 53 / 39 approval rating, defeating Chafee will not be the slam dunk it once seemed with Langevin.
- 4. (5) Jim Talent is also in danger, with a 48 / 38 approval rating. After losing the state legislature, a Senate seat, the Governorship, and sliding in the partisan index, we need to turn things around in Missouri ASAP. An April poll by the DSCC on the subscriber section of polling report showed 2004 Democratic Governor nominee Claire McCaskill in a 43-43 dead heat with Talent, which would make McCaskill a slight favorite. Apparently, she will announce her intentions soon. Hurry up Claire--without you, this race almost drops off the radar.
- 5. (4) Conrad Burns is in some trouble with a 50 / 42 rating. The scandals are starting to pile up for Burns as well (here and here), which has forced the NRSC to scramble and try to threaten television stations in Montana who dare accept advertisements pointing out his scandals. Hard to imagine that such an absurd tactic will help Burns out in any way. Still, while Burns is vulnerable, polling still shows him right at the tipping point, but not quite below it (yet). Also, this is a contested primary, so we will have to wait and see. Still, a lot of people in the blogosphere really like John Tester's chances.
- 6. (8) Jon Kyl. Kyl can also be beat, with his approval rating only at 49 / 31, and his re-elect also under 50. Jim Pederson is in the race now, so we don't have to worry about money. This is a possibility, but still not top tier (yet). We will have to see what kind of a candidate Pederson is.
- 7. (6) Frist's open seat. Frist was really socked following the nuclear option debacle, dropping his approval to just 51 / 39 (from 58 / 32). The Republican base hates his guts now, but he isn't running again. Instead, he's running for President, where he will drop out before Super Tuesday (you heard it here first). Looking at the new race, like a lot of southern states, Tennessee is sliding toward Republicans, and Democrats will be facing an interesting primary, so this will be tough. However, this is an open seat, so it remains a target.
- 8. (7) John Ensign. Considering Ensign's anemic 49 / 34 approval rating, he's still on the list for now. However, it's about time we get a candidate in to challenge him. This is getting kind of ridiculous--I haven't even heard names seriously floated, or seen any hypothetical polling on the race. Come on Harry Reid, this is your home state! If we are really going to challenge to retake the Senate, shouldn't you start helping out at home? Find someone.
- The seemingly invulnerable: George Allen (VA), Orin Hatch (UT), Kay Hutchinson (TX), Trent Lott (MS), Richard Lugar (IN), Olympia Snowe (ME), and Craig Thomas (WY). Allen has been downgraded to seemingly invulnerable because I see no indication that Warner will run for his seat. I guess that being a Senator is something of a downgrade from being Governor anyway. Why not move upward instead?