Hang On, Saxby!

You know things are bad when the guy heading up the Republicans' efforts to win senate seats is crossing his fingers that he can hold on to 41 (way to shoot high, John!) and hanging his hopes on winning Georgia's senate seat.

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., set a floor on the number of Senate seats the party must control: 41.

"The number that we get to is really, really important in the U.S. Senate," he said. "That's one of the reasons Saxby [Chambliss] absolutely must hold his seat." [...]

By holding at least 41 Senate seats, the GOP would prevent the Democrats from having the 60 votes required to end filibusters, which prevent votes on bills.

Some might interpret this as good ole fashioned expectations lowering but to me it's actually an acknowledgement of reality. Remember in 2006, most predictions for Democratic gains were in the 2-3 seat range, with 6 as the absolute max? Well, we hit our max. This year, both the playing field and, if it's possible, the political environment, are even worse for Republicans and they know that as of today the minimum the Republicans will lose in November is about 5 seats (most likely VA, NH, NM, AK and CO.) To achieve their lofty goal of holding onto 41 seats, Republicans would have to lose only 3 of the 4 next most vulnerable seats: Dole in NC, Wicker in MS, Smith in OR and Coleman in MN. And that doesn't even take into account what is arguably the next tier of senate opportunities for Democrats: Collins in ME, McConnell in KY and Cornyn in TX. As you can see, Saxby Chambliss doesn't even make the top 12, so the fact that John Ensign sees the Georgia race as his firewall indicates to me that holding onto 41 might actually represent their best case scenario.

Tags: 2008 senate outlook, John Ensign, saxby chambliss (all tags)

Comments

30 Comments

Hmmm ...

It's the soft bigotry of low expectations.

by Brad G 2008-06-09 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

Well, regardless of the reason for the comment, expectation games are pointless when an actual election is held for offices that last 6 years. So, I mean, let them have their election night "victory" at 41, 42, or 45 Senate seats. The next day will bring different expectations entirely.

by Addison 2008-06-09 03:38PM | 0 recs
Wow

I wonder what their internally polling is showing for Ensign to be saying that... :-D

by Student Guy 2008-06-09 03:39PM | 0 recs
Picking up a spare

The thing is, 2006 was really picking up a 7-10 split. Those races in Virginia and Montana were close. The day before, if someone had said to me that we were going to get all three of MO, VA and MT, I wouldn't have called them crazy, but I sure as hell wouldn't have put money on it.

This year, getting to 60 seats actually sounds easier than getting to 51 was in 2006. We can lose a few of the competitive seats and still pull it off.

by fwiffo3 2008-06-09 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Picking up a spare

We did lose one close race in 2006, though: Tennessee.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-06-09 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Picking up a spare

Oh, I completely forgot about that. Though, with Harold Ford, we didn't really lose much.

by fwiffo3 2008-06-09 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Picking up a spare

Agreed. If we had to lose one, that was the one to lose. I was just pointing out that we didn't quite run the table in 2006, though we came close.

And it sure would have been nice to beat John Kyl in Arizona, too.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-06-09 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Picking up a spare

And Ensign himself in Nevada.

Considering NV is such a swing state, and Ensign such a goofus, it was amazing Republican luck that he didn't get a top tier challenger, and lose after one failed term.

by admiralnaismith 2008-06-09 09:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Picking up a spare

That guy makes me mad just about every time I see him on the teevee.

by lockewasright 2008-06-09 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

By holding at least 41 Senate seats, the GOP would prevent the Democrats from having the 60 votes required to end filibusters, which prevent votes on bills.

Actually, Senate Dems will need 65 in order to thwart the DINOs who regualrly vote with the GOP (Landrieu, Lieberman, Lincoln, Nelson, Baucus, McCaskill, Carper, Salazar, Cantwell, Bingaman.)

I'm guessing they'll pretty much run the table on election day and get that number or more.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-09 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

There's no reason to list Bingaman as a "DINO".  Look at his voting record!

by JustJeff 2008-06-09 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

I'm gonna ditto your call on Bingaman for Cantwell. One of the best environmentalists and technology specialists we could hope to have in the senate.

by Trowaman 2008-06-09 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

A little out of date, but accurate nonetheless
http://www.bushwatch.com/demwatch.htm

Only 52% Senate Dems Have Passing Grades As Dems
Boxer Leads, Hillary Trails At 70%

Senator Boxer has a score of 95% (19 of 20 traditionally Democratic votes) and Edward M. Kennedy of Mass. has a score of 90 (18 votes)

6 Passing grades of 85 % (17 votes) go to: Corzine (D-NJ), Richard Durbin of Illinois,Tom Harkin of Iowa. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Reed (D-RI) and Sarbanes (D-MD)

3 Dems with passing grades of 80 % (16 votes) are: Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Biden (D-DE), and John Kerry of Massachusetts.

There are 9 Dems with passing grades of 75% (15 traditionally Dem votes): Dodd (D-CT), Feingold(D-WI), Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin of Michigan, Cantwell (D-WA), Dayton (D-MN), Mikulski (D-MD), Obama (D-IL), and Stabenow (D-MI).

There are 5 Dems with passing grades of 70% (14 traditionally Dem votes) Dorgan (D-ND), Clinton (D-NY), Schumer (D-NY), Murray (D-WA), and Wyden (D-OR)

2 partial Dems now have failing scores of 65% (13 votes) : Bayh (D-IN) and Reid (D-NV).

3 sometimes Dems with failing grades of 60% (12 or 20) are: Feinstein (D-CA)12, Baucus (D-MT), and Rockefeller (D-WV).

Th 3 near Republicans with grades of 55% (11 Dem votes) are: Inouye (D-HI), Nelson (D-FL), and Byrd (D-WV).

The 4 half-dems at 50% are Jeffords (I-VT), Kohl (D-WI), Lieberman (D-CT), and Lincoln (D-AR).

The two more Republican than Dems at 45% are Pryor (D-AR) and Robert Conrad (D) of South Dakota.

Rep. Bingaman (D-NM) is a lone and miserable 40% Republicrat.

There are 1 pretend Dem with a scroe of 35% (7 votes with the Dems) is Carper (D-DE).

Salazar (D-COL) is a lone Republidem at 30%.

Two fake Dems at 25%: Johnson (D-SD)5, and.Mary Landrieu (D) of Louisiana (only 5 Dem votes).

The 1 DINO (Democrat In Name Only) with a 20% grade (4 Dem votes) continues to be Nelson (DE).

Cantwell was the one I got wrong. But on the whole, you can see that the Senate may need MORE than 67 Democrats in order to enact a Democratic agenda under Obama.

.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-09 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!


Except that there have been WAY more than 20 votes this Congress. Which 20 is that report card cherrypicking?

Taking ALL votes, it becomes clear that the most conservative Democrat in the Senate votes better than the most liberal Republican.

by admiralnaismith 2008-06-09 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

I was originally going on my own memory, and I can remember many times when the Democratic cause has been betrayed by senators voting with the Reeps.

My point was that it will take more than just 60 Dem votes to assure consideration and enactment of Obama's Democratic agenda. There are some who are no better than Republicans for whatever reasons.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-09 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

The DINO's will change their tune once they figure out which way the future political winds are blowing...

by LordMike 2008-06-10 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

Or rather having a big enough hammer to hold over them.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-10 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

Beating Saxby will require a good candidate and Vernon Jones isn't it

by rossinatl 2008-06-09 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

Yeah, unfortunately we have no chance in Georgia this year. Also, the Republicans will easily win South Carolina, Mississippi-A, Alabama, and the two Wyoming races.

Beyond that, though, I think every other Republican seat could be in play, though many are the longest of long shots.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-06-09 04:12PM | 0 recs
Vernon is definitely not it

I am also fairly certain he is not going to win.  Most of DeKalb County is pretty happy to see him go, so if you can't win the base of Democratic Power in the state, you probably are going to have a tough time winning.

I am hoping that Jim Martin takes on Saxby.  I still don't think he can win, but I definitely want to see the GOP wasting more money down here.

by monkeyga 2008-06-09 04:14PM | 0 recs
Help get rid of Gordon Smith

Send some love to Jeff Merkley who is lagging far behimd Smith in fundraising.

http://www.jeffmerkley.com/

by Lefty Coaster 2008-06-09 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

If Cornyn loses, then Obama will carry at least 40 states.  Hard to believe.

by daddy0298 2008-06-09 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

What I can never figure out is why this 60-vote rule continues to go on.   Each new Senate must vote on the rule every two years.  Why not just kill it?  

by daddy0298 2008-06-09 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

The Senate isn't like the House where rules are voted on in each new congress. Because only 1/3 of the Senate's members are elected every two years it considers itself an enduring body unlike the House so the rules remain the same congress to congress. I believe it takes a 2/3 vote to change the rules. It's unlikely we'll get that many votes in favor of the change especially considering republicans would be voting themselves into irrelevance for the foreseeable future.

by Quinton 2008-06-09 06:54PM | 0 recs
Rise Max Cleland Rise!

Take that chickenhawk with the name that sounds like a fast food chicken joint out to the woodshead.

by activatedbybush 2008-06-09 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

The republican party is dying and soon dead.  It is merely a matter of time.

by scytherius 2008-06-09 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

Ha-Ha! His name is SAXBY!  That's gotta be worth a few points for Dems in November.
by admiralnaismith 2008-06-09 09:16PM | 0 recs
Erik Fleming?

I'm wondering if an early push might make Erik Fleming's bid to unseat Thad Cochran competitive?  In the wake of the Travis Childers victory in MS-01, we're seeing new efforts to register Democratic voters, lots of first-time voters, and lots of new African-American voters.  With Barack Obama at the top of the ticket to drive turnout, is it possible that a well-supported Fleming could be competitive against Cochran in a way that he wasn't against Lott in 2006?  

Picking up the Mississippi Twofer would be a huge dent in GOP plans to hold on to 41 seats.

by osterizer 2008-06-09 10:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

Let us be sure to invoke the Nuclear Option on judicial appointments, they way the effectively did to us.

by Bob H 2008-06-10 02:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Hang On, Saxby!

Hello no.  We won that war by turning public opinion to our side and forcing them to never use the option.

We cannot turn around and use it.

by auboy2006 2008-06-10 06:45AM | 0 recs

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