Meetup for Castor in Florida

If you live in Florida, sign up right now for Betty Castor's next meetup. It's September 21st, one week from today. You'll also see the meetup link on the top of Castor's US Senate campaign website. Castor beating Martinez is going to help Kerry win Florida against Bush, despite their underhanded attempts, like marshalling Nader's spot onto the ballot. If you are in Florida, use the energy to fight back harder to beat the Bush into the ground.

Updated 2004 Senate Outlook

The updated Senate Outlook page is up on MyDD. You just can't tell which way some of these races are going. The CW would have 6 (three from each party) that are totally toss-ups (CO, AK, OK & SD, LA, FL). Meanwhile, Republicans look favored to takeaway at least 2 seats (SC, GA), and Democrats look favored to takeaway 1 seat (IL).

What that means, is that Democrats would need to take 5 out of 6, or Republicans 3 out of 6, to win the majority. Going by the numbers, that gives a slight advantage to the Republicans, but the Democrats in their three takeaway contests (Salazar, Knowles, Carson) are in a stronger position than the Republican candidates (Thune, Vitter, Martinez) in their three potential takeaway contests. In fact, Demorcrats are leading or are tied in all 6 of these toss-up races, in the latest polls.

Majette in Georgia

Georgia all of sudden?  Denise Majette is making it close anyway, and Chuck Todd is going to have to find another Republican takeaway to flog as a done deal.  I've written about it before-- at some point, the demographics in Georgia take hold. I don't know that 2004 is the year, but I'm not surprised by these poll numbers:

In Roll Call this week, Isakson's poll number's are mentioned:

There's more...

CC notes from the Bowles campaign

North Carolina, as I noted in a previous post, is one techy-blog state. I asked Matthew Gross & Guy Cecil, from the Erskine Bowles campaign, about their use of the Internet with the campaign. They responded that they are looking at it in two ways, besides the usual broadcast of message platform; first, by being one of many vehicles that a tight race uses to target those scarce voters that haven't yet decided (the ones you have to find whereever-ther-are); and second, by involving supporters over the blog, and integrating field efforts, such as those on their upcoming college-tour, via their campaign website, ala DFA, where Matt and I worked for Dean. Matt mentioned Castor's campaign as one of the Senate campaigns that he thought was using the Internet effectively this cycle, and there are other Democratic campaigns doing it.

Mostly, it's agreed, the Republicans are waging a 1990's-2002 Internet strategy across the Senate campaigns, Burr included. Ed Cone (see Ed's writeup from the CC here), who was also on the conference call asked about voter registration over the Internet and mentioned that not a single Republican Senate candidate had a blog. Not that a blog alone changes everything, but it does take an integral step toward online involvement by the candidate and campaign.

Speaking polls, internal Bowles polls are about the same as the publicly known ones, and the voter's focus is on the trade issues. Bowles leads by 7-9%, but underneath the head-to-head, the gap is closing. Republicans are gathering around Burr. 15-20% of the voters are undecided, they don't have much knowledge about Burr, his name ID is low still, particularly among this group of undecided voters, which probably has more conservative and Republican votes for Burr than it does to Bowles.

High-water mark of 44% in 2002, polled at most, 42%. In 2004, 47-48% polling against Burr, the same as was Edwards. The favorable vs unfavorable ratings:

Favorable ratings:

		    Fav/Unfav
Bowles		    48%/ 34%
Burr		    44 / 37
In terms of money, Burr started by infusing his campaign with a $1.7M drop of his cash. And though Bowles has raised more, Bowles also went up on TV earlier, so, cash on had is the advantage of Burr, particularly with the NRSC about to flood upwards to $5M into the contest.

In 2002, Bowles lost 44-55 to Dole. In that campaign the high-water poll mark for Bowles was 42% against Dole; and so far, in 2004, the Bowles high-water poll mark is 48% against Burr, about the same mark that Edwards held against Burr, before dropping out. I asked about their lessons from '02, Guy replied, first, that having a real field operation would make a difference. Their being no primary, Bowles is able to get a bigger jumpstart, and the NC Dem party can coordinate their activities earlier; second, the late primary made the pivot for the general all the tougher for Bowles; and third, the candidate that Bowles is running against is very different--Burr is no Liddy Dole.

So, where is this going? Bowles right now is ahead, but Burrs has his name ID ads on the air. That'll likely continue through Labor Day, after that, the gloves are coming off. The NRSC probably already has the ads in the can that will be attacking Bowles. Just like Bush vs Kerry, there is not way that Burr can win with this being a positive-focused race, and by the middle of Sept, the GOP-led negative onslaught will begin. I've been assured that Bowles will be fighting back. With Edwards on the ballot with Kerry, NC is much more a part of the national election, and the Bowles vs Burr contest will likely turn pretty close with the Presidential race in North Carolina.

Senate 2004 rumblings

From Ann's Rant: ...the DSCC has asked Matt Stoller who will be stationed at blogger HQ AKA: 'the tank' to be our guest blogger during the convention and keep us updated on the latest happenings. Stay tuned for updates at www.fromtheroots.org

Last week, the DSCC learned that the Republicans are going up on the attack in South Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Alaska. In North Carolina, they purchased a whopping $5 million in airtime and, in South Dakota alone, the Republicans and other third party groups are scheduled to spend gargantuan $3 million dollars!

A Washington Times op-ed from last week on Jim DeMint's proposed 23 percent national sales tax attacked the Congressman's plan saying it had "no support among reputable tax experts." Former Ronald Reagan economic aide Bruce Bartlett writes that after a "thorough review of the academic literature on this issue," he "could not find a single article in a peer-reviewed journal that did not reject" DeMint's 23 percent sales tax proposal "as utterly unworkable." Other conservatives criticizing DeMint's plan, including President Bush, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and the Wall Street Journal. Bartlett also recently wrote in National Review that, "Trying to eliminate the IRS by adopting a national retail sales tax is a very dumb idea." OUCH!

Congrats to uber-guest blogger Matt Stoller, very cool.

On North Carolina, Matthew Gross is hosting a blogger conference call with North Carolina's Erskine Bowles this week, I'll report on it here. Also in NC, Matt and Ed Cone are helping organize a conference this Saturday in North Carolina for elected officials, campaign pros, B+ list bloggers... a discussion of weblogs and politics, weblogs and media, weblogs and.... defeating the Republicans in NC (well, hopefully).

Whoa there, for anyone to about write off Inez Tenenbaum in the SC Senate race, howabout the gift-giving of DeMint? Tennebaum has got a cannon in her hands now for the SC contest. The DSCC's Erik Cornelius has more, DeMint to Raise Taxes on Middle Class.

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