SD-Sen: Tim Johnson Looking Very Strong Electorally

lowkell noted this already up in Breaking Blue, but I think it's worth a mention here on the front page as well. South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson is looking really strong electorally these days. Markos has the latest Democratic numbers on the race pitting Johnson up against former Republican Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby, who the GOP is rumored to be trying to recruit these days.

Thinking about the election for U.S. Senate in November 2008, if the election for Senate were held today and the candidates were Democrat Tim Johnson and Republican Steve Kirby - for whom would you vote, Tim Johnson or Steve Kirby?

Johnson (D) 66
Kirby (R) 29

Even taking the grain(s) of salt required when reading partisan polling, these numbers are really amazing. Though I had expected to see Johnson doing well -- after all, he won in the worst of environments for the Democrats back in 2002 and has had the entire state rooting and praying for him to recover over the past year -- I did not expect him to be doing this well electorally.

South Dakota was supposed to be the best pick up opportunity for the Senate GOP this cycle. No longer.

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SD-Sen: Tim Johnson Officially Running for Reelection

More good news out of South Dakota -- Tim Johnson is running for reelection.

In a statement released today Senator Tim Johnson verifies what he has said publicly since his return to work over a month ago, Senator Johnson will seek re-election in 2008. A formal announcement will follow in 2008, as has been Johnson's practice in the past.

"I was looking forward to asking South Dakotans to allow me to serve them for another term prior to my illness last December. Since then, I have never once lost my desire to continue serving South Dakota, but I needed time to recover and regain my health in order to determine whether I could do the job and best serve our state. After months of rehabilitation and recovery, more than a month on the job in Washington and after my recent trips back to South Dakota it is clear, to my family, my doctors, and me that I am able to do the hard work required of a United States Senator. I have said before that, I wanted to take this second chance at life and focus even harder on being the best advocate I can for the people of South Dakota. Today I am asking South Dakotans to give me the chance to give back to them by announcing that I will run for re-election in 2008."

This announcement today comes on the heels of news that Johnson brought in $450,000 during the third quarter, bringing his cash-on-hand as of September 30 to a healthy $2 million. Coupled with the fact that the Republicans still don't have a particularly strong candidate in the race -- and certainly not their favored candidate, GOP Governor Mike Rounds -- and this race increasingly looks like one in which the Democrats are clearly favored.

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Voter Disenfranchisement: Politicization at the DOJ Leads To Questionable Voter Purge Attempts

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

This an entry in a series of blogs to keep people informed on current election reform and voting rights issues in the news.

Featured Story of the Week:

Voter Purging: A Legal Way for Republicans to Swing Elections? - AlterNet

Justice Department wants court hearing on Alabama voting system - Associated Press,

"To me, it's a very clear view of the Republican agenda, said former [Department of Justice Civil Rights Division] Voting Section Chief, Joe Rich. "The GOP agenda is to make it harder to vote. You purge voters. You don't register voters. This is ripe for partisan decision making. You pick the states where you go after Democrats."

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Welcome Back, Tim

Join America in welcoming back Tim Johnson:

Johnson comes in at about the 45-minute mark

If you'd like to see Tim Johnson in the Senate for the next six years, head on over to ActBlue and show your support.

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More Evidence The 50 State Strategy Pays

This, folks, is where the 50 State Strategy pays off for us. The Pew Research Center's ran a story by Louis Jacobson of CongressNow today, on the thesis that even in Red states -- even ones where the Democrats did not gain a majority of one or both state chambers -- the Democratic tide has floated new Blue legislation.

The story looked at six previously Red states that became more Blue in 2006: Idaho, Texas, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming.

More after the break.

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