Thinking about DSCC Race Targets

I think this is a fair read of the lay of the land for Senate races we are challenging by DSCC chair Sen. Chuck Schumer. From MSNBC's FirstRead...

Here's the picture for the DSCC provided by Schumer:

Top targets: VA, NH, NM, CO, AK. (Schumer says they are ahead here.)

Second tier: OR, MN, ME. (These are blue states; Democrats are not ahead, but are competitive.)

Red-state seats in striking range: KY, NC, MS.

Good candidates with an outside chance: NE, KS, OK, GA, ID, TX. (Schumer says of Texas that he likes Noriega as a candidate and that incumbent Sen. John Cornyn is polling surprisingly low.)

The note on the fourth set about Noriega is actually from Schumer and included in the article so it's nice to see him pointing this race out in particular. There is good reason for this because the Texas Senate race is competitive, possibly as much or more so than other races listed in higher tiers. I use Maine for an example.

The latest Maine polling...

Pollster       Collins  Allen
Rasmussen           54     38    
McLaughlin (R)      54     31    
Critical Insights   54     34

Polling from the Noriega campaign conducted prior to the primary.

                        Cornyn   Noriega
Initial Head-to-head       42        22
Informed Ballot Positive   42        31
Informed Ballot Contrast   41        33

Maine is a lot smaller than Texas and Tom Allen represented half of Maine in Congress verses Rick Noriega representing 1/150th of Texas in the state house. And even with that and the fact that the Texas numbers are pre-primary it seems clear that Texas is well positioned to be heading on up those charts.

No offense intended to my friends in Maine and the good folks at Turn Maine Blue! We suffer from an embarrassment of riches this year.

Tags: Maine, MN-Sen, Senate, texas, TX-Sen (all tags)



Protest Schumer! He didn't help Lamont...

one bit and the result is Lieberlouse.

by Shazone 2008-04-09 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Thinking about DSCC Race Targets

As much as I want him to, I just don't think Allen is going to be able to pull it off against Collins.  The best case would be for him to drain some RSCC money.  I can get really excited about Texas, though.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-04-09 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Thinking about DSCC Race Targets

I noted Ron Paul was running unopposed again this time.

by pinche tejano 2008-04-09 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Thinking about DSCC Race Targets

I like the fact that we're at least looking at 17 races, of which 8 of them are already competitive.  We never know which one is going to be the next Jim Bunning or George Allen.  I could easily imagine Inhofe in Oklahoma saying something REALLY stupid that actually gets him into some electoral trouble, we have to be ready to take advantage of any slip ups.

That said, the first three are more or less in the bag (VA, NH, NM).  CO will be close, 53-47 or 52-48, but I'm willing to bet it's Udall that comes out on top.  As for Alaska, I'm hesitant to rate that one until we really know what's happening, whether Stevens even runs again (if he thinks he will lose, he won't run), and how Begich is going to run his campaign.  But huge potential there.

Minnesota is completely doable, though Franken is not a traditional Senate candidate (which, given the state elected Jesse Ventura) can be either an advantage or a disadvantage.  The polls are promising though.

Oregon will be tough, and up until recently I was sure Merkley was going to be our candidate, but Novick refuses to go away and performs equally well in polls as the state House Speaker, both in the primary and in head-to-head with Smith.  But Oregon is just getting to blue for Republicans statewide.

For Maine to be competitive, Allen should look at how Sheldon Whitehouse beat the popular Lincoln Chafee in 2006.  It can be done, if anything the Republicans are guaranteed to at least have to fight for this one, unlike Olympia Snowe.

NC has potential, we'll see how the primary shakes out.  We've got a terrible frontrunner in KY, though he is rich.  MS bears watching, especially if black turnout is much higher than usual.

Texas also belongs in this tier, due to the softness of support for Cornyn and the strength of our candidate.

The rest are pretty much longshots.

by Skaje 2008-04-09 02:22PM | 0 recs


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