Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Senate Races

Updated 11/6 7:38 PST: Merkley is going to win the Oregon Senate seat, as I predicted below. He is more than 36,000 votes ahead and his major counties are still not done being counted. This gives us 57 seats.

Georgia has not been called for Chambliss because he has not yet won 50% of the vote. If he fails to get that amount, there will be a runoff election between him and Jim Martin. Sadly, the third party candidate was a libertarian and so his portion of the vote will probably go to Chambliss, the scum bag who painted Max Cleland as some kind of traitor and terrorist sympathizer. This was one seat I wanted the Dems to pick up if only to balance out the karmic scales. What I do notice by drilling down into the county level data is that a number of the counties where Martin did well have not yet had all precincts report in, so his numbers may grow a little. In any event, if there is a runoff, all the Democratic powers that be had better get their butts down to Georgia to stump for Martin and try to turn the race. It's not often that you get a second chance.

North Carolina was a delightful win and both removes a total loser of a Republican and puts another Democratic woman into the Senate. More like this, please. It is particularly wonderful that the seat she won was previously held by Jesse Helms.

New Hampshire gave us Jeanne Shaheen and removed John Sununu. Another excellent exchange.

Oregon is a nailbiter to be sure, but Merkley may just pull it out. The chief reasons are Washington County with 22% of precincts still to report and a large population, Multnomah County, the most populous county in the state and 52% of its precincts still to report plus it is going for Merkley 2-1, and Lane County, home to Eugene, very populous, going strongly for Merkley, and has 55% of its precincts still to report. There are a lot of Merkley votes out there that haven't been counted yet.

The Udalls will be a solid addition to the Senate, particularly for environmental concerns.

Alaska is still not decided. There is only a 3353 vote margin betwwen Begich and Stevens, and if the outstanding precincts are Democratic ones, we may squeak this one out.

I've always regarded the Minnesota senate race as a joke all the way around (and not a particularly funny one), so I am unsurprised to see Franken coming up short. A recount may flip things our way, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Five more seats for 56 in January and three more that are possibilities that could bring us to 59. I think our best chance there is Oregon. The run-off in Georgia would be a dream if we could pull it off, so no reason not to take a bunch of money from war chests (hint, hint) and throw it into that contest. If we could take all four, that's 60, and we don't have to count Lieberman.

First off, we need to make the filibuster as onerous as humanly possible for the Republicans to uphold. No more gentlemen's agreement that we fold in the face of a possibility of a filibuster. Make the bastards sit their butts on the floor of the Seante and talk until they drop.

Next, start lining up the battles for 2010. It's going to take 2 years to get serious legislation written and vetted anyway, like Hillary's UHC, so plan to bring the big ones to the floor with the next Congress. Who to target?
  • AZ - McCain. I've never much liked the guy and it's time for him to retire.
  • FL - Mel Martinez. Make him work to defend it.
  • GA - If Chambliss is vulnerable, so is Isakson.
  • IA - Chuck Grassley. Better yet, appoint him to the cabinet, and let the Democratic governor appoint a Democrat to replace him. Then fire him.
  • KY - Jim Bunning. We came very close to defeating Mitch McConnell this year. Let's keep pushing our luck.
  • NH - Judd Gregg. Is there another high profile Democrat in NH who could be enlisted to do a Seante run? Let's turn New England blue.
  • OH - Voinovich. Ohio is turning blue. Keep the trend going.
  • PA - Arlen Specter. He'd be turning 80 and might like the idea of retirement. Let's encourage that thought

The danger is that some of our senators are going to be targeted as well. Schwartzenegger is term limited out as the Governator in CA and makes no secret that he wants to take away Boxer's seat. Blanche Lincoln will be targeted in Arkansas. Inouye and Byrd are no spring chickens, and we may be having to fill seats.

The Republicans have not had a filibuster-proof Senate majority since 1909, and yet Democrats have allowed them to run things like they have a super-majority. There is no excuse for not not putting forward the most ambitious agendas and daring them to stand in the way.

Act like a majority for once, OK?



Unknown said...

The curtain rises on the Obamanation and....

Don't look now kids but I predict a few problems. Rahm Emmanuel for COS?

Pelousy Dems up to their sellout tricks....

The never ending occupation of The SandBox...

My real hope, and it is real, is that Obama realizes that he does have the opportunity to be a trans formative figure in our political history but only, only...

If he turns away from the failed policies of the past:

'Free Market'

'Sexual discrimination'




And uses his support to lop off some heads.


Shainzona said...

Rumor has it Governor Napolitano has her eyes set on McCann's seat.

I would normally jump for joy - but she was one of those women who have a special spot reserved in hell for not endorsing HRC - the most qualified person - for the job of POTUS. And look what that's gotten us!

Unknown said...

How many women are now in the House and Senate? Are we likely to break 15% someday?

Elise said...

Oddly enough, I wholeheartedly agree with your call for the Senate Democrats to force the Republicans to actually filibuster if they want to stop something. A short time ago I watched an interview with a Democratic Senator (pretty sure it was John Kerry) in which he was asked why the Democratic Congress hadn’t done any of the stuff they promised in the 2006 elections: wind down the war in Iraq, shut Guatanamo, address Bush’s executive over-reach, etc. Kerry got quite testy and snapped that it was just impossible to do anything in the Senate without 60 votes.

I thought at the time that having fewer than 60 votes didn’t mean the Democrats couldn’t at least try their best to accomplish what they’d set out to do, publicize the heck out of their efforts, and thereby force the Republicans to stand up and be counted blocking them. I also thought that not having 60 Democratic votes in the Senate made a handy excuse for not doing anything that might exacerbate voters’ concerns that Democrats were “untrustworthy” on national security leading up to the 2008 Presidential election. (Cynical of me, I know.)

I have to wonder if falling short of 60 votes again will continue to be a handy excuse - especially if the Democratic strategy is to hold off on the bigger, more liberal initiatives until after 2010 - and I really hope that is not the case. I’d like to see the Democrats implement the policies they promised during the election. I think the electorate chose wrong but they did choose and it would be really, really nice to have at least one of the political parties do what they said they were going to do without coming up with 10 million reasons why it just didn’t work out.

As for your 2010 hit list, the Congress of January 2009 is beginning to look eerily like the Congress of January 1993. That first Clinton Congress had 56 Democratic Senators, 44 Republican and had 259 Democratic Representatives, 176 Republican. The midterm elections of 1994 saw Democratic numbers in both Houses decrease which - if I remember correctly - is the norm for mid-terms. (Yes, 2002 was an exception.) If you expect to knock off more Republican Senators in 2010 then I assume you believe 2008 indicated a national re-alignment rather than an idiosyncratic event. That is, you believe the country is moving toward the Democratic positions on issues rather than simply being sick of the current Republican office-holders and excited by a charismatic Democratic Presidential candidate.

On the other hand, let’s assume the 2008 election did not represent a re-alignment. Even then, if the Democratic strategy does become to hold off on the bigger, more liberal initiatives until after 2010, and if Obama and his Congress can get the economy straightened out, it might well be possible to make 2010 another anomalous election, pick up more Democrats in one or both Houses, pass the more liberal initiatives, and count on Obama’s charisma to hold the line down-ticket in 2012. This should work especially well if the Republicans put a woman somewhere on the Presidential ticket again in 2012.

Stella said...

Big news, New Hampshire state senate now is a women majority, that is super cool.

Arnold may get it, cause the minority values voters that voted against prop 8 will vote for him I bet. They got him the governors win.

red rabbit said...

I love the bait and switch with Grassley. That is genious!

Anglachel said...

Stella, I think you misunderstand the Gropenator's appeal.

Ah-nold is a celebrity and gets his votes from that. People think it's "cool" to vote for the Terminator. His appeal is not because of anything he has done politically, but because he's a movie star.

He was firmly against Prop. 8, btw, far more so than The Precious.


Unknown said...

Just curious why you consider the Minnesota race a joke?

Anglachel said...


First, because I loathe celebrity politicians, having to deal with a flock of them here in California, and, second, I haven't taken Minnesota politics seriously since Jesse Ventura.

New Hampshire, Oregon and North Carolina sent their Republican senators packing, and the latter two races were fully as tough, if not tougher, than what Minnesota was facing. So, what's the problem with MN?

Field a serious candidate, get a serious response.