More Q4-2007 Numbers from the Senate Races

[First, a cheap plug for my blog

Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.

Starting off with the big one, DSCC vs. NRSC:

DSCC 2007 FEC Filing

Total Raised 4rd Q: $13.3 million

Total Raised in December: $6.1 million

Total Raised in 2007: $55.4 million

Cash on Hand: $29.4 million

Debt: $1.5 million

NRSC 2007 FEC Filing

Total Raised 4rd Q: $8.4 million

Total Raised in December: $3.1 million

Total Raised in 2007: $31.8 million

Cash on Hand: $12.1 million

As of the end of 2007, the DSCC’s cash-on-hand-minus-debt compared to the NRSC’s is $27.9 million to $12.1 million.  Massive!


Tom Udall (D): $1 million Q4, $1.7 million on hand

Steve Pearce (R): $425,000 Q4, $820,000 on hand

Heather Wilson (R): $515 Q4, $1.1 million on hand

Udall raised more in Q4 than Pearce and Wilson combined!


Larry LaRocco (D): $166,000 Q4, $200,000 on hand

Jim Risch (R): $236,000 Q4, $171,000 on hand

Even in Idaho, the Democrat has more on hand than the Republican!


Mark Udall (D): $1.1 million Q4, $3.6 million on hand

Bob Schaffer (R): $673,000 Q4, $1.5 million on hand

The Republican raised only 60% of the Democrat in Q4 and has less than half the cash on hand of the Democrat.


Mark Pryor (D): $616,000 Q4, $3.6 million on hand

The GOP can’t find an opponent for Pryor.


Greg Orman (D): $450,000 in December alone (recently entered race)


Jeanne Shaheen (D): $1.2 million Q4, $1.15 million on hand

John Sununu (R): $922,000 Q4, $3.42 million on hand

Another race where the Democratic challenger outraised the Republican incumbent.


Mark Warner (D): $2.7 million Q4, $2.9 million on hand

I’m guessing that Republican Jim Gilmore will report significantly less.


Carl Levin (D): $840,000 Q4, almost $5 million on hand

Levin should face only token GOP opposition.


Tom Harkin (D): $802,000 Q4, $3.4 million on hand


Tom Allen (D): $813,000 Q4, $2.5 million on hand

Susan Collins (R): $965,000 Q4, $3.9 million on hand

Want to help Democrats expand the map of competitive races?  Send a few bucks their way!

LA-Sen: Two Questions for Treasurer Kennedy

[First, a cheap plug for

Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.

So, newly-Republican state Treasurer John N. Kennedy has taken the first steps toward a 2008 Senate challenge to Senator Mary Landrieu, as he announced yesterday by e-mail and via a message on his circa 1997 Geocities website.

To kick off his campaign, I’d suggest the media ask two questions of Treasurer Kennedy:

First, Kennedy has demonstrated incredibly mercurial career goals, always seeming willing to better-deal his constituents for the next gig down the line.  As Landrieu adviser Norma Jane Sabiston reminds us: “John Kennedy, the first candidate in the Republican primary field, ran ads just four weeks ago saying ‘the job’s not done’ and asking for Louisianians’ support to ‘continue to be your state treasurer.'”  Why should Louisiana voters offer him a six-year job when he never seems happy to complete his four-year jobs?

Second, in response to his willingness to offer Halliburton no-bid contracts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he said: “Well, in an emergency situation, you do what you have to do to get the job done.” Similar to allowing Halliburton’s no-bid contracts as “doing what you have to do to get the job done,” would Kennedy also support extreme and illegal measures such as waterboarding and other torture, warrantless wiretapping, and suspending habeas corpus “to get the job done” against terrorism?

MS-Sen: Is Thad Cochran Ailing?

[Originally posted at Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Republican Thad Cochran says an announcement is coming regarding his 2008 electoral plans in “a few weeks.” (HT: TPM) But could Cochran be facing health problems? I only ask because of some of the quotes in the aforelinked article (emphasis added by me):

“I certainly hope he does not retire,” said Paul Mize Sr., a longtime Tupelo friend and confidante. Mize said Cochran is healthy, active and enormously helpful to Mississippi’s interests in Congress.

Former Cochran chief staff counseI, Brad Prewitt, an attorney and business consultant in Tupelo, said he hopes Cochran runs, adding, “He is logically, mentally a well-organized man. I think he is weighing all the factors about what to do with the rest of his time.”

Is there any reason to think Cochran isn’t “healthy” or “mentally well-organized”? Is this a case of “methinks thou doth protest too much”? We’ll see. Oh, and this article also contains the dumbest sentence I’ve seen in a while: “Support for a sixth Cochran term is widespread among his Mississippi backers.” Thanks, NE-Miss Daily Journal, support for Cochran is widespread among his backers. Basically, the newspaper dedicated column space to say that Cochran’s supporters support him. Man, oh man…

KY-Sen: A Larry Forgy Independent Bid?

[Originally posted at Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Mitch McConnell’s first ads are up, and McConnell is so desperate, he’s running on Democrat Alben Barkley’s record! I’m not joking. As DMKY’s Sonka points out:

And I can’t wait for the Club for Growth to see this ad!!! This is a love letter to pork and federal government spending through earmarks. Calling Senator Forgy!!!

Speaking of Larry Forgy, The Hill has some interesting commentary on his likelihood of entering the 2008 Senate race:

But that could soon change for McConnell, with opponents lining up not only on the Democratic side but from an angry Republican-turned-Independent as well.

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Forgy has made no secret of his anger over what he sees as McConnell’s role in dividing the state party by throwing Fletcher under the bus at the onset of his administration’s scandals and backing former Rep. Anne Northup in the GOP primary last spring. He believes this led to Fletcher’s defeat this week. …

But Forgy is furious, and he told The Hill Thursday he is not ruling out an independent bid to unseat McConnell, though he insists he doesn’t want to be a spoiler.

Forgy, who was the party’s nominee for governor in 1995, said he is “pretty sore” at McConnell and the state party for what he sees as their betrayal of Fletcher.

“The only difference between that and cannibals is that cannibals normally don’t eat their friends,” Forgy said.

A Larry Forgy primary challenge would force McConnell to spend money and weaken him for the general election against the Democrat. A Larry Forgy independent bid in the general election could mean curtains for McConnell! Running as an independent would make the Club for Growth no less likely to financially back Forgy – in fact, it could make them more likely since the CfG would probably like to back non-Republican candidates who share their philosophies, to extend their cred. I wholeheartedly support Forgy’s decision to run as an independent, should it come to fruition.

TX-Sen: Rick Noriega Added to Expand the Map!

Readers of Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races may notice in the upper left hand corner of the website that we have a new addition to the Expand the Map! ActBlue page: State Representative and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega. Representative/Lt. Col. Noriega has ignited the grassroots and netroots and achieved broad support among the establishment. Noriega is a terrific candidate and understands the meaning of words like “duty” and “service.” Further, incumbent Republican and Bush rubber stamp John Cornyn is extremely vulnerable. To recognize State Representative and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega’s addition to the Expand the Map! ActBlue page, I would love to see readers of the Guru’s blog put up a half dozen contributions to Noriega today. Just six contributions – you can do it! Whether you can contribute $100 or $10, please contribute if you can! Many thanks!

Senate 2008 Guru’s “Expand the Map!” Effort

[Check out Senate 2008 Guru’s blog and please check out the Guru’s ActBlue page!  I’m looking for just ten contributors.  Please chip in!]

I have been thinking about what Senate races I would most like to see additional dollars going toward.  The highest tier competitive races, states like (but certainly not limited to) Colorado and Virginia, will receive a great deal of attention.  While I don’t want to discourage anybody from contributing to terrific Democratic candidates in these states (take nothing for granted!), I would like to see the map of competitive states expand as much as possible.  Many races in states that don’t typically see competitive Senate races have the chance to be real pick-up opportunities.  But they need our support!

(Much more below the fold!)

I have inaugurated my “Expand the Map!” ActBlue page with two Senate campaigns that have the potential to be fiercely competitive and where every single dollar contributed can truly make the difference.

In Idaho, Larry Craig’s scandal has left the ID-GOP in a state of limbo. All the while, former Congressman and Army veteran Larry LaRocco has been tirelessly criss-crossing the state through his successful “Working for the Senate” campaign, reaching out to voters and offering Idaho a real opportunity for change in 2008.

In Oklahoma, the dynamic campaign of State Senator Andrew Rice has provided Oklahomans with a strong alternative to Senate anachronism Jim “In Denial” Inhofe, who notoriously called global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” an absurd analysis that even California’s Republican Governor Arnold “Conan the Barbarian” Schwarzenegger called “thinking in the Stone Age.”

Larry LaRocco and Andrew Rice can expand the map of competitive Senate seats in 2008, but they need your support.

I’m starting the page with a very modest goal. I would love to see ten contributions made to both LaRocco and Rice by 11:59pm tonight. Every dollar counts, so please help Expand the Map!

CT-04: Shays Threatens Retirement Over Committee Seniority

(From the diaries – promoted by James L.)

[First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Chris Shays is miffed at the House GOP Leadership for somehow forgetting to reward the lone New England House Republican left standing:

And now [Rep. Shays is] threatening to not run again – he’s already a top Democratic target – if the House GOP leadership doesn’t make him the head Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. If they do promise him the top spot but then renege in 2009, he says he’ll resign.

“I’m 61 years old. I’ve been in Congress 20 years,” Shays told the Hartford Courant. “If I have to fight to become chairman of a committee, given the job I’ve done, I need to move on.”

While I’m not at all surprised that the far-right-wing conservative GOP Leadership in both the House and Senate are not so quick to reward their less far-right-wing membership, I am shocked that more so-called “moderates” aren’t more vocal in demanding leadership roles, especially members in blue states whose seats would likely be an easy pick-up for Democrats if not for the current incumbents, like Shays.  Eh.  Oh well.

Race Tracker: CT-04

Senate GOP Trying Hard to Lower 2008 Expectations

[Originally posted at Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

It seems like Republicans are doing, as Mitch McConnell might say, their “Washington best” to lower expectations for the 2008 Senate elections.  Here is a collection of interesting quotes from Republicans in the know regarding the ’08 Senate races.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

Republicans are unlikely to win back control of the Senate in 2008, their Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, said Friday, gloomily predicting that “holding our own is about all we could hope for.” … “It would take an extraordinarily good day to get back up to 50. So our goal is to stay roughly where we are.” [CNN, 7/20/07]

(Much more below the fold.)

NRSC Chair John Ensign:

“If you scratch the surface, things don’t look necessarily that good,” he said. “But when you get below the surface, things aren’t nearly as bad as what they could be.” [Associated Press, 9/9/07]


In a “wide-ranging” interview, Ensign “acknowledged that his party faces a steep, uphill climb in next year’s Senate elections when 21 Republican seats will be up for grabs, compared with 12 for the Democrats.” [Washington Times, 3/26/07]

NRSC Communications Director Rebecca Fisher:

Rebecca Fisher, communications director for the NRSC, acknowledged “the mountain that we’re up against,” but predicted success. [USINFO, 9/10/07]

Anonymous GOP Operative:

“About the only safe Republican Senate seats in ’08 are the ones that aren’t on the ballot,” a GOP operative with extensive experience in Senate races said. “I don’t see even the rosiest scenario where we don’t end up losing more seats.” [Washington Post, 9/2/07]

Unnamed Republican Senators:

“Republican Senators are now talking about losing four seats in 2008.” [Evans-Novak Political Report, 8/29/07]

It is shaping up like Republican leadership expects a four-seat net loss to be the best-case scenario.  I expect we’ll see more commentary from Republicans along these lines as the races further develop.  If you’ve seen any similar quotes already, share them in the comments.

Republican Culture of Corruption: 2007 So Far

[First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Does it seem like there’s a new Republican scandal in the news every single week?  Well, that may be because there is.

That seems like an awful lot of corruption, scandal, hypocrisy, impropriety, and jail-worthy crime, huh?  A lot of corruption.  One might say an entire Culture of Corruption.

KS-Sen: Roberts May Have Some Competition

[First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Pat Roberts and his unintimidating approval ratings may see a tough challenge yet. Six-term former Congressman Jim Slattery is publicly considering a 2008 Senate bid. Slattery retired from Congress in 1994 to run for Governor that year. Of course, we all know 1994 was not a good year for Democrats. His reputation as a stern budget-cutter may serve him well in Kansas. I’ve thought for some time that Kansas could be the sleeper competitive Senate race of the cycle, for reasons ranging from Roberts’ flaws to the breakdown of the Kansas Republican Party. We’ll see if Slattery can bring that prediction to fruition. Think Progress offers a fine summary of Pat Roberts’ failures and scandals as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for those interested in learning more about Roberts’ sad record.