Note: Updates will be a bit sparse for a bit over
a week due to my traveling.
Sestak Ramping Up Against Specter
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) is ramping up his near-certain campaign
against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).
As expected, Sestak is
Specter as a "flight risk," saying that although he is currently a
Democrat, before that he was a Republican and before that he was a
Democrat. Sestak is saying that Specter's only loyalty is to Specter,
whereas he is loyal to the Democratic Party. Of course, with the
entire Democratic Party establishment on board for Specter, Sestak
has a serious uphill climb.
A recent Rasmussen
puts Specter ahead 51% to 32%.
On the other hand, Barack Obama started out way behind
Hillary Clinton last year.
Gillibrand Piling Up Endorsements
Next door to Pennsylvania, in New York, the establishment-backed incumbent,
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), is not standing still--in preparation for a
primary challenge from Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
She has now gotten the chairmen of 52 of New York's 62 counties to
Her voting behavior has also changed since she was appointed to Hillary
Clinton's Senate seat: she has become the 4th most liberal senator, in the
expectation that Maloney will attack her from the left. These two states
will form an interesting contrast: a former Republican turned Democrat in
Pennsylvania and a former moderate turned liberal in New York. Also, in
both cases the establishment backs the incumbent and in both cases the
incumbent will have much more money than the challenger. But primaries
have small turnouts with a heavy dose of party activists, so even
incumbents have to worry.
Steelman Unlikely to Run for Bond's Senate Seat in Missouri
The Hill is
that Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman is more likely to run for the House than for the
Senate. This would eliminate a potentially very nasty Republican primary
and start the general election campaign between Robin Carnahan (D) and
Roy Blunt (R) immediately. The House seat Steelman would run for is the one
Blunt is vacating. Not having a bloody primary improves the
Republicans' chances of holding the seat of retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO).
Madigan May Run for Burris' Seat in Illinois
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) is being
by top Democrats to run for the Senate instead of governor in 2010.
She would be an extremely strong candidate against any Republican but would
first have to defeat Bobby Kennedy's son, Chris Kennedy, and state Treasurer
Alexi Giannoulias for the Democratic nomination.
Burr Trails Generic Democrat in North Carolina Poll
A new PPP
shows that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) ought to be worried sick.
Only 29% of North Carolina voters think he deserves a second term and
Generic Democrat beats him 41% to 38%. However, the Democrats can't
run Generic against him. They have to come up with an actual, live
Democrat and so far they have been unable to do so. Gov. Mike Easley
and Attorney General Roy Cooper, the two strongest candidates, have
said they don't want the job. No doubt DSCC chairman Bob Menendez
is beating the bushes to find some current or former state senator who
wants to go to Washington, but so far he hasn't found anyone. This
is even more surprising since Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) won an upset
victory in 2008 against a far stronger Republican, Elizabeth Dole.
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