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Red and Blue 2004

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freedomfry @ 04:40 pm: Battleground States round-up
Hello, and welcome to the brand-new community! With the presidential elections soon to reach screamingly epic levels of television coverage, I wanted to find a place where the truly competitive Senate races could be discussed. There is a true monumental amount of information about the 12 races deemed to be "competitive" this year, and this should prove to be a good clearinghouse for discussion on many of them.

As a former campaigner in South Dakota, I have a special place in my heart for the Daschle/Thune match-up, but I wanted to list those races that are project to be very interesting to watch in the next few months...

Alaska: Republican incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) is facing former governor Tony Knowles (D).

Colorado: With the retirement of Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R), Colorado has turned a potential political bloodbath. An August primary will settle which of several candidates will face each other in November. Current Democratic candidates are: Attorney General Ken Salazar and activist Mike Miles, facing Republicans Pete Coors (of the beer company) or former Representative Bob Schaffer.

Florida: Democratic Senator Bob Graham's retirement has brought a gazillion candidates out of the woodwork, on both sides of the fence. More than a half-dozen candidates from both parties will face off in a primary at the end of August.

Illinois: With Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald retiring, Illinois has the choice of Democratic State Senator Barack Obama trying to become the third black Senator in US history or the Republican, former governor Jack Ryan.

Louisiana: Any time a seat is open in Louisiana, political intrigue is never far behind. With an electoral system different from every other state in the country, Louisiana has dozens of people fighting to replace retiring Democratic Senator John Breaux. In November the top three, if the leader doesn't receive more than 50 percent of the vote will face each other in a run-off. I'll try to update this race as the contenders get more defined.

Missouri: Republican Senator Kit Bond, who has won three previous terms but has never exceeded 53% of the vote, will be facing Democratic State Treasurer Nancy Farmer.

North Carolina: With the retirement of John Edwards, North Carolinians will get to chose between Democrat Erskine Bowles, who lost in his race against Elizabeth Dole in 2002, and Republican Congressman Richard Burr.

Oklahoma: Long-time Republican Senator Don Nickles' retirement opens up an Oklahoma Senate seat for the first time since 1994. Democratic Congressman Brad Carson will be facing a crowded field of Republicans. The primary will be held at the end of July.

Pennsylvania: Incumbent Republican Senator Arlen Specter, after barely squeaking through the Republican primary will be facing Democratic Congressman Joe Hoeffel.

South Carolina: With the retirement of Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings, South Carolina will get to choose between Inez Tenenbaum, a Democrat currently serving as the Superintendent of Public Education, and a crowded and contentious field of Republicans. The primary will be held tomorrow, June 8, so I will try to update as news comes in...

South Dakota: Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle is facing Republican former Congressman John Thune. I will go into more detail on this race later on, but Thune is still stinging from losing his first attempt at the Senate two years ago by only 524 votes. The pressure from Washington to unseat the Minority Leader has been felt, with members of the Administration making visits to a state that is solidly in the Republican camp for the presidential race. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has also made several campaign stops, in a move that is unprecendented (it's generally considered tacky for the majority leader and the minority leader to campaign against each other).

Washington: Incumbent Democrat Patty Murray is facing opposition from Republican Congressman George Nethercutt, the man who defeated former Speaker of the House Tom Foley.

Whew. There's a lot going on...anyone fancy trying to handicap some of these?

Current Mood: productive

Comments

[User Picture]
From:phillyexpat
Date:June 7th, 2004 05:36 am (UTC)
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Specter ::shudder::
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From:freedomfry
Date:June 7th, 2004 05:46 am (UTC)
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Yeah, he looks to be in some serious trouble. Recent polls had something like 55 percent of the repondents predisposed to dislike him.
[User Picture]
From:phillyexpat
Date:June 7th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC)
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Dislike would be the nicest thing most people in PA feel about him. When I went and saw JFK in the theaters, I remember that when Costner's character started railing against Specter in the courtroom scene, the audience went nuts. And this was in Marlton!

Granted, PA is really three states-the Philadelphia area (aka, the wonderful place from which I was reared and the home of the greatest sports fans in the world!), the Pittsburgh area, and everything else. Or, as my mother might say, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, with Alabama in between (no offense to you Alabamians). Also known as one of the top KKK states in the nation at one point.

So, hopefully a good turnout in the urban areas will prevent good old Arlen from continuing.
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From:ladybec
Date:June 7th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC)
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I, of course, had to get in on this. Unfortunately, I'm now much more enmeshed in NH races and the presidential race than the Senate races, but I try to keep up as best as I can. I'm glad to see that so many women are running in some of the most competitive races this year.

Must get back to work...
[User Picture]
From:freedomfry
Date:June 9th, 2004 01:53 am (UTC)
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Yeah, in most of these races (which I suppose is what makes them so competitive), both parties have really found some quality candidates to take a stand.
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From:celli
Date:June 7th, 2004 07:18 pm (UTC)
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One SD poll (ironically, the West River one) has Daschle leading Thune by...ack...eleven points, I think. Another, an East River one, has the difference at two points. *spreads hands* Bizarre.
[User Picture]
From:freedomfry
Date:June 9th, 2004 01:50 am (UTC)
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Yeah, you gotta love polling. Those numbers must have just killed people West River, though :) Mostly Thune country out there, isn't it?

I was in Rapid for the last part of 2002's election--not a very comfortable place to be with a TJ bumper sticker :)
[User Picture]
From:celli
Date:June 11th, 2004 01:21 am (UTC)
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It's very traditionally Republican, yeah. I think Pennington County ran 42% for Herseth in the special election, as opposed to 60-70-something percent in Minnehaha.

But like that editorial I linked to says, it's all about who shows up at the polls.

I think Todd County had a 30% return rate overall, even though it was overwhelmingly Democrat. I expect to see a lot of get-out-the-vote on reservations this time around.
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