Meanwhile back at the ranch: Senate Edition
Seven of the thirteen Western states have Senators up for election this year: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The Republicans are defending six of these seven Senate seats. Montana’s Max Baucus is the sole defending Democratic incumbent in the group, and his seat is considered safe. Colorado, Idaho, and New Mexico will be open seats, and Wyoming will have both their Senators up for re-election, due to the death of Senator Craig Thomas in 2007.
Colorado and New Mexico look like the best opportunities for Democratic pick ups, and both states are considered swing states in the 2008 presidential contest. Our candidates, Mark Udall in Colorado and Tom Udall in New Mexico, are cousins from the long prominent Udall family.
The remaining campaigns are still shaping up. The contests in Alaska and Oregon could be particularly interesting. Senator Stevens (R-Bridge to Nowhere) is the poster child for pork gone wild and an opponent of transparency in government. The Iraq War puts Oregon’s Gordon Smith in a bind. He voted for the war and has been a Bush enabler. Yet he has broken with the Bush administration on the war, and hence will be at odds with Senator McCain on that issue.
Your Personal Note:
Posted by: Sarah H | Apr 9, 2008 7:39:22 PM
Alaska, Wyoming, and Idaho are pretty steep challenges.
With the abuses of power in Alaska, Stevens might be vulnerable, but Alaskans also know he makes a career out of abusing the appropriations process to bring home pork barrel projects they like during a recession. The Senate boys club is unlikely to discipline him, especially in an election year.
Larry LaRocco is pretty popular in Idaho and might have a chance at the open seat, but it's tough.
Wyoming is a great potential House pickup. It would have been a great Senate target in a couple years against the late Senator Thomas if Governor Dave wanted to work in Washington. Now he'd be going up against Mr. Borasso (R-WY) whom he appointed himself to fill the seat. (Wyoming law mandated he appoint a Republican.) That's going to make it harder.
Colorado and New Mexico should be pickups. Maybe Senator McCain could retire after his ignominious defeat and leave us an open seat in AZ soon.
Posted by: Brian Watkins | Apr 9, 2008 8:47:12 PM
Hawaii does not have Senators up for election this year.
Posted by: Alan | May 20, 2008 9:09:32 AM
Alan is correct. The post has been corrected. The number of Western States with Senate contests remains at seven. The count at least was right.
Posted by: Leo Brown | May 26, 2008 5:49:47 PM
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)