Democratic Senate Prospects Looking Up

Now that both WMU and U of M got their asses handed to them I have some time to focus on the impact of Idaho Republican Senator Larry “Wide Stance” Craig’s resignation on the 2008 elections. In addition to Craig, yesterday we learned that Senator John Warner of VA is hanging it up at the end of this term which makes the prospect of this prophetic map becoming more of a reality.

With former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey possibly waiting in the wings, Republicans are anxiously watching to see of Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will retire. And two more Republican seats open for reelection — in Wyoming and Idaho — would be occupied by unelected appointees, John Barrasso and Craig’s replacement.

“The state of the playing field looks very good, even in places where we didn’t expect it to look good, even in deeply red states,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Things could change, but if you did a snapshot, we’re going to have a good year.”

As my good buddy Kyle is so fond of saying, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner is poised to fill Warner’s shoes. He was wildly popular across party lines and only left office as a result of Virginia’s term limit law. As a matter of fact, according to political wunderkind Chris Cillizza (no offense but you are pretty young Chris) Warner’s biggest problem is that he is such a hot commodity.

Two considerations complicate Warner’s decision.

First, he made no secret that serving as governor was the best job he ever had and repeatedly said that if the state didn’t limit its governors to a single term he would have continued serving. The seat comes open again in 2009 and Warner would clearly be the preferred candidate for Democrats. He may not want to wait that long or face the comeback bid of former Sen. George Allen (R) who has expressed interest in a gubernatorial bid.

Second, Warner is regularly mentioned as a potential vice presidential pick in 2008 thanks to his popularity in a former red state. If Warner decides to run for Senate, he likely takes himself out of the veep pool. Of course, a one term governor with limited (at best) foreign policy experience wouldn’t likely be the choice of either Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) or Barack Obama (Ill.).

Gee that sucks doesn’t it?

As it stands today the Republican’s have 22 seats to defend compared to 12 for the Democrats. That means the Republican party is likely to be strapped for cash as they are forced to decide which of these seats is worth pouring their campaign funds into. Couple that with the fact that with these latest right track/wrong track numbers it would appear that were the election held today the country is leaning heavily toward the Democrats.

UPDATE: Here is Rachel Maddow’s take on the impact the rash of Republican sex scandal’s has had on their election prospects courtesy of Logan Murphy at Crooks and Liars.

4 Responses to “Democratic Senate Prospects Looking Up”

  1. Quick hit here. I still find the idea of Mark Warner as a good Veep not particularly attractive. He won’t win the south, not as a veep. He doesn’t appeal as a Southern, and doesn’t even have the accent. John Edwards at least had the accent, and look what happened with that?

  2. Also, I love Rachel Maddow. Seriously, I got a crush on her… am I the only guy that has a crush on her, please someone say no.

  3. No, you are not. Keep that between me and you (and the several hundred people who drop by here every day). 😉

  4. Yeah, I got an email not long ago that said we are not alone.

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