Misc Horse Race Commentary For September 13, 2006

Rhode Island: This Senate race was destined to be a lose-lose affair no matter how it turned out since we had Steve Laffey, a guy who couldn’t win in the general election, going up against ultra-RINO, Lincoln Chafee. Intriguingly, Lincoln Chafee only won 54% vs. 46%, which means that 46 out of every 100 voters in the primary were so frustrated with him that they decided that they’d rather lose the seat to the Dems than have him back.

The good news is that this race is now a toss-up, which means that it will soak up millions of dollars that the cash-strapped Democrats desperately need elsewhere. The bad news is that even if we win the seat, we just get Chafee back for 6 more years.

PS: Laffey is more conservative than Chaffey, but despite what’s being written all over the web, he’s not a conservative. Late last month, Laffey himself bluntly said so:

“I’m not a conservative”

— I’d like to try a little bit of a different pitch for Rightroots today. I know there are a lot of you out there who’d like to contribute to Rightroots, but don’t have a lot of money to spend.

Here’s the good news: because we’re doing a 15 day challenge that’s centered around raising donations, not a particular amount of cash, this is your chance to make a much bigger impact than normal with a much smaller amount of money.

You want to give $10 to a candidate so you can contribute? Great, go for it. We appreciate the money and it puts us closer to our donation goal. You want to give $5 a pop to all 21 candidates? Fantastic, you just spent a hundred bucks and pumped up our totals by 21.

Every little bit counts. So, we’d certainly appreciate it if you contribute.

— In Maryland, Ben Cardin beat Kweisi Mfume, which is bad news for Michael Steele. Had Mfume won, the race would have been a toss-up, but since Cardin pulled it out, the seat is, for the moment, leaning Democratic.

— In Arizona, conservative Randy Graf beat Republican Party backed RINO Steve Huffman 43.2% to 37.2% despite the fact that the GOP spent $200,000 pushing Huffman. Apparently, Huffman hasn’t conceded yet either. That shows a lot of class.

PS: So, the GOP wasted $200,000, in a Republican Primary, pumping up a candidate that the voters rejected, mainly because he was soft on illegal immigration. Wouldn’t it have been smarter to stay out of the primary and spend the money in the race against the Democrat? Of course, it would have!

— You’ve been hearing a lot of people claim that the Democrats are practically fated to take over Congress in November. I haven’t been buying into that line and still don’t, in part, because of this:

“The Republican National Committee (RNC) will spend its entire bank account, $60 million or more, helping Republicans try to retain control of Congress in the midterm elections.

The looming spending spree appears to have spurred Democratic House leaders to reach agreement over how much the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will help counter this onslaught.

The relationship between the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and DNC has been rocky. There is dispute over whether it took House Democratic Caucus Chairman James Clyburn’s (S.C.) intervention to broker the deal announced yesterday under which part of the DNC’s $12 million will be funneled to 40 House races. Targeted House Democratic candidates will receive about $60,000 from the party committee.

…One GOP source familiar with Mehlman’s plans said the committee would raise money aggressively through the fall and would probably collect $15 million to add to its account. The RNC had $43.6 million in the bank at the end of July.

The DNC reported $11.3 million in cash on hand at that time.”

— Mike McGavick has been breathing down Maria Cantwell’s neck in the Washington race, but his numbers have completely tanked. The latest Rasmussen poll has him down by 17 points to Cantwell and I tend to doubt if that’s a statistical blip.

— In Tennessee, things are looking worse than expected as well. SurveyUSA has Harold Ford up over Bob Corker 48% vs. 45% — and again, that’s probably not a statistical blip. Everyone seems to be assuming that this seat leans Republican, but if you look at the polling data, they’ve been running even for about a month now. TN may have a Republican lean, but make no mistake about it, Ford is definitely capable of winning this seat which means that the GOP now has 6 seats (Corker, Santorum, Chafee, Burns, DeWine, Talent) that are toss-ups or worse, while the Dems only have one seat in that same position (Menendez).

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