Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | October 24, 2002

Surveying the Senate races

Call me a partisan optimist, but with 12 days left before the Big Day, I'm seeing a +4 Dem pickup in the Senate. Here's the analysis:


Missouri: I've been less than optimistic about this race the last two months. Sen. Carnahan (D) is easily the Dems most endangered incumbent, and her campaign skills (or lack thereof) betrays the fact that she is not a politician. However, polls have generally shown her with a slight lead, and a competent showing in her first debate (the second is tonight) probably reassured voters that she's up to par. While this is a true tossup, I'll go out on a limb and predict she'll pull through. Carnahan wins

South Dakota: Sen. Johnson (D) is acting as if he's put the race away --- pulling negative ads, requesting his GOP candidate do the same. The GOP has been reduced to hysterical rantings about a handful of illegal voter registrations and inflaming racial tensions with the state's Democratic-leaning Native American population. Either Johnson's braggado stems from great internal polling, or it's all a bluff. I'm still not convinced South Dakota voters are willing to suffer the consequences of a "minority leader" Daschle, and Daschle will be spending plenty of time on the campaign trail reminding his state's voters of this. Daschle wins. And so does Johnson

(As an aside, remember when the GOP launched, with great fanfare, its effort to demonize Daschle a la Gingrich? That was a bust...)

Minnesota: This one is quickly falling off the charts. Word is that Bush engineered the pre-election war resolution specifically to help oust Sen. Wellstone (D), who would be forced to vote against it. Well, Wellstone did vote against the resolution, and every poll since has shown him surging well ahead his GOP opponent. Okay, "well ahead" is a bit of hyperbole, but given the fact he trailed for much of the summer, it's nice to see some daylight between the two candidates. Wellstone wins

So yeah, big surprise. This partisan Democrat predicts the Senate's three most endangered Democrats will win. My instinct is still that Carnahan doesn't look good for an incumbent, but we'll see.

As for the GOP, things are looking bleak on the dark side of the aisle.


Posted October 24, 2002 11:50 AM | Comments (0)


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