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

Friday | June 07, 2002

A look at vulnerable Dem Senate seats

Republicans claim confidence that they can retake the Senate in the Fall. However, barring any unforseen disasters, it's hard to see how this could happen.

The three legitimately vulnerable Democratic seats are Missouri, South Dakota, and Minnesotta. Republicans want to add Iowa and Georgia to the mix, but that's nothing but wishful thinking. The Republicans face tough challenges in Arkansas, New Hampshire, Oregon, Colorado, Maine, and yes, even Texas.

Iowa: The GOP claims Iowa is in play, but this week's GOP primary has made nominee Ganske "damaged goods" in the eyes of many analysts. Indeed, two major lessons can be taken from the primary: 1) Ganske faces strong dissatisfaction amongst Iowa's conservative Republicans, and 2) Pres. Bush has no cotails amongst the "party base" (religious conservatives) in Iowa. Bush had his fingerprints all over Ganske, yet that support did not translate into a decisive victory for Ganske. Democratic Sen. Harkin has a 15-point lead in the latest polls. While this race may tighting, it won't be as competitive as Republicans hope.

Georgia: There hasn't been any polling in this race for the last four months. The last poll, done for Democratic Sen. Cleland back in February, gave Cleland a 14-point lead over GOP challenger Chambliss. I'm not sure why Republicans think this race is competitive (probably Bush's strong showing in GA in 2000), but I haven't seen anything to see this as anything more than a "likely" Cleland victory.

As for Missouri, South Dakota, and Minnesotta, anything I might say has already been said better by MyDD. In short, Sen. Johnson in South Dakota is the most endangered Democrat in the Senate, down 46-42 in the latest poll. Sen. Carnahan (up 50-44 in the latest poll) is a bit better off, but still vulnerable. Wellstone, already facing a strong challenge (up only 42-40), now faces the wildcard of a Green Party candidacy. The Greens may have played a stronger role in Wellstone's downfall, but the candidate they fielded is sort of a joke. More on the MN race as new developments play out.

I'll take a look at some of the endangered Republicans soon. Again, MyDD offers great analysis on the races. I'll simply add whatever I can to his analysis.

Posted June 07, 2002 10:03 AM | Comments (1)


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