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

Tuesday | September 02, 2003

Rove's "majority plan" in early trouble

From Stephen Yellin (aka "Mr. Liberal" in the message boards of this and other sites):

In the midst of doom and gloom with our current President's foibles and follies, we Democrats can take comfort from the collapse of the GOP Majority Plan for the Senate in 2004. What is this "Majority Plan", you ask? Well, it's simple. It's Karl Rove's plan to expand the GOP majority in the Senate to 55/60 seats, so that filibusters to save our country from right-wing legislation can't succeed. Luckily for us, that plan has failed this week.

The GOP was planning to target Senator Patty Murray with Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn-she bowed out. Then they tried to beat Senator Byron Dorgan (a great populist) with Governor Ed Schafer-he said no. Then, they tried to get Mel Martinez to lock up Bob Graham's Senate seat-he said no. Illinois is now a likely Democratic pickup because of the GOP's recruitment failures there. And that was just the first leak in the dam.

This week kicked off with Nevada. A Mason-Dixon Poll showed Senator Harry Reid under 50% against Congressman Jim Gibbons, which meant we might lose the Senate Minority Whip. Ugh. Luckily, Gibbons decided on Monday not to run, as did State Treasurer Kathy Augustine. Scratch Nevada off the list.

Then, Dale Brown, the beloved Basketball Coach, decided not to run in North Dakota. Now, the GOP may have to turn to a guy named Duane Sand, who got clobbered by Kent Conrad in 2000. Scratch North Dakota off the list.

Then comes Arkansas. Governor Mike Huckabee was thought to have a shot at beating Senator Blanche Lincoln, but he bowed out. So did Asa Hutchinson, the other guy thought to have a chance of beating her. You can scatch Blanche off the list as well.

Now, we have news from Alabama. Judge Roy Moore, the archbishop of Alabama's Christian Right, is considering a bid against Senator Richard Shelby in the primary. A bloody primary between the ex-Democrat Shelby and the conservative Moore could open the door to ex-Governor Jim Folsom Jr., considering a Senate bid himself (as a Democrat). If we could put Alabama in play in 2004, anything can happen.

Finally, there's the Janklow situation. If, as GOP leaders want, ex-Congressman John Thune runs for his old seat in 2004 (as Congressman Janklow is unlikely to seek reelection, or even stay out his term), then Tom Daschle is home free. That one's a question mark, but it could happen.

Mind you, all this doesn't mean we'll take back the Senate in 2004-after all, we have those Southern seats to defend. What it does mean is that the playing field is finally even, giving Democrats a chance to take back the Senate in 2004. Karl Rove's a little more worried now, and we're a little more hopeful.

Did I mention Stephen is a high school sophomore? He's a rockstar.

Posted September 02, 2003 12:35 PM | Comments (174)


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