December 16, 2003

60-40 FILES:

Breaux Resignation Makes Dem Majority Harder (Fox News, December 16, 2003)

On top of the vacancies, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota is potentially facing a formidable challenge in 2004 against former Republican Rep. John Thune.

Thune lost the Senate race against Democrat Tim Johnson in 2002 by 524 votes. On Tuesday, he announced he was not going to seek the House seat being vacated by convicted Rep. Bill Janklow. Republican sources told Fox News that Thune is recruiting staff for a campaign against Daschle next year.

"Tom Daschle may have been hurt somewhat by becoming more closely identified with the national Democratic Party rather than being a senator who is serving South Dakota and tending to local issues. I think that could be seriously contested," Barone said.

Given the certainty that the GOP will hold the Senate, eighty year old Senator Inouye of Hawaii seems likely to be the next to announce his retirement.

-Dems fret over Dean coattails (Hans Nichols, 10/21/03, The Hill)

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 16, 2003 9:45 PM

Initial take on LA is that the GOP will have a tough time taking this seat as the most prominent GOP candidate (Vitter) is well behind potential Dem candidates. Jindel may jump in but face the same issues that caused him to lose the governor's race.
Good news that Thune may challenge Daschle -the thinking was that he might go for the open House seat instead.
As for Hawaii Inouye may retire but I'm not aware of a solid GOP candidate there - Hawaii has been heavily democrat although it did narrowly elect a GOP governor in 2002. Harry might know this race better - I think former military guy Shinsinski was going to run as a Dem.
That all said, the retirements will force the Dems to spend precious time and money on these races that will help the GOP elsewhere.

Posted by: AWW at December 16, 2003 10:48 PM

What money? Howard Dean may suck up some loose cash but the Dem senate boys are playing with bupkis. Next cycle - watch for some investigations of unions after the election.

If not 60 in '04 then sixty for sure in '06. Money flows to weight. The Dems are now very much light weights. None of us have seen a party collapse - but we're going to.

Posted by: RDB at December 17, 2003 2:31 AM

It has been frstrating to watch LA buck republicanism the last two elections. I think that having the deciding polls (run-offs) on their own little schedule, has not helped get any strength from national tailwinds. (And, I suspect, has made LAnians more likely to become more eager to show the rest of the nation up.) In 2004, the strategy should be pick one, go with him/her on the Election Date, and hope you pick up the tailwinds from GWB.

Posted by: MG at December 17, 2003 7:55 AM

There's no way Hawaii elects a Republican to take Innouye's seat. Pardon the morbidity but the only chance they have at that seat is if Dan runs again, wins again, and dies in office, allowing the GOP governor to appoint a GOP replacement, even he would only last long enough to finish DI's term, but if that was teh 60th Senator, it would be worth it.

Posted by: MarkD at December 18, 2003 7:46 PM


Has he said he's running? And do you recall D'Amato vs. Jake Javits in '80?

Posted by: oj at December 18, 2003 8:12 PM


Has he said he's running? And do you recall D'Amato vs. Jake Javits in '80?

Posted by: oj at December 18, 2003 8:12 PM