August 18, 2004

PLUS 2?:

Midsummer’s Senate Dreams: Approaching the GOP convention, Republicans are in a bit of a comfort zone. (John J. Miller, 8/17/04, National Review)

CALIFORNIA: [...] Latent good news for Jones: Only 48 percent of those surveyed say they're "inclined" to reelect Boxer, who also has an unfavorable rating of 40 percent. She should be doing better. LEANING DEMOCRATIC RETENTION [...]

SOUTH DAKOTA: Tim Russert of NBC's Meet the Press has pegged this as one of America's most important Senate races, scheduling an hour-long debate between Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and former GOP congressman John Thune on his September 19 program. LEANING DEMOCRATIC RETENTION

WASHINGTON: Republican congressman George Nethercutt continues to wage a scrappy campaign against Democratic senator Patty Murray, but he remains a big-time underdog. LIKELY DEMOCRATIC RETENTION

WISCONSIN: With the GOP primary scheduled for September 14, this is the one race that won't have a nominated Republican candidate until after Labor Day. State senator Bob Welch probably represents the best chance for knocking off Democrat senator Russ Feingold, whose polls indicate a surprising level of vulnerability for a two-term incumbent. But even with Welch, who is no shoe-in for the nomination, it won't be easy. LIKELY DEMOCRATIC RETENTION

OVERALL: Republicans can breathe a little easier following Tom Coburn's primary victory in Oklahoma — they'll fight that contest with their best candidate. I've shifted my prediction there from "toss up" to "leaning Republican retention." That leaves four toss-up races: Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, and North Carolina. It's hard not to notice that they're all red states — i.e., Bush carried them in 2000. For now, I'll split them down the middle and stick with last month's prediction. REPUBLICANS GAIN TWO SEATS

If George W. Bush wins the election, +2 would seem a worst case scenario.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 18, 2004 8:29 AM

I think Miller is being a bit conservative (no pun intended). Georgia is GOP pickup while IL is a GOP loss so they cancel. I think in a modest Bush win (52%-48%) GOP holds Alaska, Colorado and picks up NC, SC, LA, and either FL/SD for +4. Strong Bush win (55-45%) +6 as FL/SD and WA are picked up. Bush blowout (over 56%) CA and WI become possible so +8 and almost to filibuster proof 60.

Posted by: AWW at August 18, 2004 9:44 AM


Starting at 55 you look to add the Nelsons too.

Posted by: oj at August 18, 2004 11:16 AM

IF he wins? Two seats? Such pessimism all of a sudden!

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at August 18, 2004 11:26 AM

I still think 60's doable.

Posted by: oj at August 18, 2004 11:32 AM

You need to remember that Louisiana hasn't had a Republican Senator for approximately 100 years, so it is always going to be at best a tossup.

Posted by: h-man at August 18, 2004 2:31 PM

AWW: CA doesn't look like a possible GOP win to me, unless somebody comes up with video of Boxer in bed with Osama. And probably not even then.

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 18, 2004 3:29 PM

AWW: CA doesn't look like a possible GOP win to me, unless somebody comes up with video of Boxer in bed with Osama. And probably not even then.

Posted by: PapayaSF at August 18, 2004 3:31 PM


What if the Eastern Seabord is pretty much red by 8:20 PM on Nov. 2? It could be 1980 again.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 18, 2004 10:00 PM

H-man - I agree LA hasn't elected a GOP senator yet but it has been steadily trending republican (especially when measured by registration %) and Bush should win it by over 10pts. Jindal was primed to win the governorship but there might have some factors preventing his win. Currently the GOP candidate, Vitter, is ahead in the polls vs. a crowded and uninspiring Dem field.
Papaya - agree with Jim H - I think CA will be closer than people think as Bush and Arnold garner support and as Jim H notes if the word from the east is that the GOP is romping it could turn off Dem voters out west (which happened in 1980 I believe).

Posted by: AWW at August 19, 2004 8:34 AM