Carol Platt Liebau: A Dubious Analysis?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Dubious Analysis?

Charlie Cook weighs in with an ultimately inconclusive conclusion that Republicans shouldn't take comfort from the fact that there are only 9 competitive Senate races this year -- especially when their incumbents hold 7 of the seats.

Well, of course, that's true. But it also seems to me that Cook -- as, frankly, is his custom -- touts the Democratic advantages while conveniently downplaying the Republican ones.

Perhaps the most noteworthy example of this tendency is the following:

Gov. Robert Ehrlich is the first Republican since 1980 to win any statewide office, and many observers say his victory was mainly due to the extraordinary weakness of the 2002 Democratic nominee.

Really? Anyone else remember who that was? That's right -- then-Lieutenant Governor Kathleen KENNEDY Townsend, Bobby Kennedy's oldest child. Seems a bit much to dismiss so airily the political skills it took to defeat a union-supported Kennedy, however feeble, in a predominantly Democratic state . . .

And as to the Maryland Senate race, news from another source (albeit a partisan one) tells a much different story -- and it is worth noting that the Dems have a disputed primary with several different African American candidates, while the Republicans have one solid African American candidate in Michael Steele.

Second, Cook seems much more willing to admit the possibility of Jim Talent losing the Senate race in Missouri that he is to consider the chance that Mark Kennedy will prevail in Minnesota -- an interesting choice.

It's true that Senator Talent's race has been complicated by a stem cell ballot initiative being put on the November ballot -- especially given that moderates like John Danforth have been campaigning hard for it, not unlike Talent opponent Claire McCaskill, who likewise supports it. But what can't be overestimated is Talent's financial advantage -- $5.7 million to the Democrat's $2 million. What's more, while Missourians seem willing to put Democrats in the governor's mansion (and McCaskill lost a close race to then 36 year old Matt Blunt two years ago), they haven't elected one to the US Senate since 1980, unless you count the 2000 race that the deceased Mel Carnahan won -- and he was trailing John Ashcroft at the time of his death; most insiders expected Ashcroft to win.

Likewise, it seems strange that Cook isn't more enthusiastic about Mark Kennedy's chances -- especially when Minnesota has now elected a Republican governor and a Republican senator since the retiring Senator Mark Dayton (D) was elected.

And that's why I'm willing to take the rest of the analysis with a little grain of salt.

3 Comments:

Blogger Dittohead said...

All very fine and good but, bigger picture is how many GOP incumbents are going to get indicted?

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/gopscorecard.htm

10:56 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol opines, "Second, Cook seems much more willing to admit the possibility of Jim Talent losing the Senate race in Missouri that he is to consider the chance that Mark Kennedy will prevail in Minnesota -- an interesting choice."

Latest polls of the two races:

St.Louis Dispatch 6/28
McCaskill 49%
Talent 42%
MoE +-3.5%

Rasmussen 6/30
Klobuchar 47%
Kennedy 44%
MoE +- 3.5%

Carol, you look so cute in your Republican Cheer Leader's outfit.

10:04 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Carol, you look so cute in your Republican Cheer Leader's outfit.

Isn't that why we're here?

12:43 PM  

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