Mainers Could Punish Snowe for No Vote on HCR

Chris Cillizza writes up another key data point from the most recent Democracy Corps (.pdf) poll of Maine voters that should have the state's Republican Senator Olympia Snowe thinking about whether obstructing healthcare reform would be good politics.

[T]he memo notes that when the same sample is asked to imagine Snowe voting against Obama's health care plan, her numbers drop precipitously -- with 44 percent saying they would definitely vote to re-elect her and 44 percent saying they would entertain the prospect of voting for someone else. That drop includes a 33-percent tumble among independents, a critically important part of Snowe's winning calculus in past elections.

Cillizza writes that "This memo is rightly understood as a shot across Snowe's political bow, a not-so-subtle hint that she should support the President's health care plan or else." With Barack Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket in 2012, the next time Snowe faces the voters of Maine, Cillizza is probably right -- Snowe's position on healthcare reform, perhaps more than anything else, will determine whether she is able to earn another term in the Senate.

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A look at the 2008 Senate races, mid-October edition

Bumped - Todd

With the election less than 3 weeks away from us, it's time for another look at all the 2008 Senate races.  There are 35 seats up for election because of a scenario in Wyoming and Mississippi where both seats are up, due to the passing of Craig Thomas and the resignation of Trent Lott, respectively.  Obviously, quite a few of the races are considered "safe" for the incumbent.  So what are the competitive races?

Again, just to be clear, I don't do predictions.  Every time I do, horrible things happen.  So I won't even make an actual prediction on the Virginia Senate race, because doing so would effectively jinx Mark Warner.  So, I'll rank these in terms of tiers.  The top tier will be the races where the party holding the seat has a legitimate chance of switching (but I ain't guaranteeing anything).  The second tier are races that could become top tier races, but are not at this point.  Tier III are ones where a major event would need to happen for the seat to come into play.  And the safe seats?  Well, Mike Gravel has a better shot at winning the presidency than those incumbents have of losing their races.

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ME-Sen: Planned Parenthood Endorses Tom Allen For Senate

Howie Klein brings us the good news that Planned Parenthood has done the right thing and has decided to endorse Democratic challenger Tom Allen in the race to unseat faux moderate Bush enabler Susan Collins.

As Howie says, these single issue groups way too often, in the name of bi-partisanship, endorse incumbent Republicans, despite their record. Indeed, Planned Parenthood endorsed Collins in her re-election bid 6 years ago. But no longer.

It's the first time Planned Parenthood has backed the challenger to a senator it had previously endorsed. It also seems to be the first time Planned Parenthood has backed a Senate challenger over an incumbent who identifies as pro-choice. And It also serves as an example to other so-called "progressive" groups, showing that it's possible to avoid reflexively fluffing those in power.

As Collins Watch puts it:

The decision to intervene in the race--coming from the nation's most important and respected pro-choice organization--sounds an urgent warning to pro-choice Collins supporters, admonishing them to take another look at the junior senator's record.

Howie catalogs the worst of Collins's betrayals to the pro-choice movement:

-voted for the confirmation of anti-Choice radical Sammy Alito to the Supreme Court.
-voted for nearly all of President Bush's lower court judicial nominees, including right-wing activist appointees like Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown.
-voted for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a law that pro-choice groups saw as a backdoor attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade.
-has remained silent about the Bush administration's recently proposed DHHS rule, which grants health care providers wide latitude to deny services to women on a case by case basis.

Planned Parenthood's bold decision to endorse Allen at this point in the race is also a signal that we shouldn't give up on Allen. They haven't. Indeed, while Collins is widely considered safe, the truth is Allen is closing. According to Rasmussen, Allen has gained 3 points in 2 weeks and is now down by just 10%. Even better, a new DSCC poll has Allen within 8% and Collins below 50%.

For more on Allen visit his website HERE and contribute to his campaign to replace one of the worst Bush enablers in the Senate with a true progressive champion at ActBlue.

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Senate rankings: Democrats have their 9th target

Posted on Campaign Diaries. You can also check the House ratings here.

Over the past two months, the Senate playing field has gotten much clearer, and the gap between competitive seats and sleeper races has widened.

On the one hand, Democrats have solidified their position in the top-tier. They have managed to catapult North Carolina into the toss-up category, finally reaching their goal of putting 9 GOP-held seats in play. As a series of stunning developments in Alaska left the GOP pinning its hopes on an indicted incumbent, there now are five Republican-held seats that are leaning towards Democrats. That is not to say that Democrats can take 5 seats for granted (in fact, they appear to have sealed the deal in only two contests), but a testament to the fact that Senate Democrats remain poised to have a strong night on November 4th.

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A Look at the 2008 Senate Races, September Edition

So with the Alaska primary and the conventions now over, it's time for another look at all the 2008 Senate races.  There are 35 seats up for election because of a scenario in Wyoming and Mississippi where both seats are up, due to the passing of Craig Thomas and the resignation of Trent Lott, respectively.  Obviously, quite a few of the races are considered "safe" for the incumbent.  So what are the competitive races?

Again, just to be clear, I don't do predictions.  Every time I do, horrible things happen.  So I won't even make an actual prediction on the Virginia Senate race, because doing so would effectively jinx Mark Warner.  So, I'll rank these in terms of tiers.  The top tier will be the races where the party holding the seat has a legitimate chance of switching (but I ain't guaranteeing anything).  The second tier are races that could become top tier races, but are not at this point.  Tier III are ones where a major event would need to happen for the seat to come into play.  And the safe seats?  Well, Mike Gravel has a better shot at winning the presidency than those incumbents have of losing their races.

This is meant to be a primer for both newcomers and political junkies alike, so some of the information may seem repetitive for you junkies out there.  Also see my previous August diary to see what things have changed since my last update.

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