Minutiae of Electoral Politics

Taking another gander at that list of Senate races I plopped up there to the right, where I’ve occasionally very loosely bumped around depending on how my general absorption rate of how a race is going — ie: most likely to change parties at top of each list, and down from there…

It occurs to me that my original guess that Virginia’s race as being more likely to see the Democratic candidate win than Tennessee, which in terms of how the pundit class sees the races was the only real break from them. The Democratic Party has generally held that to win the Senate, they’d have to win that slot of five seats — a stronger likelihood as the season has gone by, hold onto all the seats they have now — which has always been a strong likelihood and more on that later — and win another seat… which they have reckoned to be Harold Ford, Jr of Tennessee.

In terms of which candidate you would rather see win the race, it’s quite clearly James Webb. Harold Ford’s line in campaigning includes pointing out that he ran against Nancy Pelosi for Democratic House Leader, to keep the party from moving too far to the left. His run was panned and mocked by the pundit class at the time, as though it was anything other than what it was: a marker to use when he decided to run for the Senate seat.

James Webb, meanwhile, had a good week without really having to do anything. George Allen is his own worst enemy, this week if nothing else pretty well establishing himself as someone who is not going to be the next president of the United States.

Now, then. Looking over the Democratic seats, I have to shrug. I suppose we can now treat Joseph Lieberman as an erstwhile Republican. He would then trot to the top of that list. The comment from Minnesota, always seeming to be the Republican’s top pick-up opportunity, is that “the bottom seems to have just dropped out” from under the Republican candidate’s support. I guess that almost leaves Nebraska and Ben Nelson as the most vulnerable Democrat.

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