Political repercussions of the downfall of an Idaho politico

It does not take too long for me to wonder about the electoral implications in a story such as Larry Craig’s.  I admit the same with regards to David Vitter’s situation (electoral implications: it puts him in a safer spot in his re-election bid in 2010).  I admit the same with the scandal-ridden Ted Stevens in Alaska.  (I suppose an open-seat may be popping up, one which the Republicans would have to blow).  And the same with the death of a Senator in Wyoming.  (The Republican state Congress gave the Democratic governor a choice of three Republicans to slide in, and he should probably win the rest of the term in 2008.)  On the other side of the ledger, the Republicans have had to play some tricky cards with Tim Johnson’s medical problems in South Dakota — Johnson having been one of the few opportunities for a Republican pick-up that that party had.
So, in terms of the Donkey versus Elephant game, we have one more muddle in a strangely muddled Senate election cycle.  The muddle is an odd one, which is a group of Senate seats you cannot quite fathom whether a Democrat can actually win or not.  (There isn’t such a muddle on the Republican end of the spectrum, who are looking at a long night in November of 2008.)  Larry Craig probably thinks he can get himself nominated for another term of in the Senate, but he will probably realize the error of this thought soon enough.  The problem with Idaho is that by some fluke of nature, the Republicans just might be crazy enough to nominate themselves Bill Sali, narrow victor of a House seat in 2006 — narrowed from what would have generally been a “safe seat” as various “respected” Idaho Republicans disowned him.  His most notable moment in his service as US House member is this little comment:

We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes — and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Idaho is not without a large group of religious minorities.  Granted, Mormons consider themselves Christians, even if most denominations don’t consider Mormons so — as Mitt Romney is finding out.

The best we can say is that if the Republicans select the “sane choice”, they keep a seat in Idaho.  If the Club for Growth spits out Sali, they still might just end up winning somewhat easily, off of the coat-tails of a Republican presidential candidate and off of a fair amount of over-inflated “liberal bashing” — see Oklahoma in 2004 with Tom Coburn for the model.  Or they might lose, which would bring up the interesting observation that:

Nothing best symbolizes a low point for the Republican party than a statewide defeat in Idaho.

One Response to “Political repercussions of the downfall of an Idaho politico”

  1. SME Says:

    I just found out from a Mormon friend that Idaho has the highest number of LDS members outside of Utah and Arizona, so I somehow doubt Craig has a future there…

    So nice to see some sanity on the ‘Nets. So far this week I’ve been called an accessory to war crimes after the fact, a CIA mole, and an apologist for crimes against children…all because I did one lousy post on stupid conspiracy theories.

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