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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ratings Changes from Cook

Posted by DavidNYC

Some changes from Charlie Cook & Co.:

As the election draws closer, it is clear that the season is over for some challengers, including some who have run solid efforts. This would be the case for Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley (D) in the AL-Gov race, and for Republicans Pete Ricketts in NE-Sen and Richard Tarrant in VT-Sen.

I'm a bit disappointed about AL-Gov. A couple of very early polls showed that Baxley was surprisingly competitive. But incumbent Bob Riley developed something of a Giuliani-style halo after Katrina. (Because she is a Democrat, fellow Gulf Coast governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana was an easy target for the Bush administration and consequently the media, so her fortunes went south while Riley's shot skyward.) At best, though, this was always a chance to sneak in and steal a seat, so I can't say I'm really broken-hearted.

Meanwhile, while I was never worried about VT-Sen at all, several commenters here said they were concerned about NE-Sen due to Ricketts' huge personal wealth. (He's the son of the founder of Ameritrade.) But, according to Jennifer Duffy, Ricketts hasn't gained any traction despite being what she calls a "strong first-time candidate." And while there hasn't been a single public poll of this race since May, she also notes that we'd have seen an internal GOP poll if they had any good news to report.

I'll be glad if we can totally take this race off our radars. I know that there are several Nebraskans who read the site (or at least have in the past). I'd love to hear some more thoughts from locals.

Posted at 09:38 PM in 2006 Elections | Technorati

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A few months ago I was a bit concerned about Ricketts, but not anymore. Ever since Ben Nelson put out the ads saying how Pete Ricketts laid off workers and opposes raising the minimum wage while taking millions in bonuses for himself while he was Chief Operating Officer of Ameritrade, this race has been over. The ad campaign's been a little ridiculous, at least for Nebraska, and they broke all kinds of spending records for the campaign. Pete Ricketts may have his personal wealth, but Ben Nelson is also an incredible fundraiser. Most people I know just mute the television when an ad for either candidate comes on now, but even more are simply shaking their heads at Pete Ricketts, especially during the summer when he tried to tie Ben Nelson to "liberals like Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy who will raise taxes enact a radical left agenda if given control of the Senate." People stopped taking Pete Ricketts seriously quite a while ago.

Posted by: StuckInRedNE [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 10:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Whats the deal with KS-04? A poll from Sept. 20 has the Dem up by 14 points! http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2006/Info/all_house_polls.html

Posted by: jerzay [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 10:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

About six months ago I was really worried about the Nebraska Senate race. The state is notorious for last minute swings against the Democrat Senate candidate. In 2000, Nelson had a double digit lead over an nobody Republican but barely prevailed 50-49 on election night. In 1996, Ben Nelson held a high single digit lead over Chuck Hagel through the final weeks of the campaign, but lost in a landslide 56-43. This is a race that we should watch.

Posted by: Sean [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 10:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I've felt pretty good about Sen Nelson all along, his only loss, to Sen Hagle, was a combination of cult of personality, Sen Hagle, like him or not has the swagger that Nebraskan's love and which Sen Nelson somewhat lacks, in addition, I don't think the Nelson campaign saw the momentum change, they were coasting and didn't stay on the offensive. The second race, the close win, was to the former atty gen & bumbling moron (and once upon a time I dealt directly with his office so I know from where of I speak) Stenberg, who basically caught a tailwind in 2000 and very much outperformed expectations. Every report I've received indicates that the folks in Ne are extremely turned off by Ricketts personality and Nelson is very popular. However the commenter who said that Nebraska races close fast is correct, so it's best to be vigilant.

I remain committed to my original prediction that Maxine Moul is the under the radar race of the cycle. She hasn't been as agressive as I would have hoped, but there's the prospect that she's holding her guns for a final push. I can't source it, but a reliable source told me a while back that Fortenberry's reelect numbers were under 45%, and the poll he released was a base line, skewed and it was conducted pre-media. If Maxine has the resources to go on the attack and does so in a "subtle negative" style I think we'll be pleased come election day.

Scott Kleeb has been a huge surprise. I thought he might run a respectable campaign, and be a future prospect, but after viewing his media, seeing the polling and taking a closer look at his opponent, (claim to fame is reaching a compromise with the pro-helemet motorcycle coalition that change the violation to a secondary enforcment offense, (and the agreement sunsets in 2 years, quite the Jedi legislative master), I'm giving money (such that it is)and moving his race up to a serious possiblitliy.

Posted by: Pesudonym J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 6, 2006 12:29 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

David, you don't know all about Blanco, I'm a liberal Democrat and I hate Blanco because she's an idiot, a bimbo, and a do nothing Governor who's hasn't been able to strengthen the State Democratic party. I'm a local now, and I haVE FAMILY. Both she and Nagin did pathetic terrible jobs during Katrina. Nagin is where about 60% of all blame lies, but hey, he was a Black Republican businessman until about two weeks before the election.

Posted by: ArkDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 6, 2006 02:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kind of going off of ArkDem but in regards to the AL race.

If I were in Alabama, I would vote straight D, but I wouldn't be TOO sad if Riley won. He actually tried to make the tax code progressive a few years ago and wanted to up the rate on wealthy alabamans and take low income people off the roles (the current lowest income bracket is $4,000!). His plan was trounced by the voters though and a huge chance for progress in AL was thwarted. Since then he's basically been a run of the mill republican, but I'll always have a small soft spot for him for bucking 26 years of republican orthodoxy and reaganomics by proposing a more progressive tax structure.

Posted by: nada [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 6, 2006 02:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment