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House Dem 257   GOP 178  

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News from the Votemaster

Maloney Will Challenge Gillibrand     Permalink

Despite repeated requests from the entire Democratic Party establishment to stay put--from the President on down--as well as her friends, Rep. Carolyn Maloney appears set to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in a primary next year. It will be a tough fight for her because party leaders are doing their best to cut off her sources of funding and isolate her in every way they can. The President has already said that he would actively campaign for Gillibrand in New York City, which is Maloney's base. While Maloney's argument is that she is more liberal than Gillibrand, the senator has been rapidly changing some of the more conservative positions she took while representing a rural upstate district and she has achieved one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate. The bottom line is that Maloney feels it was her turn to become a senator and she clearly resents a newbie getting the job.

Sununu Will Not Run for Senate in New Hampshire     Permalink

Former senator John Sununu has decided against running for the Senate, despite urgings from state Republicans. He is probably the strongest candidate the Republicans had for the open seat being vacated by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH). The Democratic nominee, Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH), can thus breathe a bit easier, although his fundraising to date has been weak.

Sixty is Not Forever     Permalink

The Democrats and friends now have 60 seats in the Senate, but the composition is not made of marble, like much of the chamber itself. Senators come and go, even between elections. The can die (e.g., Craig Thomas), resign (e.g., Hillary Clinton) or jump ship (e.g., Arlen Specter). Generally, when a Senate seat is vacant, the governor appoints the new senator until the next even-numbered year, although a few states (like Massachusetts) hold special elections. And in a couple of states (e.g., Wyoming), the governor must appoint someone from a list drawn up by the previous senator's party or at least a member of his party. But in all the other states, the governor has a free hand in picking the new senator (sometimes too free, as recent events in Illinois have demonstrated).

With this in mind, one could ask: "Which states have at least one senator not from the governor's party?" In the event of a vacancy in such a state, the governor might have the opportunity for mischief. The states with at least one Democratic senator and a Republican governor are: Alaska (Sarah Palin), California (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Connecticut (Jodi Rell), Florida (Charlie Crist), Hawaii (Linda Lingle), Indiana (Mitch Daniels), Lousiana (Bobby Jindal), Minnesota (Tim Pawlenty), Nevada (Jim Gibbons), Nebraska (Dave Heineman), North Dakota (John Hoeven), Rhode Island (Don Carcieri), South Dakota (Mike Rounds), and Vermont (James Douglas). Are any Democratic seats in danger there? The ones that come to mind first are the two in Hawaii. Daniel Inouye is 84 and Daniel Akaka is also 84. However, Hawaii law requires the (Republican) governor to pick someone from the previous senator's party (although it is not clear how long said person has to have been a member of the party) and she could certainly choose a weak and unknown Democrat--say the mayor of a small town--unlikely to win a special election. Sen Tim Johnson (D-SD) suffered cerebral bleeding in 2006 but has been making a slow recovery since then. Senators don't live forever and being a senator gives you great medical care but even people with great medical care can have heart attacks or be diagnosed with cancer.

What about Republican senators from states with a Democratic governor? These are: Iowa (Chet Culver), Kansas (Mark Parkinson), Kentucky (Steve Beshear), Maine (John Baldacci), Missouri (Jay Nixon), New Hampshire (John Lynch), North Carolina (Beverly Perdue), Ohio (Ted Strickland), Oklahoma (Brad Henry), Tennessee (Phil Bredesen), and Wyoming (Dave Freudenthal), Although Wyoming is one of the states that requires the governor to choose from a list drawn up by the previous incumbent's party. The only Republican senator who might conceivably be replaced by the other side's governor is Jim Bunning, who has threatened to resign if Mitch McConnell really turns the screws on him to prevent his reelection, but that is not a likely event. None of the Republican senators in these states is really elderly.

In addition, there are a number of states where a senator might be replaced by someone of his own party, such as would happen if Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) should die or resign as the governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin, is a Democrat.

In general, it is surprising how many blue states have Republican governors or senators and how many red states have Democratic governors or senators. Here is the list. It is located on the "Data galore" page in case you wish to refer to it in the future. Columns 2-4 refer to the 2008 presidential election. The last three columns refer to the House delegation. The seats marked with an asterisk are up for election in 2009 or 2010. The data are available here in .csv format

State O M Dif Governor Senior senator Junior senator H D H R Net
Hawaii 72 27 45 Linda Lingle (R)* Daniel Inouye (D)* Daniel Akaka (D) 2 0 2
Vermont 67 30 37 James H. Douglas (R)* Patrick Leahy (D)* Bernie Sanders (I) 1 0 1
Rhode Island 63 35 28 Don Carcieri (R)* Jack Reed (D) Sheldon Whitehouse (D) 2 0 2
New York 63 36 27 David Paterson (D)* Chuck Schumer (D)* Kirsten Gillibrand (D)* 26 3 23
Maryland 62 36 26 Martin O'Malley (D)* Barbara Mikulski (D)* Ben Cardin (D) 7 1 6
Massachusetts 62 36 26 Deval Patrick (D)* Ted Kennedy (D) John Kerry (D) 10 0 10
Delaware 62 37 25 Jack Markell (D) Tom Carper (D) Ted Kaufman (D)* 0 1 -1
Illinois 62 37 25 Pat Quinn (D)* Richard Durbin (D) Roland Burris (D)* 12 7 5
California 61 37 24 Arnie Schwarzenegger(R)* Dianne Feinstein (D) Barbara Boxer (D)* 34 19 15
Connecticut 61 38 23 M. Jodi Rell (R)* Chris Dodd (D)* Joe Lieberman (I) 5 0 5
Maine 58 40 18 John Baldacci (D)* Olympia Snowe (R) Susan Collins (R) 2 0 2
Washington 58 40 18 Christine Gregoire (D) Patty Murray (D)* Maria Cantwell (D) 6 3 3
Oregon 57 40 17 Ted Kulongoski (D)* Ron Wyden (D)* Jeff Merkley (D) 4 1 3
Michigan 57 41 16 Jennifer Granholm (D)* Carl Levin (D) Debbie Stabenow (D) 8 7 1
New Jersey 57 42 15 Jon Corzine (D)* Frank Lautenberg (D) Bob Menendez (D) 8 5 3
New Mexico 57 42 15 Bill Richardson (D)* Jeff Bingaman (D) Tom Udall (D) 3 0 3
Wisconsin 56 42 14 Jim Doyle (D)* Herb Kohl (D) Russell Feingold (D)* 5 3 2
Nevada 55 43 12 Jim Gibbons (R)* Harry Reid (D)* John Ensign (R) 2 1 1
Pennsylvania 55 44 11 Ed Rendell (D)* Arlen Specter (D)* Bob Casey (D) 12 7 5
Iowa 54 44 10 Chet Culver (D)* Chuck Grassley (R)* Tom Harkin (D) 3 2 1
Minnesota 54 44 10 Tim Pawlenty (R)* Amy Klobuchar (D) Al Franken (D) 5 3 2
Colorado 54 45 9 Bill Ritter (D)* Mark Udall (D) Michael Bennet (D)* 5 2 3
New Hampshire 54 45 9 John Lynch (D)* Judd Gregg (R)* Jeanne Shaheen (D) 2 0 2
Virginia 53 46 7 Tim Kaine (D)* Jim Webb (D) Mark Warner (D) 6 5 1
Ohio 51 47 4 Ted Strickland (D)* George Voinovich (R)* Sherrod Brown (D) 10 8 2
Florida 51 48 3 Charlie Crist (R)* Bill Nelson (D) Mel Martinez (R)* 10 15 -5
Indiana 50 49 1 Mitchell Daniels (R) Dick Lugar (R) Evan Bayh (D)* 5 4 1
North Carolina 50 49 1 Beverly Perdue (D) Richard Burr (R)* Kay Hagan (D) 8 5 3
Missouri 48 49 -1 Jay Nixon (D) Kit Bond (R)* Claire McCaskill (D) 4 5 -1
Montana 47 50 -3 Brian Schweitzer (D) Max Baucus (D) Jon Tester (D) 0 1 -1
Georgia 47 52 -5 Sonny Perdue (R)* Saxby Chambliss (R) Johnny Isakson (R)* 6 7 -1
North Dakota 45 53 -8 John Hoeven (R) Kent Conrad (D) Byron Dorgan (D)* 1 0 1
South Dakota 45 53 -8 Mike Rounds (R)* Tim Johnson (D) John Thune (R)* 1 0 1
Arizona 45 54 -9 Jan Brewer(R)* John McCain (R)* Jon Kyl (R) 5 3 2
South Carolina 45 54 -9 Mark Sanford (R)* Lindsey Graham (R) Jim DeMint (R)* 2 4 -2
Texas 44 55 -11 Rick Perry (R)* Kay Hutchison (R) John Cornyn (R) 12 20 -8
Mississippi 43 56 -13 Haley Barbour (R) Thad Cochran (R) Roger Wicker (R) 3 1 2
West Virginia 43 56 -13 Joe Manchin III (D) Robert Byrd (D) Jay Rockefeller (D) 2 1 1
Kansas 42 57 -15 Mark Parkinson (D)* Sam Brownback (R) Pat Roberts (R) 2 4 -2
Nebraska 42 57 -15 David Heineman (R)* Ben Nelson (D) Mike Johanns (R) 0 3 -3
Tennessee 42 57 -15 Phil Bredesen (D)* Lamar Alexander (R) Bob Corker (R) 5 4 1
Kentucky 41 57 -16 Steve Beshear (D) Mitch McConnell (R) Jim Bunning (R)* 1 3 -2
Louisiana 40 59 -19 Bobby Jindal (R) Mary Landrieu (D) David Vitter (R)* 1 6 -5
Arkansas 39 59 -20 Mike Beebe (D)* Blanche Lincoln (D)* Mark Pryor (D) 3 1 2
Alabama 39 60 -21 Robert Riley (R)* Richard Shelby (R)* Jeff Sessions (R) 3 4 -1
Alaska 38 59 -21 Sarah Palin (R)* Lisa Murkowski (R)* Mark Begich (D) 0 1 -1
Idaho 36 62 -26 Butch Otter (R)* James Risch (R) Michael Crapo (R)* 1 1 0
Utah 34 63 -29 Gary Herbert (R) Orrin Hatch (R) Robert Bennett (R)* 1 2 -1
Oklahoma 34 66 -32 Brad Henry (D)* James Inhofe (R) Tom Coburn (R)* 1 4 -3
Wyoming 33 65 -32 Dave Freudenthal (D)* Michael Enzi (R) John Barrasso (R) 0 1 -1

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