Early CQ Analysis: Gordon Smith, one of six most vulnerable Republicans

Over at CQPolitics.com, the Conqressional Quarterly has their first ranking of 2008 US Senate seats. The most vulnerable GOP-held seat is the one in Colorado, held by retiring Senator Wayne Allard - flagged as "no clear favorite".

After that, it's five seats that "lead Republican". In alpha order, they're in Maine (Susan Collins), Minnesota (Norm Coleman), New Hampshire (John E. Sununu), North Carolina (Elizabeth Dole), and... Oregon (Gordon H. Smith)

Seven GOP-held seats are "Republican Favored" and eight are "Safe Republican".

And, for what it's worth - there are only two Democrat-held seats that fall into the "no clear favorite" and "leans Democratic" categories: South Dakota (Tim Johnson) and Louisiana (Mary Landrieu). Four are "Democrat Favored" and six are "Safe Democratic".

For those keeping score at home, that's a good year shaping up for Democrats - with only 12 seats up for re-election, compared to 21 GOP seats up in 2008.


  • Michael M. (unverified)

    Susan Collins and John Sununu would not be Republican losses I'd cheer about, though it's always possible they could be replaced with better Democrats. But both have done some good work, and I'm especially pleased with Sununu's efforts to reign in the FCC on the broadcast flag issue.

    Meanwhile, I'd love the rabidly blue partisan take on Gordon Smith's latest efforts on behalf of gay Americans, as reported on Independent Gay Forum:

    Meanwhile, as Log Cabin points out, Democrats in the Senate are blocking a vote on a pro-gay amendment to the minimum wage act, sponsored by GOP Senator Gordon Smith, that would ease the tax burden for domestic partner benefits. "The Domestic Partner Health Benefits Equity Act would correct an unfair provision in the tax code that blocks self-employed people from deducting their domestic partner’s health insurance premium costs."


    Surely, this must be another evil dastardly Republican plot in disguise, right? After all, it can't be that Democrats pay lip service to equality and fairness, take gay and lesbian campaign contributions, but when push comes to shove, sell out gay Americans time and again. Right?

    I don't know if any of you are Second Life fans, but Democratic SF Mayor Gavin Newsom was just interviewed and said something very interesting:

    "GN: For a lot of people [Newsom's actions in support of gay marriage] was for worse. I’ve basically written myself off of any prospects of running for any different office, and I certainly won’t be appointed by any administration or special councils because I’m a time bomb and too controversial. And I’m not just saying for Republicans.

    One of the three Democrats you mentioned as presidential candidates [Clinton, Gore, Obama], God as my witness, will not be photographed with me, will not be in the same room as me, even though I’ve done fundraisers for that particular person not once but twice, because of this issue."

    So come on, Blue Oregon, lets hear how Smith is the devil for proposing something that would help out domestic partners, and how the "progressive" thing to do is always to criticize and attack anyone with an "R" after their names and support anyone with a "D", no matter how duplicitous or bigoted. Don't disappoint me!

  • (Show?)

    Smith is the devil for submitting one of 70 barely-tangential amendments to the minimum wage bill that was sent from the House, approved by dozens of Republicans without any amendments whatsoever. The Democrats in the Senate also offered no amendments whatsoever.

    The Republicans forced FIVE DAYS of debate, submitting amendment after amendment, including Gordo's. And then when it came time to call an end to debate and just vote, 43 Republicans--including Gordo--blocked that vote.

    The bill may have been a good idea. But it was a bullshit move, totally out of context and inappropriate at the time, and was done as a way to goad the Democrats and delay the long-delayed, long blocked attempt to just bring the minimum wage back up to 1997 standards.

    watch this floor speech by Teddy K that pretty well explains why Gordon Smith not only deserves no credit whatsoever from anybody, but is doing EXACTLY what we have been charging for months: he pays lip service to popular goals, but when it comes time for the vote he sides with what the leadership tell him to do.

    The GOP's performance on this bill was an outright disgrace, and as you see, he was an active contributor.

  • JHL (unverified)

    All of what Torrid says may be true... but I think Michael's point was that the Dems and Repubs are two sides of the same coin.

    Each party has an issue (or issues) that they trump up for election season and then make absolutely sure they don't do anything to solve the issue and nullify their wedge:

    The Republicans have the choice issue. They have the votes on the Supreme Court to overrule Roe... if they cared about the issue as much as they claim to, they could get Roe overturned next Tuesday.

    The Democrats have LGBT. Suddenly, the Dems control both the Legislature AND the Governor's office... and where has talk of Civil Unions gone? This was the super-huge issue last session, wasn't it?

    Everybody thank Ronald Reagan for this political technique: Instead of solving problems, lets position problems. Both sides use it.

    That said, let's boot Gordo out of office.

  • (Show?)

    LHT, I've been assured that civil unions will be up in the middle of the session, and will pass and get the governor's signature.

    I don't see the analogy, in any case. This is vastly supported legislation, it was passed with strong bipartisan support in a clean fashion, and it was given five days of debate...after TEN YEARS of having it shut down.

    Blocking something 3/4 of the country wants (as long as it's not lynchings or Shoot a Ho for Free Day) is bullshit, pure and simple.

  • (Show?)

    Gavin has personally told me that exact same thing. Only he named which of the three it was. One hint: He's not Edwards.

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    Hooray for the Dems in the Senate races in '08. Unless George Jr. gets extremely lucky with some sort of major turn around in Iraq it appears very likely that the next Senate will have at least 5 more Democrats. Not a filibuster proof majority, but a much more comfortable lead than the current 1 vote margin, especially with all those right wing Democrats from the south included in the Dem count.

    It would be nice to think that Oregon would join the rest of the country in electing more Democrat senators, but I'm still waiting for that promised but as-of-yet undelivered blockbuster Dem candidate to run against Gordo in '08. Please people, we need a candidate here! Earl B., are you listening?

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