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Strong Democratic Senate Candidates Lining Up

It's looking like next year's election cycle is shaping up to be a strong one for the Democrats. Strong Democratic candidates are lining up across the country for the chance to take on weak Republican incumbents or compete for open seats.

Last week former Virginia Governor Mark Warner announced that he would run for the seat vacated by retiring Republican John Warner. Early polls show Warner crushing the entire list of likely Republican rivals including former Senator Macaca. The Virginia seat is looking like an almost certain Democratic pickup.

In New Hampshire former Governor Jean Shaheen has announced her intention to run against Republican John Sununu who is up for reelection. Early polls show her trouncing Sununu 54% to 38%. The New Hampshire seat is at the top of the list that Democrats will be targeting next year.

And now Bob Novak is reporting that former Nebraska Governor and Senator Bob Kerrey is positioning himself to go after the seat of retiring Republican Chuck Hagel. Kerrey is wildly popular in Nebraska and will be tough to beat.

In Kentucky, the incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher is trailing Democratic challenger Steve Beshear 56% to 39% according to a Lexington Herald Reader poll. These polls could help get a competitive Democrat into the race against Republican Mitch McConnell.

These three seats are the only the beginning of Republican problems for next year. Across the country, Republican incumbents are dropping out of the House preferring to go work on K Street rather than spend another two years in the minority where they have little ability to extract bribes and campaign contributions from business interests seeking favorable treatment. A sense of doom and gloom is descending over Republican Party operatives. The Democrats are raising tons more money than the Republicans and any chance of the Congress reverting to Republican control is evaporating as the impact of Bush's "stay the course" strategy in Iraq begins to sink in with voters.

It's truly remarkable that the Republicans continue to follow behind Bush like lemmings as they blissfully stroll into the buzzsaw of voter anger in 2008. If the voters were furious about Iraq in 2006, they will be twice as furious in 2008 when we've suffered thousands more casualties all because George Bush refuses to admit he made a mistake and begin pulling out of Iraq. Democrats will again make Iraq the number one issue and beat the Republicans to a bloody pulp with it.

If I had the choice I would much rather have us out of Iraq by the time of the 2008 elections, but so be it. We will remain in Iraq largely because the Republican base and Republican Senators remain blindly committed to this disastrous misadventure offering a blank check in the form of the blood of our troops without conditions or benchmarks to Iraq's corrupt and miserable group of political leaders.


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Comments (1)

Paul Hamilton:

Although they continue to deny it, the Republican party is in chaos right now. No potential candidate wants to risk their future credibility to run next year when all indications are that Bush's war will still being going full blast and the public will be ready to take out eight years' worth of frustrations on anyone with an (R) after their name on the ballot.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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