How Many Senate Seats Are Republicans Going To Win or Lose?

There's a new Quick Poll! question on this page that you should vote in. Republicans are worried by the uphill challenge they face in the November '08, when they must defend 22 Senate seats compared to the Democrats' 12. This is bruited as an explanation for recent GOP defections on the Iraq war. Scroll down the page, cast your vote and give us an idea of how you assess the Republicans' predicament.

Senate Republicans Are in a Panic Over Iraq

The most important and least understood event in Washington politics is the strong possibility that Senate Republicans face an epic disaster of historic dimension in 2008.

With 22 Senate Republicans running in 2008, if the Democrats run Felix the Cat for president the Republicans will almost certainly lose seats in the Senate.

If the Democrats run a respectable presidential campaign, the Republicans could well lose five seats or more.

If the Democratic presidential candidate wins in 2008 it is very conceivable that Democrats could end up with nearly 60 senators.

Immigration's Bipartisan Ouster

Did anyone hear the whooping, hooting, and hollering coming from Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters last Thursday when the immigration reform bill failed a procedural vote in the Senate? Sure, Clinton voted to proceed with the controversial compromise, but she couldn't have been happier to watch it die.

According to a Gallop poll released last week, Clinton now stands to benefit the most from the backlash against the Republicans and President Bush among Hispanic voters. The findings show that, by a nearly 3-1 margin, Hispanic voters are identifying themselves as Democrats or leaning Democratic — and the immigration debate is a major factor. Clinton can now appeal to this critical voting bloc but won't be dogged by a vote for final passage of an amnesty package for illegals, a bill so unpopular that protesting voters managed to jam the Senate phone system with their calls. 

Rudy’s Fragile Candidacy

What if it turns out we wasted all this time breathlessly following Rudy Giuliani’s meteoric rise to the front of the GOP primary pack, just to have former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) get in the race, knock Rudy’s celebrity socks off and turn America’s Mayor into just another also-ran?

It’s likely, but since that hasn’t happened, let’s ponder this: Giuliani’s support is soft and thin. Get any true Red Republican to talk about Rudy’s appeal and they weave caveats in and out of the conversation with lawyerly precision. Untested, three wives, socially liberal, terrible temper, the pre-911 tenure in New York — the list is long. When Giuliani campaigned in Iowa this week the reception was courteous but the crowds weren’t exactly crushing. He tried to tell Iowans that everybody is the same no matter where they hail from, but it was plain to see Rudy is no rock star to these heartland caucusers, at least not yet. That could prove dangerous in other states down the road.

Barack Obama Wins First Primary

And the winner is …

For a while, we thought it was Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). After all, she set a new world’s record for fundraising: $26 million in the first quarter of 2007. No doubt about it. With her proven ability to raise money like that, it looked like Hillary had the Democratic nomination all locked up.

But that was three days ago. Today, the big winner is … Barack Obama. The senator from Illinois has stunned the political world by reporting $25 million raised. Almost as much as Hillary’s $26 million total, but better than Hillary in several significant ways.

The YouTube Slime

Many people have heard about or seen snippets of the YouTube hit piece portraying Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as the Orwellian Big Brother figure. They know about it not necessarily because they've pointed their browsers to YouTube to view it — and not because it is accurate, fair, or prepared by someone who was prepared to stand behind it with his or her real name.

They know about it because the mainstream media have published articles about it, including significant headlines and photos from the posting, and because TV media have broadcast and re-broadcast and re-re-broadcast it free as "news."

Was it news? Was it worth legitimizing by republishing it? Would the Washington Post or MSNBC republish an article from the National Enquirer that includes a photo of Hllary Clinton conferring with a Martian?

Should Edwards Drop Out?

The news that Elizabeth Edwards’s cancer had returned even made headlines in Ireland. Followed by the next day’s announcement, from both Elizabeth and John, that their campaign would go forward.

As much as I admire their fighting spirit, I have to ask: WHY?

Don’t get me wrong. I love John Edwards. I think he’s a great candidate. He’s got the best message of all the Democratic candidates. And he’d make an outstanding president.

I have also always admired Elizabeth Edwards, long before she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet the way she’s battled that disease — with so much courage and determination — has made her an inspiration to every one of us.

In Awe of John and Elizabeth Edwards

The political airwaves are full of analysis and re-analysis of John and Elizabeth Edwards’ announcement. As a political consultant and as a husband I have seen first hand the effects of cancer in a household and in a headquarters.

A candidate for the Senate I once worked for was confronted, just before her announcement, with the news that her husband had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and he had to have an operation. He was adamant, as he was wheeled in
for the surgery, that she continue the campaign. She did just that. My guess is that Elizabeth Edwards was equally strong and resolute about her husband’s campaign and that she convinced him that she would be miserable if he dropped out.

It is a window on a couple’s character to watch them deal with this most personal of decisions and to exemplify courage, compassion, humor and, most important, love for one another. The Edwardses are a team and they will take on these battles, just as they have dealt with others in their lives. Americans want to see their candidates for president up close and personal – there is nothing more personal than what they are going through.

One in seven women in America will come down with breast cancer in their lifetime. When it hits a family it is more than a statistic, it is a struggle for survival. My wife and Elizabeth Edwards have the same attitude – a continual feeling of how fortunate they are to have close friends, family, and the very best of medical care. Life has been full, and full of joy, and you can’t help but be in awe when you see the smiles on the faces of John and Elizabeth Edwards.

Hillary's Gender Base

For those who say that Hillary can't get elected and they don't know anyone who is voting for her, the proper response is: Ask a young, single woman.

The latest Gallup poll -- combining data in February and March -- shows Hillary getting 43 percent of the votes of women between 18 and 49 but only 27 percent of the votes of men of the same age. It also shows no gap at all between men and women over the age of 50 -- Hillary gets 35 percent of women and 34 percent of men over 50.

Gore Won't Run

Al Gore could have run in 2008 and could have beaten Hillary. But he dithered so long and sent out such negative indicators that he has blown his opportunity. Barack Obama, catching on in the polls and closing the gap with Hillary to single digits, has, quite simply, sucked all the oxygen from the room.

By contrast, the Republican primary voters are practically begging for an alternative to Rudy and McCain and would flock to a new candidate like Fred Thompson should he decide to run.

It's a shame about Gore. He's well-qualified, would be a very good president, and would have a very good chance of beating Hillary. But Obama moved out to run when he hung back, and there isn't enough momentum to go around.