Daily Kos: Gallup and Senate

Gallup and Senate
by kos
Fri Aug 26th, 2005 at 20:31:51 CDT

I'm hanging at the Missoula Airport waiting for Jerome to come in, and they have free wi-fi. Pretty cool, and the last Internet I'll have in about a week. So it's nice that my last post in a while is so chock full of good news.

First of all, you've all seen the latest Gallup poll, right?

Gallup. 8/22-25. MoE 3% (8/8-11 results)
Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

Approve 40 (45)
Disapprove 56 (51)
Memo to corporate media -- you can now call him "unpopular" and "embattled". No, really, you can do it. It's okay. The water's fine.

And while we can't vote the failure off the island, his ilk in the Senate, on the other hand, are starting to look nicely endangered.
1. Pennsylvania

About as close to a done deal as you'll ever have in politics. Sure, we'll see $60-80 million spent before all's said and done, but Santorum isn't acting like he's running for reelection. His book is the gift that keeps on giving, what with the "women shouldn't go to college" stuff and the "abortion is like slavery" stuff.

CW is that any incumbent under 50 percent is in trouble. No matter how you define "trouble", Santorum is in a heap of it. Strategic Vision, a REPUBLICAN pollster, gave Democrat Casey a 51-40 advantage last week. In early July, the independent Quinnipiac University gave Casey a 50-39 advantage.

And the latest SUSA poll of all Senators marked Santorum as the most unpopular senator in the entire nation. It's not just that his numbers suck. It's that he's not even trying. Well, that's not true -- in a weak attempt to distance himself from the ever-unpopular Bush earlier this week, Santorum lied and said he'd voiced concerns about the war effort. Trouble is, not even his office could prove Santorum was ever anything more than a sycophant for Bush.

2. Rhode Island

The state hates Bush more than any other state, and Republican Lincoln Chafee needs to swim against that anti-Republican tide. Making matters worth for him, rumors are that the Club for Growth-backed Stephen Laffey will challenge him in the primary. Either Democrat Matt Brown or Sheldon Whitehouse can defeat Chafee, but it would be tough. Chafee is still fairly poppular. Someone as right wing as Laffey would hand us the seat on a silver platter.

3. Ohio

It may be premature to put this one at #3, but signs are good that Paul Hackett will enter the race for DeWine's seat. And that would instantly catapult the race into top-tier marquee status with a candidate we all know and love.

DeWine is the fourth most unpopular senator in the country, clocking in at an anemic 42% approval rating. Bush is at 37 percent. The Ohio Republican Party is myred in a high-profile sleaze scandal. Their Republican governor just got convicted. It's a meltdown of Biblical proportions.

4. Montana

They supposedly love Bush here, but he's down to 50/45 ratings in deep red territory. In terms of popularity, 91 senators have better ratings than Republican Conrad Burns (who, btw, is being caught in the Abramoff scandal). Meanwhile, the Montana Democrats are on the rise, fresh from taking over the Montana governorship and state legislature. Schweitzer's approval ratings are amongst the best for governors, clocking in at 58/31, and he plans on using his political capital to go after Conrad Burns hard.


It's early, and who knows what'll happen in the next year. And let's be honest, the GOP knows how to close like a motherfucker. They can gap Democratic advantages in the final week of a race like no one's business. But the numbers suggest that even a modest 2-3 seat gain is well within reach. And as Bowers notes, the 2008 and 2010 cycles will be brutal for the GOP, defending 40 of the 67 seats up for re-election.

Daily Kos: Gallup and Senate


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