Politics & Policy

Monday Senate Scan

Enough about Delaware. Just about everywhere else you look — Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New Hampshire, West Virginia — the Senate field continues to shift in the GOP’s favor.

Arkansas: A new Talk Business/Hendricks College poll has Rep. John Boozman (R) absolutely crushing Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) by a whopping 27 points. The survey of more than 500 likely voters showed Boozman beating Lincoln 56 percent to 29 percent. Boozman leads by 44 points among independents, 63 percent to 19 percent. The results are fairly consistent with those from other polls conducted over the past several months. Call it, ref.

California: Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee — and energy lobbyists — consider the prospects of an EPWC without Barbara Boxer:

Several lobbyists active in trying to pass environmental laws, including a climate bill, predict more productivity from the committee if Democrats remain in charge but Boxer isn’t around next year.

Illinois: Is Barack Obama’s home state turning purple? A few indications:

Obama’s job-approval rating in Illinois, according to a Chicago Tribune poll taken earlier this month, hovers just over the halfway mark, at 51 percent — still well above some of the numbers he’s seeing nationally, but more than 10 points down from the support he enjoyed here two years ago.

The race for Obama’s open U.S. Senate seat has been neck-and-neck for months, with the Republican, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, edging in polls over Democratic state treasurer and Obama protégé Alexi Giannoulias.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, a fixture in and around progressive Illinois politics since the 1970s, is badly trailing his conservative GOP challenger, state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, despite the fact that Brady won his party’s crowded February primary with just one-fifth of Republican votes. The latest Rasmussen Reports poll has Brady up 50 percent to 37 percent.

Washington: The NRSC and DSCC are squaring off over the Rossi/Murray Senate race, one of the few contested races where the Democrat is leading, according to recent polls:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, headed by John Cornyn (Texas), initially reserved $515,000 in the state, but last week it added $2 million, Roll Call has learned. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee responded by reserving $2 million Wednesday.

The $2.5 million reservation reflects the opportunity the NRSC sees in Washington against the Senate Democratic Conference Secretary, who has been in office since 1992 and has never run in an election cycle so favorable for Republicans. Rossi is a top-tier candidate and comes with higher name identification than most challengers do, having run two gubernatorial bids in the past six years.

The two Senate committees were basically even in money as of the end of July, with the DSCC reporting $22.5 million on hand and the NRSC $21.1 million.

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...


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