This seat will "be in play"? See, this is why I'm so happy that the MI-GOP kept Saul Anuzis around after his disastrous performance as party chairman this year. The guy couldn't beat Debbie Stabenow after her first term -- when a Senator is usually at their weakest -- and he thinks he can beat Carl Levin, the longest-serving Senator in Michigan's history? Puh-lease.
Levin’s popularity and Michigan’s Democratic lean — Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sen. Debbie Stabenow were easily re-elected last month — make him a formidable opponent. Already the longest-serving senator in Michigan history, Levin has dominated recent elections and won a fifth term in 2002 with 61
percent of the vote.
Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and state Attorney General Mike Cox have been mentioned as potential Senate candidates.
Paul Abramson, a political scientist at Michigan State University, said the most logical GOP opponent would be Rogers, who was first elected to his Lansing-centered 8th District in 2000.
“Rogers has an extremely safe House seat and the question is whether he’d be willing to put that at risk to take an outside chance of winning,” Abramson told CQPolitics.com.
But, Abramson added, outside of health concerns, “I think some real fates would have to intervene before [Levin] would be the underdog in the election.”
Michigan Republicans, meanwhile, argued that the timing of Levin’s announcement indicated he was concerned about winning re-election.
“A re-election announcement this early, before most people have closed their books on the last campaign, signals loud and clear to Michigan Republicans that this seat will be in play in 2008 and we are ready for the challenge,” state GOP chairman Saul Anuzis said in a statement.
Who's Saul gonna find to run? I mean, I happen to think that Mike Rogers is an arrogant jerk, but he's not a complete idiot. Carl Levin has been in the US Senate since 1979, he's one of America's ten best senators, and it'll be even more difficult to unseat him during a presidential election year, since Michigan's electoral votes haven't gone to a republican since 1988. I'll be shocked if that trend changes in 2008.
Don't get me wrong, I would love it if Mike Rogers ran for the Senate in two years... it would open up his seat in the 8th district, and give dems their best shot at taking it back since Mike replaced Debbie in 2001. But again, I just don't think it's in the cards. As for Cox and Land, I think they're both eyeing runs for governor in 2010, so my guess is that they will sit this race out as well. Who else does that leave? My bet is for another token republican candidate to take the fall against Levin like Raczkowski did in 2002, which means we still need to beat Rogers in the 8th.
Back to work...