Rick Santorum Redux

Former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen has decided to enter the 2008 Senate race against Sen. John Sununu.  I could attempt to spin this, saying that her popularity will wane between now and November 2008, that the voters have forgotten her liberal record, that Sununu beat her six years ago and he can beat her again.  I could say that, and there are those who will.

But I’d be deluding myself if I did.  Barring her using the word “macaca” or some similar slip-up between now and next November, highly unlikely considering her political astuteness, Jeanne Shaheen will be the next Senator from New Hampshire.  The poll numbers from this race can be compared only to the numbers of Rick Santorum v. Bob Casey, Jr. two years ago.  Santorum’s war chest didn’t save him, and Sununu’s won’t be enough either.

I hope that this will be the last time this cycle that I will have to concede that we will not win a seat currently held by a Republican.  I expect that it will be.  As I argued in a diary entry over at RedState, any money or time spent on this race will be money and time that is not spent electing Republicans.  If we invest significant resources in this race or in Virginia, it will cost us at least one seat, just as it cost us two, Montana and Virginia, last year.

We have a number of incumbents who can win but who face very difficult reelection campaigns.  We owe it to ourselves to make reasoned, calculated judgments about where we expend our limited resources of time and money.  If we can make cold calculations free of bias by what we would like to be the case, we can limit the damage next year and keep ourselves in a position to take back the Senate in 2010.  If we fail to do so, we could find ourselves looking at a filibuster-proof Democrat Senate and no chance of taking it back for a few decades.

Leave a Reply