Dole Climbs Over 50

For the first time this cycle, Sen. Elizabeth Dole tops the 50% mark against both Democrats in the field.  Dole leads Democrat front-runner Kay Hagan 51-39, also topping Jim Neal 52-37.  These numbers don’t mean that Dole is safe, but she’s certainly looking strong.

Democrats had first hoped to convince Gov. Easley to run, but he took a pass.  The entire Democrat Congressional delegation then followed suit.  These numbers illustrate why the Democrats had been so anxious to get somebody better in this race.  Now it’s late in the game, Hagan’s a recent entry, Dole has a huge cash on hand advantage, her numbers are on the rise, and the situation in Iraq is improving.  Hagan will need to post amazing numbers at the end of the year if she’s going to make this a race, and frankly I don’t see it happening.

Democrats had desperately hoped to make some progress in Dixie, but that’s not going to happen this cycle. They had sought opportunites in Tennessee, albeit briefly, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.  Now, though, Republicans are heavily favored in all of those races.  While it’s true that Sen. Chuck Schumer had an amazing cycle in 2006, his primary failure during his two cycles will be that he failed to gain any ground further South than Virginia.  The South has solidified behind Republicans and he has been unable to do anything about it.

One Response to “Dole Climbs Over 50”

  1. SDM Says:

    It’s true, the Democrats haven’t been able to grow South of Virginia. Instead, while they’re lost in the South in the past few cycles, they’ve managed to gain in the Northeast (PA, RI), Virginia, the Midwest (IL, OH, MO), and the west (CO, MT), while also setting themselves up for more potential gains in the west (CO, NM, maybe OR), the Northeast (NH, maybe MO), Virginia, and possibly MN.

    There’s a weird fetish in the traditional media and the political class about the South - that it’s somehow more important, more authentic, or more American than other parts of the country. The Democrats are growing stronger in a lot of the country and Republicans are increasingly getting marginalized and isolated to the South, and yet the story always seems to be that doing poorly in the South is the sign of the Democrats’ ultimate political failure or illegitimacy.

    Sure, the Senate Dems aren’t expanding their margins in the old confederacy, but that’s a “problem” that doesn’t seem all that relevant compared to their expanding margins everywhere else.

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