Although we’re a little less than 16 months from the 2014 mid-term elections, there’s money to be raised and staff to be put into place. It’s like a good chess game. Today I take a look at some of the latest developments and, of course, offer my views.
Yesterday “The Hill” reported, “National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Vice Chairman Rob Portman (Ohio) will headline a Capitol Hill fundraiser this month for Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).” If you follow me on Twitter, you were probably one of the first to see that.
In case you’re not from Montana, Steve Daines is Montana’s lone U.S. House member. He is the leader of the Montana Republicans. He is in his first term and this is his first elected office. He was previously a Lieutenant Governor candidate with Roy Brown in 2008. The Brown/Daines team was creamed by Governor Brian Schweitzer and Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger by about 33 points (yes, that bad).
Now back to the latest developments…
The Associated Press had a story about Daines hiring a new state director, (this soon?) and this one appears to have about as much experience as the person he is replacing. The new state director is an attorney, which should make us all sleep just a little better at night. Fellow blogger, Montana Street Fighter, is all over that story HERE.
Then we heard about Daines’ fundraising totals for the second quarter. He raised some serious coin which also raised suspicion that he is actually running for the U.S. Senate. Daines raised about $433,000 and has about $600,000 on hand according to the Associated Press. This is not “Jon Tester-like money” but it’s pretty good for someone like Daines whom nobody knows.
I think the Democrats in Montana as well as those all across the fruited plains should be rejoicing about the Vice Chairman of the NRSC bringing Daines in for a fundraiser. The only thing that could make this news better for the Democrats would be if Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell shows up at the Daines fundraiser to offer his support.
You see, in Montana when the NRSC gets involved, the Democrat normally wins, and Mitch McConnell’s weak leadership of the senate Republicans has put the Democrats in the majority in the Senate.
As for the NRSC, I believe the last time the NRSC was involved in a winning senate race in Montana was 2000 (Schweitzer/Burns).
Records show that in the Taylor/Baucus race of 2002, the NRSC lost. In the Tester/Burns race of 2006, the NRSC lost. In the Kelleher/Baucus race of 2008, the NRSC lost. In Rehberg/Tester race of 2012, the NRSC lost.
In short, the Democrats should be telling Daines, “Jump right in, the water’s fine!”
A very telling part to the McConnell regime is that since he became Republican leader in the Senate back in 2007, the Democrats have been in the majority in the U.S. Senate. McConnell is a majority maker (for the opposition).
I’m thinking Congressman Daines might want to run from the NRSC and Mitch McConnell and stay in his cozy House seat. On the other hand, if Daines does run for U.S. Senate, the Montana Democrats have a great opportunity to retain the Senate seat currently occupied by Baucus who is retiring, and take the House seat currently occupied by Daines.
So, here’s some free advice for both parties: During their convention this weekend in Lewistown, the Democrats should start making signs that read, “Run for the Senate Steve.” They should develop a phone bank of Montanans to call Daines around the clock saying “Run Steve Run…for the senate!”
Republicans should be shouting at Daines “Don’t go near the light” or “Don’t jump” or “Step back” or something like that to get him to reconsider a run for the senate.
Of course, it’s a long time before candidates have to file for the 2014 elections so most anything can happen.
Rest assured, I’ll try to keep it entertaining each and every step of the way…
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