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Posts published in “Day: December 29, 2007”

“a few dollars more”

Campaign finance reports for 2007 won't be out for a while yet (the end of the year is, of course, generally a significant deadline not for filing but for end-of-period). An interesting note via e-mail from Steve Novick, one of the Oregon Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate: He says he's at about the half-million-dollar mark. Will be interesting to see where his main primary competitor, House Speaker Jeff Merkley, lands on the end of year report.

From Novick's mail: "We’ve now passed the $500,000 threshold for the history of the campaign, but to meet our target for midnight December 31 we’re counting on you to send us a few dollars more. In perspective, that’s more than Bill Bradbury had at this point in 2001 (almost more than he had in April right before the primary). More than Jon Tester had at this point in 2005, more than Ted Kulongoski had at this point in 2001 and way, way more than Paul Wellstone had at the end of 1989. We’re really in a great position to make our case to the voters next year."

PROMO Novick picked up a favorable review/interview in an online Harper's Magazine piece, "Watch Out for Left Hook: Six Questions for Oregon Senatorial Candidate Steve Novick." It mentions, naturally, that he's running to oust Republican Gordon Smith, but curiously fails to notice at all that Smith isn't his current opposition: That would be fellow primary contenders Merkley and Eugene real estate broker Candy Neville.

Baseline 08: Washington Legislature

Oregon statehouse

Washington statehouse

The generic look for Washington legislative politics seems to be, will the Democrats solidify gains which in the last couple of cycles have put them in decisive and almost overwhelming control? An early look suggests that if on one hand they've pretty much picked off not only the low-hanging but even most of the reasonably accessible fruit, they're still not necessarily done. And for all the Democratic targets out there, not a lot of them look especially vulnerable.

So. What we have here is the third of three lists covering the legislatures of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, with one covering major offices for the three states coming tomorrow; 10 races each. The numbering logic in similar for all: These are the contests which, from this viewpoint, seem to have the most significance or analytical interest as we look to where Northwest politics goes from here. It isn't a list of which seats will change parties (though we think there's a good shot some of them will) or which incumbents are most endangered (among other things, some of these are open seats). Rather: Which contests stand to say the most about local and Northwest politics?

There's little chance, to be sure, that Republicans will be able to retake the Senate in 08, and odds are less than even (though closer than remote) for a recapture of the House. But the House margins are still close, and every one of those 60 contests will have some significance. And, as is often so, some of these races tell us something apart from what the partisan balance will be: They tell us something about how people see their community and their state.

One other highly cautionary note: Candidate filing doesn't happen until early June, meaning that surprises in personnel doubtless will continue to unfold. However, we do have early filings with the Public Disclosure Commission to work with, and though those are mainly pro forma filings by incumbents, they are in some cases early indicators.

(The list is below the fold.) (more…)