Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

1/14/2005

Not So Fast, Rossi

DvK was among the first to call for a 'Rossi v. Cantwell blog' almost a month ago.

'Not so fast', says Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report:

In some respects, Cantwell is an attractive target for GOPers looking to widen their margin in the Senate. The senator was elected in 2000 by just a couple thousand votes (one-tenth of one percent) and she had to spend piles of her own money to get there. But she did defeat incumbent Sen. Slade Gorton (R).
But against Cantwell, Rossi's change message is rendered meaningless and could even work against him. His party controls the White House, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House. Any change message that might develop in the next two years will surely benefit Democrats nationwide, not Republicans. And Washington remains a blue state, going 53%-46% for John Kerry over George W. Bush last November.
Rossi's momentum is not necessarily transferable to a Senate race. In races for governor, there is a natural cycle of turnover. After one party has been in power for an extended period of time, voters are willing to give the other party a chance to govern. That's why red-state Wyoming elected a Democrat in 2002. And in blue-state Pennsylvania, the parties have traded the governorship every eight years since World War II. But federal races are entirely different.
So, Republicans should pause before assuming Rossi would be their party's best candidate against Cantwell. It's unclear that Rossi even wants to serve in the U.S. Senate or that he's anxious for another two years of nonstop campaigning. He is definitely a rising star in the state Republican Party, but his best shot at getting elected may be to hold tight and run for governor again in four years. Rossi's 2008 message: Change.
Then again, I will gladly put my 2002 and 2004 Senate prognostications up against Rothenberg any day.

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