POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/11

Quote of the Day

“We have no safe seats now.”

— Scott Bensing, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, quoted by the Kansas City Star.

Two Short Lists?

We’re starting to hear rumors — some confirmed — that various politicians are being “vetted” by the Obama and McCain campaigns as possible running mates. Don’t believe everything you read. The question you need to ask yourself: Which short list are they on?

Also, check out CQ’s VP Watch for the latest buzz on running mate selections.

Clinton Not Being Vetted

Former Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson indicated that Sen. Hillary Clinton “is not being formally considered as Obama’s running mate, in that she has not been asked to undergo the formal vetting process,” according to Politico.

However, Wolfson “continued to say that the lack of formal vetting wouldn’t necessarily rule out the possibility that Obama would choose her.”

Top Five Senate Races

CQ Politics rates the five U.S. Senate seats most likely to flip parties in the fall elections. Each of the seats is currently held by a Republican.

In Virginia, former Gov. Mark Warner (D) is heavily favored to succeed retiring five-term Sen. John W. Warner (R-VA). The race is rated as Democrat Favored, meaning this is a likely pickup for the challenging party.

In New Mexico, Sen. Pete Domenici’s decision not to seek re-election has created a golden opportunity for a Democratic takeover. This race is rated Leans Democratic.

In New Hampshire, first-term Republican Sen. John Sununu ranks as the incumbent most vulnerable to defeat this year. It’s currently rated as No Clear Favorite.

In Colorado, Democratic gains over the past few years would have endangered Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) had he run for re-election. It’s rated No Clear Favorite.

In Mississippi, where interim Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), appointed to his seat last December, faces competition from a well-known Democrat, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, in a special election to fill the final four years of resigned Sen. Trent Lott’s unexpired term. This race is also rated No Clear Favorite.

Veep Prospects Undergo Makeovers

Politico notes that “in ways both trivial and significant, even as they downplay their interest in” running for vice president, “the politicians shortlisted for the vice presidential nomination seem to be making the adjustments widely perceived as necessary to preserve and enhance their chances of landing on either the McCain or Obama tickets.”

Dodd Confirms He’s Being Vetted

According to Time, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) is being considered as Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate.

When asked about it, Dodd said, “There’s been some inquiries, yeah. They ask for a lot of stuff. I’ll leave it there.”

Obama’s spokesman wouldn’t comment.

Sebelius Won’t Deny Veep Talks

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) “is no longer denying that she is being vetted by Barack Obama’s campaign.” 

The 60-year-old Kansas governor told CQ Politics “that she was never vetted for the vice presidency in 2004 but declined to make the same pronouncement about this year’s process.”

Voters Paying Attention

Pew Research: “Even with a partisan enthusiasm gap, voter interest is already as high as in November of recent elections, two trends that may significantly alter the composition of the eventual electorate in the Democrats’ favor. The proportion of swing voters is also up compared with four years ago. Nearly half of independents (47%) are undecided or may change their minds, up from 28% in June 2004.”

In a national match up, Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. John McCain, 48% to 40%

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Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics, Virginia

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