By Dominique Paul Noth
There are fewer contestable seats than the last time round. Several hardly need help given the popularity of occupants or the safety of their location: Mark Warner in Virginia, Dick Durbin in Illinois, Jack Reed in Rhode Island and Cory Booker in New Jersey.
Nor am I much worried about Jeff Merkley in Oregon or Chris Coons in Delaware though Coons’ opponent won’t be chosen until Sept. 15 and is expected to draw big GOP money.
More threatened, and still waiting to hear if her opponent is an extreme right winger (retired brigadier general Don Bolduc) or a self-funding Trump billionaire (Bryant “Corky” Messner), is Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.
She is building her campaign coffers quickly in anticipation of a financial blitzkrieg either way it goes. In 2016 Trump lost New Hampshire by a fraction of one percent and is so steeped in the past that he is putting pressure and money on defeating Shaheen in this contest. A good friend and former colleague of Biden, Shaheen early took herself out of consideration as his running mate.
|Doug Jones of Alabama,|
despite great success as
senator, is the most
They may have created another fluke this time around since Trump turned on Sessions, who was seeking to regain his former Alabama seat, clearing the way for a Trump supporter with absolutely zilch political experience, football coach Tommy Tuberville, whose record at Auburn ending in 2008 was astounding.
But don’t forget the Tuba happily blew out of Alabama for Texas Tech and then to the University of Cincinnati for bigger money, leaving hurt feelings and an out of court settlement in a fraud case in his wake before returning to Alabama to find political religion as a Trump acolyte. An Auburn Tiger only when the money was right, he is hugging Trump like he’s found his Brett Favre.
Jones, a moderate Democrat with an imposing civil rights record, has not dragged Alabama to the hard left as many conservative diehards feared but reassured the middle, as a recent newspaper profile indicates.
Voting with Trump 36% of the time, as estimated in the article, is both the mark against him and proof that he works for Alabama. Some think that’s not selective enough, but his ability to pick and choose has drawn admirers. Alabama remains a deeply red state but Jones is counting on his record and the voters changing before Nov. 3 (the pandemic and Trump’s back to school blindness may do it).
Aside from Peters in Michigan, Mitch McConnell’s PAC money and GOP operatives are targeting Tina Smith in Minnesota (appointed to fill Al Franken’s term). Jones is most vulnerable but Smith and Peters can anticipate strong negative advertising coming after them.