Rick Noriega could be number 60

Posted in Commentary, Congress, Election 2008, Good Stuff, Had Enough Yet?, Take Action, US Senate Race at 5:12 pm by dembones

With news of Sen. Ted Stevens’ felony convictions on all seven counts, the odds of Democrats reaching 59 seats in the United States Senate have improved substantially. The following Senate races now look like probable pickup opportunities for the Democrats:

  • Virginia (Warner)
  • New Mexico (T. Udall)
  • Colorado (M. Udall)
  • New Hampshire (Shaheen)
  • Oregon (Merkley)
  • North Carolina (Hagan)
  • Minnesota (Franken)
  • Alaska (Begich)

Assuming Democratic leads in these races hold, Democrats will hold 57 seats. Including the two Independents (Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords) that caucus with Democrats, the Senate is potentially one vote away from a filibuster-proof majority.

Under Senate rules, forty-one Senators can prevent a cloture motion, the parliamentary procedure that shuts off debate and allows a floor vote. As long as Republicans control 41 seats, they have the potential of blocking any measure for which they unite in opposition. Republicans in the Senate employed this tactic a record 84 times in the last two years to prevent large numbers of mainstream bills from passing.

With Barack Obama leading in the polls, getting that 60th vote is perhaps the biggest question remaining in federal races this election. Where will the Democrats get that 60th seat?

There’s four races that are within striking distance. All four are in the South:

  • Texas (Rick Noriega)
  • Mississippi (Musgrove)
  • Georgia (Martin)
  • Kentucky (Lunsford)

The last poll taken in Texas (Rasmussen 10/21) put Sen. John Cornyn up by ten points, 54 to 44, over Rick Noriega. Overcoming that deficit is a tall order, but with Sen. Stevens demise, we could see an influx of late cash helping push Noriega over the top.

You can be a part of that late push. Donate time or money to help Lt. Col. Noriega become the 60th seat that opens the door to rapidly fixing the damage done to the nation by George W. Bush and “trickle-down economics”.

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