Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Minor Musing About U.S. Senate Races

Last evening, Chris Hayes interviewed Reason's Matt Welch. Both spoke English, but, given their radically divergent political views, I'm not sure they always understood each other. (The full clip is below.) During the discussion, Hayes referenced, the following Rand Paul statement as reported by Politico:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul mocked Liz Cheney’s newly announced Senate campaign Tuesday, questioning her Wyoming residency in a barbed statement.
“When I heard Liz Cheney was running for Senate I wondered if she was running in her home state of Virginia,” Paul said.
Hayes and Welch agreed this contest represents an effort by the neocon element of the Republican party to elevate Liz Cheney, a neocon rising star. Welch pointed out that this is the first time in recent memory neocon wing of the party has initiated a primary fight.

The discussion made me wonder if the Wyoming Republican primary is going to drive national media attention away from the the South Dakota Republican primary. Both races seem to be a struggle between two wings of the party. Both feature rather boring folk and some that might be called forces of nature.

If one looks at the establishment figures, Mike Rounds, a two-term governor, has less national cachet than Cheney who has her father's fund raising arm at the ready. Likewise, Mike Enzi, the incumbent has a much larger national presence than Stace Nelson, Larry Rhoden, or Annette Bosworth.

Given that number crunching guru Nate Silver gives Republicans a 50/50 chance of winning control of the U.S. Senate and that money loves celebrities, Cheney's move might mean that Rounds, Rhoden, Bosworth, and possibly Nelson will all have a tougher time raising money and getting free national media attention.

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