Stevens and the 2008 Elections

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was indicted today and is charged with making false statements on financial disclosure forms. You can find the story all over the internet, but I want to talk about the impact of this case on November, and what it means for the Presidential and Congressional elections. Stevens is considered one of the kings of pork (congressional earmarks Senators make for their state – it was Stevens who wanted funding for a $398 million to build a “Bridge to Nowhere“), and I think this investigation might allow the Democrats to make the 08 elections a repeat of the 2006 midterms.

There’s not much doubt that the Democrats will pick up seats in Congress this year (FiveThirtyEight projects them taking four more seats this year for a 55-45 majority), and if they can make Congressional elections this year about the same issues as 2006 – ethics – then they could pick up even more. Democrats retook Congress in 06 because voters were getting tired of Republican leadership in “the broken branch”: the Mark Foley scandal, Larry Craig, and none other than Ted Stevens, to name a few, lead to that frustration. This year, this Stevens scandal could lead to more ethics talk in Senatorial elections. Granted, the Democrats lead Congress this year, and there haven’t been very many big Republican scandals in the past two years, plus the economy and Iraq war will be bigger issues than ethics. But with a projected big night for the left already in the making, Ted Stevens’ indictment could make November 4th even more painful for Congressional Republicans.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks, Nico, for your thougtful, knowledgeable insights into this process. I’ll read your blog throughout the convention(s). I know you’ll be going to Madison directly afterward. Good Luck!

  2. I think you’d really enjoy this video of Ted Stevens’ wiretapped phone call:

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