Friday, April 16, 2010

Grassley vs. Conlin

Iowa Democrats have unusually high hopes to unseat long-time U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley this year. Historically, Grassley stomps his Democratic challengers every 6 years ever since he won the seat by beating Democratic Senator John Culver in 1980. Des Moines attorney Roxanne Conlin out raised Grassley in the first quarter this year(The Des Moines Register's Tom Beaumont breaks down the numbers). The total includes $250,000 Conlin loaned to her campaign.

NBC's First Read hasn't bought into those high Democratic hopes for an upset, at least not yet.
*** First Read's Top 10 Senate Takeovers: If it's Friday, it's time for another First Read Top 10 list. Today, we take our monthly look at what we consider to be the Top 10 Senate takeovers. The number in parentheses is our ranking from March.
1. North Dakota (1) -- With Byron Dorgan's (D) retirement and John Hoeven (R) in the race, this remains at the top
2. Delaware (2) -- Mike Castle (R) is still the driver's seat
3. Nevada (3) -- Harry Reid got health care through, but his poll numbers still look bleak
4. Arkansas (5) -- The Lincoln-Halter primary is for real. Are Dems counting on a flawed GOP nominee to hold on to this seat?
5. Indiana (4) -- If he wins his GOP primary next month, does Dan Coats (R) continue to call Obama a "socialist"?
6. So far, Giannoulias has "survived" the Broadway Bank cloud over his head. But does that change when the bank actually gets shut down?
7. Pennsylvania (9) -- Specter vs. Sestak is starting to heat up. Does a better economy help the Dem winner in what's looking like a toss-up general election?
8. Colorado (6) -- Jane Norton (R) might have her own real primary, with DeMint and other conservatives backing Ken Buck
9. Missouri (8) -- Robin Carnahan (D) has begun her attack on Roy Blunt (R) for being a Washington insider. Does that begin to change the polls?
10. Kentucky (unranked) -- We could put other races here (CA, NH, OH even FL), but this month we’re going with the Bluegrass State. Democrats do have a path for victory here, especially if Rand Paul wins in the GOP primary in May. What will be fascinating is Mitch McConnell's reaction to a Paul victory; he can be a tad vengeful.

Speaking of high hopes, I have them for my St. Louis Cardinals. I can tell I'm expecting big things this year. The Cards are off to a 6-3 start, the 4th best record in baseball. They have played 3 series so far. But each time, they won the first 2 games and then lost the last 1. I was disappointed with the loss each time, especially yesterday's to the previously winless Houston Astros. With the starting pitching the Cards have been getting, I'm almost expecting a win. That feels good. So far:)

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