Skip to comments.Races of the Week: South Dakota U.S. Senate Race: Thune v. Daschle
Posted on 06/07/2004 7:32:03 AM PDT by Theodore R.
South Dakota U.S. Senate Race Races of the Week: Thune vs. Daschle by John Gizzi Posted Jun 7, 2004
The last time a Senate leader of either party went down to defeat in his home state was in 1952, when Majority Leader Ernest McFarland (D-Ariz.) lost re-election in a spectacular race against a young merchant named Barry Goldwater. McFarland was perceived as too much a part of "the mess in Washington," by Arizona voters, who were willing to jettison his political clout in favor of a fresh candidate with very different ideas.
Now, in what is shaping up as the most-watched race after the Presidential contest, pundits and pols are speculating over whether the same fate will befall present Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.). Will South Dakotans turn out three-termer Daschle (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 14%) in favor of Republican John Thune (lifetime ACU rating: 87%)? Thune held the state's lone U.S. House seat from 1996-2002 and lost a bid for its other Senate seat in '02 by a much-disputed 527 votes.
One strong sign that Daschle is in political hot water came when his Republican counterpart, Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), visited the state to plump for opponent Thune. It is almost unprecedented for the Senate leader from one major party to campaign against the leader of the other; Senate Democratic Leader Lyndon Johnson (Tex.), for example, would never have opposed Senate Republican Leader Robert Taft in Ohio.
"But that's because Johnson, Taft, and just about every modern Senate leader you can think of were all safe for re-election," said Thune campaign quarterback Dick Waddhams, who has run successful races for s such well-known Colorado conservatives as Gov. Bill Owens and former Sen. Bill Armstrong. "Mr. Daschle is very vulnerable because, in a state whose voters strongly support President Bush, he keeps so much of the Bush agenda bottled up in the Senate -- making tax cuts permanent, confirming judges, reauthorizing welfare reform, Energy and Highway bills, and even the CARE Act [ the faith-based initiative that is co-authored by Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman [Conn.]."
In a state with a population of just over 750,000, there is mounting evidence that the 42-year-old Thune is closing in on Daschle: In just the second three months of '04, Thune raised a handsome $700,000 from his fellow South Dakotans; while Daschle has raised only $400,000 from his fellow South Dakotans -- in the past five years!
With help from his fellow conservatives in and out of South Dakota, John Thune can overtake Tom Daschle and win what is fast becoming the "race of the year."
(John Thune for Senate, P.0. Box 3308, Sioux Falls, S. D. 57101; 605-221-1010).
Daschle's defeat would be a gift from heaven. He would no doubt stay in Washington with support from his lobbier wife.
While this is true, strictly speaking, there should at least be an asterisk to indicate that, in '94 neophyte politician Dr. Bill Frist defeated fellow Tennessean Sen. Jim Sasser, who would have become the Senate Majority Leader if elected - and if the Dims had managed to maintain their majority!
Another reason why dash hole is in trouble is that South Dakotans like to bet red and black. The are a small state that finds they do best with Washington by have a least one representative from each party. The rat victory last week means that they now have an all rat line up. dash hole himself testified as a character witness for Janklow in hopes that he would win and stay in office. In a close race, in a presidential election year, yes dash hole could be in mortal danger.
SD has a lot of old, retired farmers double dipping on farm price and other supports as well as Social Security. Don't bet on them turning on D.
Yeah, only because LBJ was too busy with his lust for money and power, and plotting the overthrow of the government1.
Vote for Thune for senator from S/D I can count on one finger the only good democrat and it is not Daschle.
and defeated him HANDILY -- destroyed him; that was an impressive win for Frist -- he's often underestimated when it comes to his (probable) Prez run in 2008.
the only good democrat
Did you mean the late General George Smith Patton, Jr.?
Statement of Speaker of the House J. Dennis HastertRegarding Senator Daschle's Comments on the War