Things To Act
Saturday, July 10, 2004
FMA in the Senate
Another Vote Count
To my knowledge, there are presently five LDS senators. Three currently support the FMA (Hatch, UT; Smith, OR; Crapo, ID), one is undecided (Bennett, R-UT), and one is opposed (Reid, NV). Note, however, that the Church did not specifically endorse the FMA, though I imagine many LDS voters wouldn't be impressed with a no vote. Also note that Reid isn't terribly popular among his LDS constituents anyway.
The FMA is highly unlikely to pass this year. Supporters must hope to either elect more Senators who support it, or convince opposed Senators to change their minds. Either seems to require the immediate goal of defeating some anti-FMA Senators. Opponents, meanwhile, might be able to kill momentum by defeating vulnerable pro-FMA Senators this fall. On the ballot:
Alaska: Sen. Murkowski (R), listed as undecided, has to survive a primary challenge (including a pro-FMA candidate) as well as a competitive general election. Alaska already enacted a state-level amendment by referendum.
Hawaii: Sen. Inouye (D), listed as undecided, is considered safe--but is running in one of the four states to enact amendments by referendum already.
California: Sen. Boxer (D), listed as opposed, is likely safe, despite California's 2000 state-level anti-SSM initiative.
Oregon: Sen. Wyden (D), listed as opposed, is favored for reelection, but Oregon is likely to be voting on a state-level amendment in November, which could influence things.
Washington: Sen. Murray (D), listed as opposed, may end up in a fairly competitive race for, among other things, praising bin Laden in 2002.
Nevada: Sen. Reid (D), listed as opposed, is up for reelection, though he hasn't attracted a strong challenger yet, evidently. However, he's been winning by thin margins in his last elections, and may end up vulnerable. Nevada passed a state-level amendment in two consecutive referenda in 2000 and 2002.
Arizona: Sen. McCain (R), listed as undecided, is likely to win reelection easily, though there is perpetually talk of a primary challenge from disgruntled conservatives. Seems unlikely this year, though.
Utah: Sen. Bennett (R), listed as undecided. Would Utah Republicans turn on him if he voted no? Could they stomach voting for his Democratic opponent?
Idaho: Sen. Crapo (R), listed as in favor, is easily favored for reelection in Red Idaho.
North Dakota: Sen. Dorgan (D), listed as undecided, may not face strong opposition in the fall, but faces a Red state regardless. In addition, ND may vote on a state-level amendment in November.
South Dakota: Sen. Daschle (D), listed as opposed, is running in what may be the most exciting race of the year, as his opponent, who lost by a razor-thin margin in 2002, now has President Bush at the top of the ticket in Red SD.
Kansas: Sen. Brownback (R), listed as in favor, is safe in Red Kansas.
Arkansas: Sen. Lincoln (D), listed as opposed, is running in another Red state. Arkansas also may be voting on a state-level amendment in November.
Alabama: Sen. Shelby (R), listed as in favor, is safe.
Missouri: Sen. Bond (R), listed as in favor, is up for reelection in the perpetual bellwether state. MO votes on a state-level amendment in August, not November.
Iowa: Sen. Grassley (R), listed as in favor, is favored for reelection.
Wisconsin: Sen. Feingold (D), listed as opposed, is up for reelection.
Indiana: Sen. Bayh (D), listed as undecided, is up for reelection in another Red state.
Kentucky: Sen. Bunning (R), listed as in favor, faces reelection as Kentucky votes on a state-level amendment.
Ohio: Sen. Voinovich (R), listed as undecided, is favored for reelection, but Ohio is a battleground state at the presidential level, and Ohio's signature drive may yet put a state-level amendment on its ballot.
Maryland: Sen. Mikulski (D), listed as undecided, is favored for reelection in Blue MD.
Pennsylvania: Sen. Specter (R), listed as opposed, barely fought off a conservative challenge and may face revolt from PA conservatives, who may decide to throw the election to the Dems to keep Specter from chairing the Judiciary Committee in 2005.
New York, Vermont, Connecticut: Sens. Schumer, Leahy, and Dodd (D all), all listed as opposed, are all easily favored for reelection in their Blue state havens.
New Hampshire: Sen. Gregg (R), listed as undecided, is considered safe, but faces a libertarian-leaning state that's also a presidential battleground.
By my count, up for reelection are six Senators in favor, nine undecided, and eleven opposed. Meanwhile, eight Senators are retiring, leaving open-seat races. These are:
Colorado: Sen. Campbell (R), listed as undecided.
Oklahoma: Sen. Nickles (R), listed as in favor.
Louisiana: Sen. Breaux (D), listed as opposed.
Illinois: Sen. Fitzgerald (R), listed as in favor.
Florida: Sen. Graham (D), listed as opposed.
Georgia: Sen. Miller (D), listed as in favor.
South Carolina: Sen. Hollings (D), listed as opposed in one source, and undecided in another.
North Carolina: Sen. Edwards (D), listed as opposed.
This leaves three in favor, one/two undecided, and three/four opposed retiring. GA and OK will vote on state-level amendments in November, and LA will in September.
I have no idea of the positions of the challengers in most of these races, so it's worth keeping in mind that a change of Senator is not necessarily a change of vote.
If you feel like trying to make a difference, contact your state's Senators. It also wouldn't hurt to research the position of any challengers. And, of course, giving even token sums to candidates you support speaks volumes louder than a simple email.
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