Lots to talk about today.  I’ve been meaning to break down this years’ Senate races, but if you haven’t seen it already, Sean Trende has an excellent analysis of them race by race over at RCP, so I figured I’d just link to it and add my own thoughts.  Its really great stuff, uses the kind of quantitative methodology I’m always drawn to myself.

In Illinois, I think that a formerly popular potential liar (Mark Kirk) beats a formerly popular potentially corrupt politician (Giannoulias), because corruption is simply worse than lying, especially in a year where government ethics and corruption is the second most important issue on Rasmussen’s 10-issue ranking, beat only by jobs/ the economy.  Also, I give Kirk the edge because new information on his dealings may still be coming out, whereas the Kirk scandal is already out for everyone to see and the damage is done.  Lastly, given the tight race and the likelihood that the large number of undecideds will hold their nose and ultimately vote for Kirk since the Republicans are out of power, I think Kirk has every chance to pull it out if he puts up a good campaign.  And a RINO is better than a Democrat any day of the week.

Speaking of RINO’s, good riddance to Lisa Murkowski and Alaskan nepotism.  Congratulations to Joe Miller, a man who will stand up for what’s right even if its unpopular and won’t pander to Alaskans with their hands out.  I don’t normally appreciate the intra-party feuding that happens, but I like it in the reddest of red states like Utah and Alaska, where RINO’s have been kicked out of the Senate this year.  RINO’s in these states simply don’t represent their constituents’ beliefs, and they should go.  And we won’t miss them- the primaries are basically the elections in these states, so there is certainly no harm done.

The other minor bone I have to pick with Trende’s analysis is in Connecticut.  He says he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Blumenthal (D) loses to McMahon (R).  I would be more surprised if he didn’t.  Blumenthal was a better than average candidate, but lying about his time in the military has hurt him.  McMahon is a very strong candidate who spent upwards of $20 million on a primary that didn’t end up being particularly close.  She has pledged to spend whatever it takes to win, and she’s charismatic and female as well, all qualities that should help.  I bet this one doesn’t end up as close as say, California or Washington.

Lastly, since I’m from North Carolina, I thought I might have some insight into why Republican incumbent Senator Burr is so weak.  The reality is he is the invisible Senator.  He’s rarely in the paper and never on TV.  He won against Erskine Bowles, the two-time loser who looks like an egghead and is one.  Burr is seen as very ineffective, which is the same thing that brought down Elizabeth Dole, who should have won reelection in 2008 on the popularity of her last name.  People in North Carolina are tired of people who want to be in the Senate for reasons besides serving the people- whether for their own vanity like Dole, or to run for President like John Edwards, who is extremely unpopular even among Democrats around here.  This is the state that sent Jesse Helms, Senator No himself, to Washington for decades.  The American Conservative Union may as well have set his vote as the conservative vote and compared everyone else to him.  When he voted a way different than we thought he should, we just figured he knew something we didn’t.  North Carolina is trying desperately to find a voice in the Senate, and Burr is not and never will be it.  Unfortunately, this means he is likely to lose when he’s up again in six years.  Kagan just squeaked by a piss-poor Dole campaign in 2008, she’s probably a goner too; people will be eager to vote for any remotely acceptable challenger.  Our main problem is that Democratic corruption and gerrymandering prevent most North Carolina Republicans from getting the visibility to run in statewide races, so we don’t usually have a great slate of choices in the primary.  Pat McCrory, the former  Charlotte mayor who almost won the governorship last year against Bev Purdue, is one great exception.  Don’t get me started on Purdue, she’s just vapid and I’ve got the inside scoop on her, she’s even stupider than our last governor Mike Easley, who managed to crash on two separate occasions while touring NASCAR tracks.  Somehow, he made it out of both alive.  Even our liberal local paper, the News and Observer, endorsed McCrory, which is literally unprecedented for them.  At any rate, crooks in the legislature run the state and the governor is one of the weakest governorships in the nation.  Its just really, really awful, I mean former leaders of the state Democratic party are in jail and they still enjoy unbroken control of the state.  I don’t know how our State keeps growing, but rest assured its despite, not because of, our politicians.

Wow, didn’t mean to go on such a rant there, but corruption will make your blood boil.  Here’s hoping voters in Illinois think the same thing.

Update:  Forgot to mention that Perdue (excuse my earlier spelling mistake) is also corrupt as the day is long.  Of course, the evidence is hearsay and wouldn’t stand in court, but I trust my sources.