(Keep in mind here, that Bob Kerrey, Mike Fahey and Tony Raimondo have all said that if Hagel decides to run, they will not. Also Jon Bruning and Cheech Flynn have said that they are in no matter what Hagel decides.)
So, in that spirit we give you our…
Odds on what everyone else will do once Chuck makes up his mind!
If Chuck decides he WILL run for re-election to the Senate…
Odds that they will run for the nomination:
Hal Daub – 500:1
Say what you want about Hal, he’s loyal and it is very unlikely that he runs against a fellow GOPer. (And yes, we know he ran against Karnes in 1988, but he had planned to run before Zorinsky passed away.) Hagel would have to do much more than be a thorn to President Bush for this to happen.
Scott Kleeb – 2:1
This situation is what Kleeb is hoping for. The big stage. The better chance to get his mug on national TV. And if he loses (again) to the big name, well, not so much shame in that. Further, he figures Hagel could lose to Bruning and he’d have an outside shot at beating Bruning. Unfortunately for him, the best chance he’ll probably have is to run for 3rd Dist Rep (and lose) again…
If Chuck decides he will NOT run for re-election to the Senate…
Odds that they will run for the nomination:
Mike Johanns – 3:2
This is the big one everyone has been waiting for, right? Johanns, the popular former Gov and big guy in the Ag world to come riding back on his white horse and capture the Senate. But keep in mind a couple things: Johanns will have TWO tough races in order to become Senator. First he’ll have to beat Jon Bruning. Do we think he can do it? Yes, we do. But Bruning’s not going to make it a cake-walk for him. And then if/when he beats Bruning, in a bloody primary, he’ll likely have to take on Cosmic Bob who will have just finished feasting on the fatted calf.
So in any case, you would have to think that this would factor into Johann’s decision to run. Of course he will need to do something after his current gig is up in 2009. But, since most indications are that he plans on doing it, we’re betting that he gets in.
Hal Daub – 2:1
Ah Hal… We’ll say this: he’s doing the pre-campaigning thing right. Traversing the state and keeping busy and actually meeting with people is never a bad thing. And you have to think that he figures he could take Bruning if only he could debate him a few dozen times and knock him out of the park. And maybe he could. But against Johanns? Does Hal think he could beat him as well? (Former Omaha Mayor vs. former Lincoln Mayor?) It will be interesting to see if Hal will get in this. Could he win? Hmmm. Does he THINK he can win? Your heart versus your head is a tough battle. But maybe in a crowded primary with Johanns and Bruning, Hal, with strong party support, could slip through. You can bet no one will work harder than Hal…
Tony Raimondo – 4:1
He has said if Hagel doesn’t run, he’s in. We’ll generally take him at his word, but we wonder if he was considering the Johanns factor. Though he’s probably also hoping for the split primary to carry him. If Johanns is out, he’s definitely in. If Johanns is in, it’s gotta be slightly higher odds for him. Of course, carrying Columbus alone won’t get him the nom…
Lee Terry – 250:1
Just thought we’d throw his name in there. We don’t really think he’ll run, but we’re sure he thought about it.
Bob Kerrey – 3:1
Well, with all the hullabaloo in today’s press about Kerrey’s call to The New School’s hemp-suits, it would seem that Kerrey is a slam dunk to get in if Hagel gets out. A couple of factors could keep him from running. One is what the polls may say in a match up against Johanns (let’s assume for now that he thinks he beats Bruning). Does he really want to have a tough race that he could lose? At this point in his life, the guy probably wants a little certainty, and a race against Johanns certainly doesn’t’ provide that. Another interesting factor is that he said he would move his family – including his kindergarten age son – back to Nebraska if he gets in. How that will go over with his wife, we have no idea. But going from Greenwich Village (or wherever they are in Manhattan) to The Big “O” is just little dollop of culture shock – not to mention a longer flight on the weekends. “Cosmic” Bob didn’t get that sobriquet for nothin’, so that’s what’s holding us back from making these even odds.
Mike Fahey – 20:1
Would the Omaha Mayor begrudgingly make this run if Kerrey fizzled out? Unless it was going to be a cake-walk, we doubt it. It would be a brutal and potentially losing campaign. Unless Paul Landow can travel Nebraska for him and debate on his behalf, we think this is unlikely.
Scott Kleeb – 10:1
Again, this could put Kleeb in the cat-bird seat. Our guess is that he doesn’t care if he loses in a Senate race, and it will pump his name ID nationally to do…something else. And there’s always the lightning bolt’s chance that he wins. Look to Cosmic Bob to anoint him should Kerrey pass.