Elizabeth DoleAmidst all the talk of Senate races heating up and a “bloodbath” anticipated by some Republicans, in the wake of 8 years of Republican rule (or misrule), one of the most interesting facts concerned the race for the North Carolina seat now held by Republican Elizabeth Dole.

Elizabeth Dole, wife of former Republican Presidential nominee Bob Dole, supposedly lives in Salisbury, North Carolina, where she is in  a race against the Democratic challenger Kay hagan. As it turns out, Mrs. Dole only spent 13 days in Salisbury in 2006. In 2004, she spent 34 days there. In 2005, she spent 20 days in what is supposedly her “hone” state. This has been pointed out by the challenger to good effect. One Republican office-holder said, “Don’t even bother to count the votes,” noting that Dole’s non-resident status makes her virtually unelectable.

I spent 17 days in Florida last winter. This means that I am more qualified than Elizabeth Dole to represent Florida…by at least 4 days of residence.

It was heartening to learn that voters in Minnesota are not going to hold funnyman Al Franken’s previous employment as a comedian against him in his race against Norm Coleman. Recent polls show things swinging in Franken’s favor, and, in all fairness to the satirist, he is a very intelligent and politically involved individual. I attended a rally at the Chicago Theater in Chicago before he had announced his candidacy, when he was campaigning for other candidates, and I am pleased to hear that Franken is moving up in the polls.

I also have noticed that many veteran Republican legislators like Ray LaHood (R, Peoria) are hanging it up. Ray, like Jim Leach of Iowa, was one of “the good ones.”  LaHood announced his retirement, while Leach was beaten narrowly in his Iowa district and has endorsed Barack Obama for President. LaHood voted for the $700 billion bail-out bill, giving some credence to the theory I saw postulated that those who were facing close races back home generally did not vote for the bail-out, fearing voter backlash at the polls, while those who were retiring or clearly ahead did vote for it.

It will be an interesting election season.