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Schumer: Netroots Can Help Dems Hold Senate

MyDD's Jonathan Singer scores a revealing interview with Sen. Chuck Schumer, uber-strategist behind the Democratic takeover of the U.S. Senate. Singer gets more interesting insights about the '08 Senate campaign out of Schumer than any print reporter thus far. A teaser:

I think what the blogosphere did in 2006 was incredibly great, particularly with Webb and Tester. We intend to work really closely with the blogosphere in this cycle...We have 12 Democrats and 21 Republicans and we're feeling good about the 12 Democrats who are incumbents. But the 21 Republicans by and large come from very tough states. You have very few deeply blue states. Last time we had Pennsylvania, which was a pretty blue state, and Rhode Island, which was a very blue state. We don't have many of those this time. New Hampshire is slightly blue, Maine is a little more blue, Oregon is slightly blue, Minnesota is slightly blue. But none of them you'd call more than 52 percent Democratic states.

So we've got to find candidates all over. And this is where the blogosphere excels. There may be somebody, a state Rep. or even not, in Alabama who might be a very good candidate. So we intend to have a good, close relationship and work together the way we did, sort of, towards the end last time...Webb, Tester would be the two classics. But I think it's going to be more close - I know it's going to be more close this year.

Schumer also lets loose on Dem prospects in specific states, including Oregon and Colorado, as well as inside Democratic stategy against sending more troops to Iraq. All in all, a must-read for everyone who wants to see a stable, thriving Democratic majority in Congress. There are also some interesting reader comments (see David Kowalski's take). And this is only the first installment of a four-parter.

It may seem early for horse race analysis, but it's good to know Schumer is already focused on candidate identification and development. Even better, he envisions a critical role for the netroots in helping Dems to improve on their one-vote Senate majority amid the quickening pace of the presidential sweepstakes.