There are four elections drawing nationwide attention today.
I put my 2 cents in on NY-23 yesterday as part of a longer post by selected Red County editors, which is found here. It’s interesting, though, that this race would simply replace a Republican with a somewhat more conservative Republican should Doug Hoffman win, but it’s essentially a Democratic seat rental if Bill Owens wins. Next year the GOP will have a chance to vote on and unite behind one candidate who should dispatch Owens handily given the usual margin of victory for Republicans out of that district.
Meanwhile, there’s another Congressional election in California (10th District) drawing interest because the seat is thought to be a safely Democrat one. Yet California’s lieutentant governor, John Garamendi, was only up by single digits in some polls over Republican David Harmer in a district that went about 2-1 for Obama last year. Obviously a Harmer win would be a huge upset but a close loss would show the Democrats’ weakness among a voter bloc they won big with in 2008.
Governor Jon Corzine in New Jersey is needing a huge assist from President Obama and a large advantage in campaign spending to hang on over Republican Chris Christie. Don’t be surprised if New Jersey 2009 comes out something like Maryland 1994, with the Republican leading until the last votes are counted in one of New Jersey’s more urban areas. It’s also a case where an independent may take away just enough votes from the GOP contender to hand the election to a Democrat.
One has to ask, though: with such a large Democratic voter registration advantage in New Jersey, why should this race even be close? Certainly a GOP win there gives hope to pulling an upset here in Maryland next year.
Finally, we have Virginia, where the Republicans are expected to sweep into executive branch power. But the question will be what kind of coattails Bob McDonnell has. Closer to home, we have a first-time Republican candidate running in the 100th District (which comprises the entire Virginia Eastern Shore and a small part of the Norfolk area)for the House of Delegates against an entrenched three-term Democrat who was unopposed the last two elections. Whether Melody Scalley can get an assist from the GOP tide remains to be seen because it’s tough to knock off an incumbent – particularly one who portrays himself as a “moderate” Democrat.
I know tonight and tomorrow will have spin from all sides, and don’t worry – I’ll have mine too. Makes for an interesting night of television since it’s an off-day for the World Series.