Sunday, September 19, 2010

The post-Labor Day sprint to the election

All the primaries are over and now the real races begin around the country. It seems clear that in the last two weeks most of the big races have trended a few more points in the GOP's favor. Indiana, Arkansas, and North Dakota were already gone for the Democrats' Senate candidates but now it seems clear that Missouri, Ohio, New Hampshire and Florida are gone as well.

Illinois and Wisconsin are slightly red but in both cases it is probable that the GOP won't win by much. No Republican Senate candidate has won by more than 53% in Wisconsin in more than fifty years and I don't expect that to change much. I feel strongly that Ron Johnson will win the Senate races in Wisconsin as he's well funded and not a traditional politician. Moreover, Scott Walker, the Republican candidate for governor is heading for a substantial win over Tom Barrett and it should help Johnson. In Illinois, Mark Kirk has made a lot of mistakes but I think he'll probably win his race. He may also win the election for the two-month session and if he does he'll be able to take his seat in November for the rump Congress.

Pat Toomey looks like he's going to win easily in Pennsylvania helped along by a Republican wave. The Keystone State is looking more and more like a political bloodbath for Democratic hopefuls. In Colorado, Ken Buck is still marginally ahead and the state's Independent voters should put him over the top.

Nevada is still a true tossup. It is simply hard to say who will win that seat. I would bet the debates have a substantial effect on the race. Delaware should remain Democratic now that Christine O'Donnell has somehow won the GOP nod over Mike Castle. Had Castle won the Republicans would have easily captured a seat (which, like Illinois, can assume the seat in November). Washington State is a tossup as well with Dino Rossi and Patty Murray being about even in most polls. California is a big prize but certainly Carly Fiorina has surged in the last couple of weeks.

Connecticut, West Virginia and New York are still favoring the Democrats but they are not out of reach for the GOP. Ron Wyden looks like he'll win another term easily in Oregon.

Will Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign effect the Alaska race? Probably not, but this year is shaping up to be the craziest I've ever seen. When people like John Dingell, who has held his seat for 55 years (his dad had it for 22 before that) is barely ahead in his race in Michigan anything is possible.

Many House races are changing rapidly and I'll be commenting on them in the next couple of days. Democrats are facing large losses in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Illinois with more damage possible in Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, California, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Snitch

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