In 1991 Pennsylvania had a special election to replace John Heinz, the respectable moderate Republican senator who died tragically in a plane crash. Almost everyone thought Richard Thornburgh, the popular former GOP governor and Attorney General in the Bush (41) Administration would easily win against the little known Democrat Harris Wofford. The first polling info showed Thornburgh up by more than thirty points but Wofford ended up pulling out a fairly easy ten point victory. His win seemed due in large part to voter dissatisfaction with the lack of economic growth and the apparent inadequacy of the Bush Administration's response to it. I think this year's special election in West Virginia might end up the same way. Joe Manchin, the popular Democratic governor should win the election easily. However, John Raese, the little known GOP candidate, may end up the beneficiary of an anti-Obama protest vote. The President's approval ratings in the Mountaineer State are floundering in the mid-30's. I'm now giving Raese a 50% chance of winning on November 2.
Unless there's a real change in Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania I believe those senate races are over. That makes 47 for the GOP (when you add Indiana, Arkansas and North Dakota) with several races yet to be decided.
I mentioned in yesterday's post that there are two conservative candidates in New York CD 23. Today, the Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman, dropped out which leaves the GOP nominee Matt Doheny to face Democrat Bill Owens in November. This gives the GOP beter than a 50% shot at winning the seat.
Long time Democratic congressmen Jim Oberstar of Minnesota and Barney Frank of Massachusetts are in very tough contests and are having to actively campaign for the first time in years. Oberstar is in deep danger and may lose but Frank should emerge victorious simply because his voters are so very liberal but it is possible that they could both be sent home. If they do, then 100 seats would be in jeopardy for the Democrats.