Thursday, September 28, 2006

Election Update

The NY Times frontpages an article that says Democrats suddenly have a chance to win six seats from Republicans in the Senate and take back power from the GOP.

I'm not convinced, as the NJ Senator Bob Menendez looks to be very, very vulnerable for Dems right now, Lieberman remains ahead in his race against Ned Lamont and I have a feeling he is going to start caucusing with Republicans if and when he wins and the GOP will be throwing shitloads of money into the close races like Tennessee, Virginia, and Missouri that could still turn the tide in the last days of the campaign.

Still, it is nice to see an election story these days that doesn't start with "And Republicans are more confident that they will retain control of..."

Cilliza and VandeHei of the Washington Post write about the OH-06 district, an open Democratic seat in a farily conservative area of Ohio that once was considered a prime pick-up opportunity for the GOP but now is considered "safe" for Dems. Cilliza and VandeHei claim dwindling Republican fortunes in OH-06 are a "microcosm" for what has happened around the country so far this election season:

Ask Republicans where they see takeover opportunities this fall and they will rattle off seats such as Georgia's 8th District -- held by Rep. Jim Marshall -- Iowa's 3rd or even the open at-large seat in strongly Democratic Vermont. But none of those races look particularly dire for Democrats at the moment, as many Republican strategists privately acknowledge.

Republicans' receding chances in the Ohio 6th provide a microcosm of this trend.

According to the Post, Republicans are being forced to play defense and throw money into saving their own vulnerable seats instead of throwing money into potentially vulnerable Democratic districts. The result is a very small number of Dem seats that Republicans have a realistic chance to pick-up in November and a very large and still expanding number of Republican districts Democrats have the chance to win.

We'll see. The latest poll numbers continue to show the election trending toward the Dems, at least on the state and district level. Here's a taste of some of those numbers, via Political Wire:

CQ Politics has moved the Tennessee open race (R) to No Clear Favorite from Leans Republican. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., the Democratic candidate, is running a nearly perfect campaign and his Republican opponent, Bob Corker, is suffering from some ethical problems.

Debbie Stabenow
, Democratic Senator from Michigan is on her way to a blow out. The GOP once thought they could possibly pick up her seat.

Rick Santorum remains down in the Pennsylvania race. A Republican poll has Santorum trailing by 9 points.

Maria Cantwell
has a 9 point lead over her Republican opponent, Mike McGavick, in Washington State according to a Republican poll. That race was once thought to be competitive too, particularly since the Republican candidate had a lot of money to throw into the race. But so far, it hasn't developed that way.

Now the WSJ/Zogby poll is out and it says the GOP is on track to keep control of the Senate, but for some crazy reason the poll isn't accounting for a Dem takeover in either Montana or Rhode Island - both realistic possibilities. So take that poll with a grain of salt.

All in all, not terrible numbers considering the shifting conventional wisdom in Washington that Dems have already blown the midterm races (as Republican strategist Ed Rollins told Lou Dobbs last night on CNN.)

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