Monday, August 07, 2006

Can Republicans Win Senate Races in Democrat States?

Rob Huddleston provides the latest poll numbers for the U.S. Senate races in a number of key states and posits that claims that Republicans may lose the Senate are greatly exaggerated. In particular, Huddleston suggests that Republicans may pick up seats in Maryland and New Jersey, which would make it nearly impossible for Democrats to win a majority.

A.C. Kleinheider disagrees with that analysis, but he does so by substituting a cookie cutter for real political analysis. Kleinheider's argument boils down to this: Maryland and New Jersey are Democrat states, the election is about Bush, nearly everyone hates Bush, the Republicans can't win.

Well, there you have it. Why not just dispense with the expense of a vote and move on? One might pause, however, to wonder, given such analysis, how those two races have managed to be so close to this point?

While Tip O'Neill may have overstated matters when he claimed that all politics are local, it is certainly true that much is, and state politics in Maryland and New Jersey may have created overriding factors that overcome the national trends -- just as they have in Ohio, where a corrupt Taft administration has condemned to oblivion a Dewine campaign that may have had trouble anyway. In New Jersey, left over embarrassment from the McGreevey fiasco has combined with widespread dissatisfaction with a Democratic state legislature (which the public by a wide margin blames for the recent state budgetary shutdown) and a Democratic governor who is only popular when compared to the legislature, to give the Republican candidate, Tom Kean, a leg up. In Maryland, which did manage to elect the current Republican governor, Michael Steele is a remarkably capable and charismatic candidate running against a divided state Democratic Party with a candidate that may be too far to the left even for a fairly reliable Democratic state.

My money says that at least one of the two wins.


Blogger Kleinheider said...

My money says that at least one of the two wins.

How much?

9:25 PM  
Blogger MCO said...

Hmmmm. I'm not really much of a gambler, and I guess that the phrase was just a figure of speech, but I don't want to be accused of backing down either. I'll need to think about this one.

Bu, really, A.C., I don't want to take your money!

6:23 AM  

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