There's a stunning poll by Rasmussen that appears to be a microcosm of a trend all over the country. This poll shows Conservative Republican Pat Toomey way out ahead of moderate Democrat Arlen Specter. In fact, Toomey is now 12 points ahead whereas the last poll showed Toomey about that much behind. This is even more striking considering that Pennsylvania is a purple state that trends Democrat. It's the perfect state for Specter and one in which a conservative Republican, by conventional wisdom, would have little chance. Yet, at this moment, he's dominating.
There are also two Governor's races with elections in 2009 in which the Republicans look to be overwhelming favorites. In New Jersey, it appears to be a landslide victory for the Republicans. In that state, the Republicans have their dream match up. Republican nominee, Chris Christie, is a former prosecutor with a history of taking on corruption. In fact, it was an investigation first started by Christie that has recently lead to the arrest of dozens of politicians in power brokers in New Jersey that even involved schemes to sell body parts. Meanwhile, he's running against a very unpopular Governor who has presided over massive tax increases, largely been silent to massive corruption, and watched the state's economy blow up. Given New Jersey's history of corruption, Christie would have to implode in order to lose.
In Virginia, things are only slightly less rosey. Republican Bob McDonnell, who just gave the Republican weekly address, is beating Democrat Creigh Deeds by just over 10 points. So, it appears the two first serious elections of the campaign following the election of President Obama will go Republicans. Furthermore, New Jersey is a Democratic state though that may actually be helping Christie given how cynical voters have gotten toward their politicians. Virginia has been trending Republican and its current Governor, Tim Kaine, is also DNC Chairman. That's simply embarrassing if he loses.
In the Senate, the Republicans now have several high profile seats that they are favorites in or at least very competitive. New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are all potential pick ups for Republicans. Of course, we are still over a year away. If things continue trending as they have, we'll see several more races trend toward Republicans. Only Missouri is trending toward Democrat that is currently Republican.
In the Governor's races, I've already mentioned two pick ups. The New York Governor's race will be very competitive as well as Ohio. In Florida, Republicans look to be leading in a state they would be holding. The Republicans could pick up as many as 5 Governorships in 2010 (if you include the two in 2009) and that would give them a slight edge in Governorships.
House races are far too difficult to analyze. I will say however that the entire Blue Dog caucus is in trouble if they allow for this health care reform bill to pass. Several are already in trouble over cap and trade. Several others are in trouble over the stimulus. The Republicans will have a lot of very vulnerable Democrats in the 50 or so Blue Dogs come November 2010. If they find true conservatives to run in those districts, you will see a lot of them fall.
We still have more than a year to go, but right now things look very positive for Republicans come November 2010.
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