Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Look, I hope Scott Murphy, the Democrat, beats Republican Jim Tedisco in today's special House election in New York's 20th District -- the polls are tight, Kirsten Gillibrand used to hold the seat, and Barack Obama won the district in 2008. On the other hand, Republicans have about a 3-to-2 voter registration advantage in the district. So I'm not going to tear my hair out if Tedisco wins.

However, I am informed by CQ Politics that this race

has been described as a litmus test, a referendum and a bellwether for Democratic agendas and Republican political fortunes.

Yeah, I've heard that kind of talk before -- specifically, in the two congressional elections that took place immediately after Obama won. After the GOP incumbent, Saxby Chambliss, beat Democrat Jim Martin in a Georgia Senate runoff in December, The Washington Times told us this:

"It's huge," said Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, adding that the Georgia victory... planted the seeds for a Republican comeback.

After Republican Joseph Cao beat scandal-plagued Democrat William Jefferson for a Louisiana House seat a few days later, James Pinkerton of Fox News crowed,

Don't look now, but the Republicans are making a comeback.

Er, how's that comeback working out?

... according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. ... [t]wo-thirds of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the country's top job....

Obama maintains a strong hand in his dealings with congressional Republicans. The public prefers his approach [on the economy] to that of the Republicans by more than two to one....

Oh, and Democrats have an 11-point advantage in party identification, according to the same poll. That's up from 9 points just before the election last November.

So remember this if Tedisco wins and you hear that "the GOP is back!"

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