An Exciting Day

In New York's 23rd, a Conservative Party candidate is poised to win after the liberal Republican candidate was run out of the race.
According to a study conducted by Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman leads Democrat Bill Owens 41 percent to 36 percent -- while 18 percent of likely voters said they were undecided.
Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning for the Democratic candidate in a special congressional election that has suddenly become a referendum on the Republican Party.
While the conservative candidate always gets elected in this district, it is unusual, and ominous for the Conservative Party candidate, to have such a large number of undecideds - 18% - following the departure of the Republican on Saturday.
Now that the NY-23 special congressional election has essentially turned into a two-person race, a new Siena Research poll has Conservative Doug Hoffman leading Democrat Bill Owens by five percentage points, 41%-36%, with Republican Dede Scozzafava (who withdrew from the race on Saturday) now getting just 6%.
In Virginia, the only conjecture in the Governor's race is over how big the GOP victory will be in a state that voted for Obama last year.
My Democratic counterparts are already writing their eulogies for Deeds and exclusively blaming either 1) President Barack Obama’s unpopularity or 2) Creigh Deeds’s skills as a candidate, depending on the writer’s proximity to the Deeds campaign itself.
The toughest race to call is the gubernatorial election in New Jersey, where the intensely unpopular Jon Corzine is fighting hard to overcome an anti-incumbent, anti-Wall Street climate.
Gov. Corzine has spent about $23 million - most of it his own money - in his fight for reelection, more than the combined total of his two main competitors, according to campaign finance documents released yesterday.
This race is in a virtual dead heat, with a slight lead in the possession of Republican Chris Christie. But with a conservative independent showing about 12% in the polls, the GOP hope is that as votes peel away from him the majority of them will move over to Christie.
If Republicans sweep in Virginia, New Jersey and New York, look for GOP representatives to argue that the victories amount to a referendum against Obama. But Democrats have tried to play down the national significance of the races, pointing out that each contest raises unique issues.
If there is a GOP sweep, the media storyline will start to focus on the unraveling of Hope & Change after just 9 months. And there will be lines of Democrats in Congress waiting for their turn to tell Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi about why they can't support the health care bill as presently written. Here's to a really bad day for Obama.