Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Special Congressional Elections in Pennsylvania 12th and Hawaii 1st – Bellwethers for November


Tim Burns, PA 12th District Congressional Candidate - image Tim Burns for Congress

There are two congressional special elections scheduled: the race for Pennsylvania’s 12th District on May 18th, and Hawaii’s 1st District on May 22nd. Pennsylvania’s race to fill the seat left vacant by the death of John Murtha, is in a statistical tie according to Public Policy Pollingwith the Republican candidate, Tim Burns, leading Democrat Mark Critz by 3 points (Margin of Error: plus or minus 2.8%). The district is has trended heavily Democrat in Congressional races, however, voted for McCain/Palin in the 2008 election. With a month to go, even with an endorsement from the Mine Workers of America Union Critz can’t count on that carrying over as actual votes (See Massachusetts Special Election - Brown/Coakley).


Charles Djou, Republican Congressional Challeger in Obama's Back Yard pulls ahead in Kos poll - image hiphoprepublican

The Hawaii 1st, involves a three way contest to replace Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who is running for Govenor. The latest poll by the Daily Kos (which is considerably left leaning) gives Republican Challenger Charles Djou a 3 point lead over over Democrat Ed Case, and 4 points over Democrat Colleen Hanabusa , the Margin of Error is plus or minus 4 points. The Hawaii first is heavily Democrat and is the home state of Barack Obama, a state that is perhaps more heavily Democrat than Massachusetts was thought to be prior to January 19th.

That said, it would still be a surprise if either of these Districts end up in a win column for a GOP candidate, given the history of both, however, as was the case in Massachusetts, the battle will be won on the ground, and the DSCC is beginning to run negative attack ads in both instances. These types of ads have the unintended consequence in these types of States and or Districts of working for the opposition. In addition, the economic recovery, especially in PA and Hawaii has been at a snail’s pace. In any event should either Djou or Burns pull within a 5 point lead over their challengers within the next 2 weeks, then the writing will be on the wall.

Should either one or both of the districts fall to the Republican Challenger, one can anticipate a good deal of angst for those Congressional incumbents having to campaign, some for the first time in decades, in order to try to retain their seats in November. One would hazard to guess, should the results of these special elections trend to the GOP, that the November general will be a heartbreaker for many long-term Democrat incumbents, as well as those new Blue Dogs, who failed to represent their districts, and voted with h the House Leadership (Pelosi) . The only safe Democrat incumbents are those that are not up for re-election in 2010.

Links

Charles Djou for Congress
Tim Burns for Congress

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