THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT RACES TUESDAY-- A SCORECARD
I don't care about reading tea-leaves in regard to the '08 presidential elections. I care about winning in Kentucky and Virginia, maybe New Jersey. The New Jersey State Senate currents has 22 Democrats and 18 Republicans. The well-respected and nonpartisan website, PoliticsNJ, says there are currently 14 safe Republican seats and 21 safe Democratic seats. That leaves 2 Republican seats leaning Republican and one Democratic seat (currently held by Ellen Karcher) leaning Republican and 2 Republican seats, those currently held by Nicholas Asselta and Sonny McCullough leaning Democratic. The General Assembly has 50 Democrats and 30 Republicans. PoliticsNJ rates Charlotte Vandervalk (R) as "Likely Republican," 5 open Republican seats plus John Rooney's (R) seat as "Leans Republican," another open Republican seat as a "toss up," 3 open Democratic seats as "toss ups," Michael Panter's (D) seat as a "toss up" and two Democratic seats, Nelson Albano's and Linda Greenstein's, as "Leans Democratic." 44 Democratic seats are seen as safe as are 22 Republican seats.
The DCCC is looking to see how the races go in the first and second senate districts because if Assemblyman Jim Whelan (D) beats Sonny McCullough (R) and if Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew (D) beats Nicholas Asselta (R), as looks likely, it will be open season on 7-term Republican rubber stamp Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) next year.
I'm slightly more excited about the state legislative races in Virginia, especially in the state senate. Although national prognosticators are looking for signs of Democrats being able to knock off rubber stamp Congressmembers Thelma Drake, Tom Davis, Virgil Goode and Frank Wolf in 2008, just as important is the ability of the Democrats to pick up control of the state senate in time to stop the Republicans from gerrymandering congressional districts in 2010. On important race to watch is up in Fairfax County, where Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R), wife of Congressman Davis, is in a tough battle to win re-election in an increasingly moderate suburban district that has been turning against Republicans regularly. If Chap Petersen beats her it will be another indication that Tom Davis needs to start handing his resume out around K Street.
But the most important race to watch Tuesday is in Kentucky. The question will be how big will Steve Beshear's victory over corrupt and despised Republican incumbent Ernie Fletcher. If Beshear turns out with a margin of over 15%, Miss McConnell may abandon his role as the Bush Regime's chief obstructionist in the Senate, a role that has brought his approval ratings down to a place that predicts he could well be defeated next year. Strong showings by Beshear in the western and northern parts of the state, where Republicans usually do well-- and where polls show him beating Fletcher-- will send McConnell into panic mode. For people looking to see how badly tarnished the GOP brand is-- Bush is widely hated in Kentucky now-- the Secretary of State's race between the big-spending Republican incumbent, Trey Grayson and an underfinanced and completely unknown Democrat, Bruce Henderson is a key. If Henderson gets within 5% of Grayson (who has been treating Fletcher as if he were radioactive, McConnell would be considered dead man walking.
In their headlong rush to turn themselves into a backward regional party of the South with limited appeal to any other regions of the country, the Republicans are likely to sweep Mississippi.
KY REPUBLICANS DEPLOY THEIR BIGGEST WEAPON-- ONE FEW CARE ABOUT AND ONE THAT WILL COME BACK TO BITE MISS McCONNELL IN THE ASS NEXT YEAR
Kentucky Republicans wheeled out arch-reactionary singer Pat Boone, best known as someone who brazenly stole r'n'b music from African-American songwriters and wimped the tunes up for of grandparents version of all-white pop radio, in a last ditch effect to try to prevent a Democratic sweep of all the Kentucky state offices tomorrow. Boone and the KY GOP, flying in the face of an avalanche of gay Republican arrests and convictions and in the face of mounting rumors that the state's senior Republican senator, Mitch McConnell, is himself a closeted, self-loathing homosexual. TMP has the homophobic Boone recording