Off the Radar Races: The Northeast

The House has 232 Republican seats with a hefty 54 listed by Charlie Cook in some form of danger.  Roughly 10 Republicans will go unchallenged (OK, 9 to 11) leaving 168 races off the radar screen.  I've said all along that this is too many.  Nonetheless, it is easy to list what a safe race would be for GOPers: they need at least a $500,000 cash-on-hand lead and must have scored at least 60% in the 2004 House race.  Oh, yes, I'll suspend it a bit for special circumstances (e.g. scandal, a relatively strong Democratic area, general buzz).  A safe seat, under these circumstances, is really safe.

If one area seems under-listed to me, it is the Northeast.  This is a strong Democratic area with weak, often disastrously weak, Republican state-wide candidates.  September 11 cut disastrously here boosting Bush's statewide total in New York by a hefty 9 points and in New Jersey by 6 points.  Going to plus 10 (from average) is one thing but if Gore is average, that means a dtunning 19 points in New York state and 16 points in Jersey.

Cook's 54 included all five GOP-held seats in New England but just five of nine in New York and only one of six in Jersey.  Throw in four of twelve in PA and none of two in Maryland plus none for one in Delaware and twenty Republican House seats here are listed as safe.  A quick assessment of the twenty follows below the fold.

There's more...

Making the Northeast Blue

Republicans tar all Massachusetts Democrats with the word "liberal."  In fact, being from Massachusetts seems to be similar, in their vocabulary, to being from the old Soviet Union.  The strange thing, of course, is, that Republicans by running hard right on a national level have created a weird divide.  On the state and local level, voters may indeed choose a Republican as Governor or for a local office.  On the federal level, all ten House seats, two Senate seats, and the state's 12 electoral votes are safely Democratic.  In fact, Republicans simply don't challenge in most of the House contests.

In 2000, Al Gore carried ten of eleven states in the Northeast and the District of Columbia, often by massive margins.  In 2004, John Kerry (ironically, from Massachusetts) took all eleven states and D.C., bringing New Hampshire into the fold.  What would be the effects of a new "Massachusetts Miracle": making the Northeast totally Democratic on the federal level?

Lest we forget, Kerry, himself, had a hard time holding onto his Senate seat from Bill Weld's challenge.  Following the 1994 election, 2 of the state's 10 congressional districts were held by moderate Republicans.  And, this seemed normal.  Not a result of Newt's election "sweep." The region's congressional delegations have become more Democratic since 1994, even though the national balance is back to its original state.

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Shift towards Democrats in Northeastern N.Y.?

Since my last diary, some have asked to see more maps and a further analysis of voting trends in New York State. The first will begin with the area I am most familiar with, the Northeastern region of the state.

Analyzing voting trends, Northeastern New York, long a rock-ribbed Republican bastion since the Civil War, is trending Democratic in federal elections faster than any other region of the state.

There's more...


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