Your Morning Democratic Doom

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 28 2010 9:14 AM

Your Morning Democratic Doom

Me, on August 31 , saying which unforeseen Senate races could pop on the map:

Connecticut and West Virginia. In both cases Democrats got dreamcandidates, the sort of people who never lose statewide elections mega-popular Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. In both cases the GOP has nominatedwealthy candidates who've never won an election but are ready to dumpmillions on TV ads. In a normal year, the Democrats would be up by20-25 points; this year, they're up by the high single digits,according to Republicans I've spoken to who've seen internal polls.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Advertisement

Propelled by Connecticut likely voters who say they are "angry" with government, formerwrestling executive Linda McMahon, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate, is closing in onAttorney General Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat, and now trails just 49 - 46 percent,according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 

Republican John Raese has edged ahead of West Virginia’s popularDemocratic Governor Joe Manchin for the first time in the state’sspecial U.S. Senate race.

I feel like Democrats have got a better handle on Connecticut -- they believe McMahon has a ceiling of support, no matter how much money she spends, and the party is winning the governor's race at the top of the ballot. West Virginia came out of nowhere, because Joe Manchin's incredible popularity was supposed to make Raese, who's run two previous failed bids for Senate, a nonentity. Also, not only is West Virginia a weaker Democratic state than Connecticut (at the federal level, not in registration), it's haunted by the ghost of cap-and-trade, the dead legislation that Republicans are still able to beat the hell out of Democrats with in coal states.

UPDATE: Here's some re-thinking on Connecticut ; like I said, Democrats are far more confident of this race and not reacting to every little poll. West Virginia is putting the fear of God into them, though.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.