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The Biggest Tent Ever

Republicans build a coalition.

Nov 1, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 07 • By FRED BARNES
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The heart of the comeback in 2010 is the Rust Belt. Republicans are likely to win governor’s races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, replacing Democrats in each state. They may pick up 15 House seats or more in those six states. That’s quite a haul.

Republicans have also mounted serious challenges to Democratic veterans Barney Frank in Massachusetts, John Dingell in Michigan, Jim Oberstar in Minnesota, Dennis Kucinich in Ohio, Jan Schakowsky in Illinois, and John Spratt in South Carolina. Those races are long shots, yet Republicans have attracted impressive candidates.

And there may be a Black Republican Caucus in the House. Tim Scott is a prohibitive favorite to win a House seat in South Carolina, and Allen West in Florida and Ryan Frazier in Colorado are in tossup races. All three are African-American conservatives.

In 2006 and 2008, Republicans lost ground with Hispanic voters. Now they may regain some. Hispanic Republicans are likely to win the governorships of New Mexico (Susana Martinez) and Nevada (Brian Sandoval), and Marco Rubio, headed to the Senate from Florida, is cut out to be a star.

Package these nice developments together and it suggests Republicans are rushing to majority status. They may be, but not on the basis of what happens on November 2. The expected landslide is largely, if not entirely, a negative one. “There’s no pro-Republican vote,” says pollster Frank Luntz. It’s antiliberal and anti-Democratic. Republicans are merely beneficiaries.

After the election, Republicans will have time to figure out how to keep their resurgence going. Fashioning a successful agenda with divided government in Washington won’t be easy. How will they do it? That’s a story for another day.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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