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Morning Jay

Caution on the generic ballot, Palin's presidential plans, Obamacare drags down the Dems, and more...

6:30 AM, Sep 2, 2010 • By JAY COST
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(2) Is Sarah Palin running for president?  This is a taste of what will begin almost immediately after the midterm:

Sarah Palin’s scheduled political trip to Iowa this month marks a shift from near silence in the leadoff presidential nominating state to the kind of outreach common among White House prospects.

Palin’s plan to headline the Iowa Republican Party’s annual fall fundraiser on Sept. 17 is solely to help raise money for the state party’s candidates, the former Alaska governor’s aides said.

And one trip to Iowa is a long way from a successful campaign for the state’s 2012 presidential caucuses, still 18 months away, Iowa party insiders said.

Her every movement is going to be analyzed and reviewed to divine her motivations. They've already roped Allahpundit in.  It's only a matter of time before the speculation fever hits the rest of us!

I'll just say this: people go to Iowa. Lots of people. It's a nice place.  

(3) Is Gillibrand beatable?  The new Quinnipiac numbers for New York Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand are terrible.  They have her hovering around 45 percent against all three of her potential Republican opponents.  Big reason why: she's running behind in the NYC 'burbs.  This is consistent with a developing theme of the Obama Democratic Party: It isn't doing so well in the suburbs that Bill Clinton brought into the party in the 90s.  We saw that in Virginia, then in New Jersey.  Is it happening in New York, too?

(4) Is Pennsylvania seeing red?  This week's Reuters/Ipsos poll has the GOP gubernatorial candidate, Tom Corbett, up 15 points on Democrat Dan Onorato. Plus, Republican Pat Toomey is up 10 on Democrat Joe Sestak in the Senate race. This is a state that hasn't gone Republican for president since 1988 -- and it looks as though there might be no compelling statewide races this cycle. Meanwhile, Charlie Cook has a whopping eight of twelve Democratic Pennsylvania House seats as at least somewhat vulnerable, with four of them as toss-ups (including two toss-ups in the Philly suburbs, which speaks to the previous item).  

(5) From McKees Rocks to Columbus? It is looking increasingly likely that John Kasich will be the next governor of Ohio.  Rasmussen shows the Republican up 12 against incumbent Ted Strickland, with the latter at just 40 percent.  PPP has Kasich up 10, again with Strickland mired at 40%.  The GOP's time in the Ohio wilderness after the Taft debacle appears to have been fairly short.  

Tom Jensen of PPP summarizes the state of the Midwestern Democratic Party:

I think this fact sums up how much trouble Democrats are in for in the Midwest this year: Ted Strickland's 34/52 approval rating on the Ohio poll we put out today makes him...the most popular Democratic Governor in a Big Ten State! (...)

The Midwest, rather than the South, is going to be the Democrats' worst region because they have so much more to lose. When you see approval numbers like these for the Governors in these states- not to mention the President- it makes you wonder how bad the damage is for Democrats in the Congressional and Legislative races in the region. 

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