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Morning Jay: Delaware Fun Facts, House Polls, NY Rebound, and More!

6:30 AM, Sep 14, 2010 • By JAY COST
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1. Fun Facts about Delaware.  The GOP circular firing squad is finally set to begin shooting today, as Delaware will hold its primary vote to decide between moderate Republican Mike Castle and Tea Party Express-backed Christine O’Donnell.

Morning Jay: Delaware Fun Facts, House Polls, NY Rebound, and More!

Christine O'Donnell may win today, but she can't win in November.

Democrats are licking their chops.  They thought for sure that this seat was going to tip to the GOP by default, but now it looks like it might tip to their side by default.

And make no mistake: If the Delaware GOP nominates Christine O’Donnell, the Democrats will win the seat.  She will not be the next senator from Delaware.  There are three big reasons:

a. She’s got a list of personal issues a mile long.  Conservatives who thought John McCormack was hard on her (puh-lease!) should buckle up because the DSCC is going to take you on a very bumpy ride!

b. The Republican establishment is going to bail on her, and by and large they bankroll campaigns.  The National Republican Senatorial Committee had, by July 31, received contributions from individuals totaling some $58 million.  That money came from just 19,941 individuals.  That works out to be about $2,900 per donor, which makes them “the establishment,” and they are not going to back O’Donnell.

c. Delaware is not a conservative state.  Not even close.  Let’s count the ways:

-The last time it voted for a Republican presidential candidate was 1988.

-The last time it voted for a Republican senator was 1994.

-The last time the GOP held the state house was 1972.

-The last time the GOP held the state senate was 1972. 

-The last time a Republican won the governor's mansion was 1988.  That Republican’s name is Mike Castle.

-Between 1988 and 2000, the Democrats held on average a party registration advantage that ranged between 5 and 9 points.  In 2006, the Democratic advantage hit 11 points.  In 2008 it hit 12 points.  This year, it reached 17 points.

-In 2008, one out of four self-identified Delaware conservatives voted for Barack Obama.

The electability argument is so clear and convincing that the choice in Delaware is really between a moderate Republican, who will move the Senate to the right despite his centrism, and a liberal Democrat, who will not.  A vote for O’Donnell today is tantamount to a vote for Chris Coons in November. 

The obviousness of this point frankly leaves me thinking that this is more about sending a message to “RINOs” than about getting the most conservative Senate possible.  That will endanger the Republican push to repeal Obamacare, and that leaves me very, very frustrated.   

2. Generic Ballot.  Yesterday, Gallup revised its generic ballot numbers from an even split to a Republican advantage of 5 points.  That puts it roughly in line with the other generic ballot polls of registered voters, as well as the Gallup trend averaged over the last few months

Despite Gallup’s bounciness, the underlying essentials remain the same: Republicans and Democrats are well sorted, and the GOP has a huge lead among independent voters.  This has not changed for months, and I doubt very much that it will change between now and Election Day. 

If that holds true, the best the Democrats can do is rally their own base to keep November from being a total washout.  The combination of an enthused Republican vote and the sizeable swing of independents to the GOP should be sufficient to tilt the House to the Republicans.

3. Dem House PollsCourtesy of Swing State Project, we have a slew of DCCC polls:

KY-6: Chander (D-Inc) 52, Barr (R) 38

NM-2: Teague (D-Inc) 51, Pearce (R) 44

OR-5: Schrader (D-Inc) 42, Bruun (R) 29

PA-12: Critz (D-Inc) 48, Burns (R) 41

These results are basically in line with what we have seen from Democratic polling firms: the incumbent with a lead that (at best) barely exceeds 50 percent.  However, Schrader – a freshman who represents Salem and parts of the Portland suburbs – looks terribly weak considering the source. 

Courtesy of National Review's  Battle '10 blog is a poll from Bill Johnson, GOP challenger against Democrat Charlie Wilson in OH-6.

The Bill Johnson for Congress campaign today released the results of a recent Public Opinion Strategies poll that shows Johnson in a dead heat with his opponent, incumbent Democrat Charlie Wilson.

Wilson holds a narrow three-point advantage in Ohio’s 6th Congressional District, 47- 44%. The two candidates are tied at 27% among definite supporters. Further, only 35% of respondents feel that Wilson deserves re-election, while 47% say it’s time for someone new.

These numbers are typical of most Republican polling this cycle, which generally show the GOP challengers slightly ahead of or even with their Democratic opponents.

4. GOP in a New York State of MindThe victory of Scott Brown confirmed what many of us have long known: news of the death of northeastern Republicanism was vastly overstated.  This brief article from the Wall Street Journal suggests a Republican rebound in upstate New York:

Currently, two of New York's 29 House members are Republicans. Yet pollsters and veteran in-state politicians see at least six House races where the GOP has a fair chance to win back seats—a sign of how quickly Democratic fortunes may be reversing after big gains in 2006 and 2008.

The New York Republican Party has long had its base in the upstate region, but Democrats have been pulling in upstate seats hand over fist for the last couple cycles.  Right now, however, Charlie Cook lists four upstate districts, plus Long Island’s NY-1 and Staten Island’s NY-13, as competitive.  Those are the six seats the WSJ is talking about.

5. A Great AdOne reason I suspect the Democratic financial advantage is going to be less helpful this year is because the GOP has the better argument, which it has not really had for two cycles. 

A great example comes from IA-3 where state senator Brad Zaun is challenging Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell.  The following is a low-tech, straightforward, highly effective ad from Zaun.  Republicans all across the country are going to be flooding the airwaves with this kind of material, and I think it will be very impactful (h/t RCP Video):

6. Washington Senate.  An Elway Poll in Washington shows incumbent Democrat Patty Murray with a 9-point lead over Republican Dino Rossi.  These numbers are a better result for Murray than either SurveyUSA or Rasmussen, but the conclusion that pollster Stuart Elway draws seems similar to the obvious conclusion from the other polls:

Although Murray is at 50% in this survey, there are enough 'soft' supporters for each candidate, plus undecided voters and supporters of other candidates -- not to mention time on the calendar -- to determine the eventual outcome.

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