Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Democratic Dominoes

"Wave" elections have certain characteristics in common. One is a passion and energy imbalance between the two parties. Right now, Republicans are as fired up as they were in 1994 (and Democrats were in 2006). Another characteristic is when one side starts seeing more retirements -- which create open seat opportunities for the other party.

The announcements yesterday that Byron Dorgan (North Dakota) and Chris Dodd of Connecticut are packing it in must be chilling for Democrats. Dodd, arguably, may actually be helping the party out (as similarly ethically-challenged Bob Torricelli did a few years back). But still, at least two GOPers -- former Rep. Rob Simmons and WWE co-founder Linda McMahon have huge head starts in campaign organizations -- even against popular Attorney General Dick Blumenthal.

However, the look is pretty bleak in North Dakota -- a red state in which Dorgan and his younger clone Kent Conrad are the only Democrats who are competitive at the state level. This is about as sure of a GOP pick-up as one is likely to find.

As Democrats make politically dubious decisions to hold the health-care conference meetings behind closed doors, the likelihood of Republicans tapping into independent anger to nationalize the elections -- turning anti-incumbent anger into an anti-Democratic tide will just grow.

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