Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Back In Action

I apologize for being lax on my posting during the past three day, two SU win weekend. I figured if Jimbo can take a 17 year vacation on our economy and our security, a few days was fine for me too.

I thought I would highlight this column from pre-eminent political prognosticator, Larry Sabato:

With upside-down congressional approval ratings showing few signs of rising from the depths anytime soon, 2006 promises to be one of the more volatile (and dare we say, anti-incumbent?) House election cycles in recent memory.


Still, each federal election year we usually see some surprising outcomes on election night in districts that had eluded pundits' pre-November radar screens. Whether it's simply an unexpected close call for a veteran incumbent, such as GOP Connecticut Rep. Nancy Johnson's 50 to 49 percent squeaker over Democratic newcomer Charlotte Koskoff in 1996, or a David vs. Goliath-style toppling of an incumbent, such as Democratic physicist Rush Holt's 1998 stunning upset of GOP New Jersey Rep. Mike Pappas, observers always tend to miss a couple "sleeper" races.


The Crystal Ball is going out on a limb by predicting that in a Democratic-leaning 2006, several seats that seem to host perennially close matchups (especially very "red" Democrat-held districts such as Utah-2, Kansas-3, and South Dakota-AL) might actually be less competitive than several seats where pitched battles against established incumbents have been rare occurrences as of late (Kentucky-2, Pennsylvania-7, and Connecticut-5 come to mind).


The watchword for parties holding borderline-competitive seats? Be on the lookout!

While Sabato does not include NY-25 as one of his potentially competitive seats yet, we're going to try our hardest to put it there next round. There are two positives two consider, first NY-25 is more Democratic than the two NY seats Sabato includes, NY-20 and NY-29. Charlie Cook's Political Report rates NY-25 a D+3 (Democrats hold a 3 point advantage) while rating NY-20 R+3 and NY-29 R+6 (Republicans have a 3 and 6 point advantage respectively). Second, Dan Maffei has more cash on hand than likely NY-29 Democratic candidate Eric Massa.


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