by Brandon Greife,
If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen! No, really, please leave. A recent poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal shows that only 22% approve of the job that Congress is doing, the lowest approval rating since Obama took office. People are right upset with how things are going in Washington. They’ve showed up at town halls, called their congressment, held rally’s and are showing their willingness to throw the bums out of office. But up until very recently, incumbent Congressmen have stuck a finger in their ears and a hand over their eyes, hoping that the problem will just go away.
With the recent victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, it should be becoming increasingly clear that the public is tired of a Congress content to keep their head in the sand. Four recent polls in districts ranging from Democratic strongholds, such as New York, to places more recently turned blue, such as Arkansas, show that Republicans have a chance to make serious gains in 2010.
Ohio : Republican candidate, and former Congressman, Steve Chabot has opened up a wide lead in the race for Ohio’s 1st congressional district. The race, which represents a rematch from 2008, provides a great control group on just how far the nation has shifted in the past year. Last election cycle, the Democratic Driehaus unseated Chabot with 52.5% of the vote. However, a recent SurveyUSA poll now shows that the tide has once again turned, this time sharply against Driehaus who trails the Republican challenger 39%-to-56%. More ominous for the incumbent, given the dim prospects for passage, is that this is a district that actually favors passing the health care bill.
New York : Democratic Congressman Timothy Bishop is currently finding himself in a place he’s not used to: mired in a close race. The four-term House candidate who won the last three elections with 56%, 62%, and 58% of the vote respectively, is only ahead by 2% in the lastest SurveyUSA poll . But even this razor thin margin is misleading. Currently, the poll shows Republican challenger Randy Altschuler only receing the support of 66% of Republicans, likely due to the fact he’s facing a primary. If Altschuler is able to unite the support of conservatives after the primary it may be difficult for Bishop to maintain the lead.
Arkansas : After seeing a precipitous fall in his polling numbers, Democratic incumbent Vic Snyder was the latest Congressmen to announce his decision to retire rather than face a competitive race. In his own words ,
“2010 will be a robust election year during which great forces collide to set the direction for our country for another two years,” Snyder said in a statement.
“I have concluded that these election-year forces are no match for the persuasive and powerful attraction of our three 1-year-old boys under the leadership of their 3-year-old brother, and I have decided not to run for reelection.”
The decision may have been shrewd, a recent SurveyUSA poll had Snyder behind Republican Tim Griffin 39%-to-56%. Quite the change since 2008 when he ran unopposed after several cycles of easy victories. Democrats must now scramble to find someone who can be competitive in a purple district where independents are overwhelmingly breaking for Griffin.
Missouri : The public’s negative views of the economy and health care will likely put Democratic Robin Carnahan at risk of being Coakley’d. Republican Roy Blunt now holds a six-point lead over Carnahan 49% to 43% according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey. This is a big jump from only a month ago when Carnahan actually held the advantage 46%-to-44%. Moreover, the Democrat has done little to impress voters or pundits. As Politico wrote, in a piece eerily foreshadowing the same critiques Martha Coakley faced ,
“Missouri’s 2010 Senate contest is an open-seat race, but you’d hardly know it from the campaign that Democrat Robin Carnahan is running.”
The quiet may have been on purpose. As liberal blog, the St. Louis Oracle wrote ,
I have been waiting for quite some time for Missouri’s presumptive Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Robin Carnahan to take a stand on an important federal issue in a timely manner. This week she finally did so. I think I liked the silence better.
People are tired of the status quo. They voted for change and didn’t get much. The change they got they didn’t like. Now Republicans carry the mantle of change. We have the chance to succeed where Democrats have so spectacularly failed. These four races are merely the latest examples of a movement that is reverberating throughout the political world: Republicans can win anywhere. Fortunately, College Republicans are also everywhere and we will work hard to capture and amplify the anger that is boiling over across America. If Democrats can’t stand the heat we’ll be bringing, take the lead of Vic Snyder and get out of our kitchen .