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The Trend Setters

October 28, 2010    Content provided by DDC Advocacy

As the votes begin streaming in on Election Night, which are the most important races to watch in order to detect a formulating national trend? The first states to report their votes are Indiana and Kentucky. Both are must-wins for Republicans at the Senate level. In the House, the GOP commences upon a majority track with wins in two of the four most hotly contested House campaigns in the Hoosier and Blue Grass States: IN-2 (Rep. Donnelly vs. Walorski), IN-8 (Bucshon vs. Van Plaaten), IN-9 (Rep. Hill vs. Young), and KY-6 (Rep. Chandler vs. Barr). Next, we head toward Pennsylvania. Of the nine most competitive Keystone State Congressional races, including two already held by Republicans, the GOP must win five to keep on a mid-40s gain pace. Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA-15), now in a toss-up U.S. Senate battle with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA-7), must convert the seat for the GOP in order for the party to gain significant ground.

Though New York is also an important state, their ballot counting tends to be very time consuming, thus results there will be very late in coming. Florida, then, becomes a better point state in the Eastern Time Zone. Marco Rubio (R) must nail down his three-way race for the Senate, and the GOP must gain at least three seats in the House. Incumbent Democratic Reps. Allen Boyd (D-FL-2), Alan Grayson (D-FL-8), Ron Klein (D-FL-22), and Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL-24) could all lose, as each are fighting strong Republican candidates. The open FL-25 seat is also a Republican must-hold.

Other bellwether states appear to be Virginia (GOP needs two seats), Ohio (GOP +3; and the Senate race), and Michigan (+2). The Republicans will also need to grab two more states in the east, most probably among NH-1 (Rep. Shea-Porter vs. Guinta), GA-8 (Rep. Marshall vs. Scott), SC-5 (Rep. Spratt vs. Mulvaney), and NC-8 (Rep. Kissell vs. Johnson). They also must win Senate races in all four of these states, a very achievable goal with less than one week remaining.

Thus, before exiting the Eastern Time Zone, Republicans must have a net gain of one Senate seat and 18 Congressional districts to have any chance at taking the majority in either house next Tuesday night.

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