November 6, 2002
Perhaps the two biggest analytical biffs of this election were NH and CO, for very different reasons. In NH, pundits and Democrats mistook the Sununu bump coming out of the primary for a scenario where he was the favorite and Ms Shaheen the underdog. But she was the candidate who'd been elected in statewide races several times and had much higher name recognition. She had to be considered the favorite and the fact that she could never take a lead was a much more important sign of weakness than was her making it a close race a sign of strength.
Meanwhile, Wayne Allard in CO, despite being the incumbent Senator was virtually unknown. That made his rematch with Tom Strickland a race that should have been viewed as simply a standard issue Democrat vs. a standard issue Republican. The low poll numbers for Mr. Allard, unlike they would normally have been for an incumbent, were not a judgment upon the job he was doing but a reflection that he had no strong identity. So, all things being equal, in a GOP state with a popular GOP Governor at the top of the ticket, you'd expect him to be able to pull it out.Posted by Orrin Judd at November 6, 2002 12:26 AM