April 28, 2010

LEADING THE O-POCALYPSE™:

GOP eyes comeback for New England House seats (ANDREW MIGA, 04/28/10, AP)

Tapping a deep vein of voter discontent over the economy, jobs and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the GOP has a reasonable shot at capturing a handful of House races in the six-state region. [...]

—New Hampshire, where polling shows the GOP favored to win back the two House seats the party lost in the 2006 Democratic tide. Two-term Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter appears vulnerable, and a second seat is open because Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes is running for the Senate. Republican Sen. Judd Gregg decided not to seek re-election. Former Rep. Charlie Bass, a centrist ousted four years ago, is embracing the agenda of conservatives and tea party activists who played a key role in Brown’s victory. GOP candidates are pushing strong anti-government themes in crowded primaries in both districts. “Republicans will do well,” said former Sen. John E. Sununu, who was toppled by Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen two years ago.

—Rhode Island, where there are echoes of Brown’s insurgency in Republican John Loughlin’s bid for retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s seat. Members of Brown’s political team are working for Loughlin. Like Brown, Loughlin is a state legislator who has served in the National Guard and opposed the new health care law. Republicans such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are backing Loughlin. Loughlin needs to score big in Providence and Woonsocket, Democratic strongholds.

—Massachusetts, where a hard-fought race is on tap for retiring Democratic Rep. William Delahunt’s seat, which stretches from Boston’s South Shore to Cape Cod and includes the Kennedy family’s Hyannis Port home. Brown won 60 percent of the vote in the district against Democrat Martha Coakley in the special Senate election, a surprising sign of GOP strength. The top Republicans are former state treasurer Joe Malone and Jeffrey Perry, a conservative state representative who has won Brown’s endorsement and is aggressively courting tea party activists.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2010 5:49 AM
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