August 21, 2010

CHASING 60:

Senate Landscape Shifts Farther in Favor of GOP (John McArdle, CQ-Roll Call)

It’s hit that point in the election cycle where the competitive nature of Congressional races are shifting rapidly. Unfortunately for Democrats, the overwhelming majority of those shifts are in favor of Republicans.

The latest Senate race rating changes by CQ Politics includes five changes — in California, Washington, Wisconsin, Georgia and Iowa — that benefit Republican candidates. And Democrats can’t even catch a break on the sixth change, which moves Florida’s Senate race from Leans Republican to the more competitive Tossup category based solely of the strength of the Independent campaign run by Gov. Charlie Crist .

When Crist announced this spring that he was abandoning the GOP primary to seek the Senate seat as an Independent, Democratic strategists saw real opportunity. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (N.J.) went so far as to call the move a sign of “divided Republican Party cannibalizing itself.” [...]

A poll from late July and another from August showed Crist with a slight lead in a three-way race against Rubio and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek. Two more recent polls showed Rubio ahead by a narrow margin. What’s clear is that Crist’s decision to leave the GOP has not been the political suicide that many Republicans thought it would be. Crist is now the biggest obstacle standing in the way of Republicans holding the Sunshine State seat this fall.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2010 10:45 AM
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