Could the 26th go Blue?
One of our readers this morning turned our attention to an article from the Washington Post, which claims that nationwide "struggles" faced by Sen. John McCain are causing problems for Republicans in Congressional races around the country.
Particularly difficult for Republican prospects is that McCain appears to be trailing badly in several moderate suburban districts across the Midwest and New England, while he is doing worse than President Bush did in rural conservative districts.
Democrats hold a 51 to 49 edge in the Senate when the two independents who caucus with them are factored in, and a 236 to 199 House majority. Rothenberg predicted that Democrats will pick up 27 to 33 House seats, and make gains of six to nine seats in the Senate. The Cook Political Report, another independent political forecaster, suggests that Democrats will net 23 to 28 House seats, and pick up seven to nine Republican-held Senate seats.
Normally, this would be a topic for our Nation & World section, but this article calls out our very own 26th District as a potential upset in a region that many would have considered a GOP stronghold.
In New York's 26th District, internal GOP polls show McCain trailing (Sen. Barack) Obama by a narrow margin, sources said. Bush won the Buffalo-based district by 12 percentage points in 2004. The race to replace retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.) is considered a tossup.
In that race, Democrat Alice Kryzan will square off against Republican Chris Lee, who himself has been criticized for a lack of visibility since getting the Republican nod with little effort earlier this year.
A post on the Albany Project today takes up this same issue. It turns out the Democratic Congressional Compaign Committee recently pumped $475,340 into the race for the 26th, compared with the $27,918 put up by the National Republican Congressional Committee. That same post claims that the race has now been predicted to swing to the Democrats.
What do you think? Could the GOP lose their grip on the 26th District come Tuesday? Does a lead by Obama equate to an advantage for Kryzan? What are the factors that will decide this vote one way or another Tuesday?