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Don’t Be Surprised by Election Day Surprises

Shimmy Blum

The Jewish vote may not be as big of a factor in Congressional elections as it is in presidential races, where the winner is determined in the Electoral College and large states with numerous Jewish voters can swing a close race. Nevertheless it may end up as a key factor in at least one state, which could help determine whether the Senate remains under Democratic control or swings over to the Republicans.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

election

However you slice the pie, there is much at stake next Tuesday on Election Day. The entire House of Representatives, more than one-third of the Senate, and 37 governorships, along with many other statewide and local races, are up for grabs. A strong or stronger-than-expected showing by either party will undoubtedly be read as a voter mandate that will shape US policy for at least another two years, until the 2012 presidential race.

Republicans are widely expected to gain a net handful of governorships, which will be particularly consequential for the 2011 redistricting process. The boundaries of Congressional districts are redrawn every ten years following the census to reflect population changes. Such shifts can throw entire communities into new Congressional districts, and can increase or reduce the number of representatives a state sends to Washington — and ultimately, the number of that state’s Electoral College votes.

However, none of this will begin to unfold until next year. In the meantime, all eyes are on the House and Senate, where each seat has direct national implications. Predictions that Republicans will gain 40 or more seats in the House are now virtually templates among political pundits, a likelihood that even many Democrats privately concede.

It could become a political bloodbath for the Democrats. A recent analysis by Politico concluded that 99 Democratic House seats are in danger of flipping to Republicans, including 29 out of the 38 Democratic freshmen. Another veteran independent pundit, Stuart Rothenberg, openly called a GOP gain of 60 seats a realistic possibility. In contrast, only a handful of Republican seats are considered in danger.

 

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