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Something To Keep In Mind Tonight

02 November 2010 @ 09:56

I think Stacy McCain nails it in his latest report over at The American Spectator:

…If [Republicans] want to learn whether their party wins a majority in the House of Representatives, however, they’d better be prepared to stay up past midnight.

Gallup, Rasmussen and other pollsters are now reporting “generic ballot” numbers at historic highs for the GOP, but many of the most hotly contested House races Tuesday are likely to be decided by narrow margins. No matter how great the advantage for Republicans nationwide, all politics is local and congressional elections are not generic. Each House district has its own candidates, its own demographics, its own controversies and, especially in highly competitive campaigns, its own attack ads.

Consider Florida’s 22nd District near Palm Beach. It was held by Republican Rep. Clay Shaw until 2006, when Shaw was narrowly defeated by Democrat lawyer Ron Klein. Two years ago, Allen West lost an underfunded challenge to Klein (see “Colonel of Truth,” TAS, June 20, 2008) but this year, West has become a GOP superstar, raising more than $5 million for his rematch with Klein. The Democrat incumbent has answered the challenge by spending nearly $5 million of his own, augmented by even more spending from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Much of that money has gone for TV attack ads depicting West as a shady extremist. A week ago, the DCCC unleashed a new ad that accused West, an avid motorcyclist, of associating with the Outlaws gang. “Drugs. Prostitution. Murder — that’s who Allen West rides with,” the ad says.

Before that latest attack hit the airwaves, polls had shown West leading Klein, and the Republican is still favored to win, but it’s probably going to be very close. And the closer the outcome, the more likely that the vote count will continue late into the night before TV networks feel safe declaring a winner.

Similar situations exist in dozens of other competitive districts across the country, so that however unpopular the Democrat incumbent may be, the Republican challenger is fighting a headwind of attack ads. In many of those districts, the final margin will be a matter of one or two percentage points — perhaps just a few hundred votes — and it is unlikely a winner will be declared before midnight.

Stacy has also filed an addendum to his TAS report.

As Instapundit puts it: ‘Don’t get cocky’ [Bob: Leave that to Bwaney Fwank].

And, if the incidents of reported voter fraud are high in number, well…hello 2000.

‘Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!’

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