The First Draft: off-year election day could spell trouble for Obama
It’s been a year since Americans have gone to the polls, but as they do on Tuesday President Barack Obama may be less excited than he was last year, particularly in Virginia and New Jersey where his fellow Democrats are facing trouble.
Republicans are hoping to capture the governors’ mansions in those two states to rebuild some momentum after being trounced by Democrats last year. They also are trying to make it a referendum against Obama’s agenda to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system and financial regulatory structure as well as his plans to address climate change.
In Virginia where Obama won narrowly in 2008, Republican Bob McDonnell has built a sizable lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds while in traditionally Democratic-leaning New Jersey Republican Chris Christie is neck and neck with Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine.
Obama has campaigned for both of his fellow Democrats but that may not be enough for them to win.
While Republicans are salivating at their prospects in those two races, Democrats are eyeing a congressional race in upstate New York to replace a Republican lawmaker who became Obama’s Army secretary. Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman was barely ahead of Democrat Bill Owens in the traditionally Republican district.
After tremendous infighting, the Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, withdrew from the race and endorsed the Democrat, highlighting the rift between moderates and the conservatives of the Republican party.
Elsewhere, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Markets Committee begins a two-day meeting this morning to discuss interest rate policy and whether the U.S. economy is starting to build its own momentum towards a recovery.
And the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will begin working on a climate change bill, but unhappy Republicans are threatening to boycott the session.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Obama returns from a campaign trip to New Jersey)