Democrats in Trouble in Maryland and New Jersey


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Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 11:00am

Democrats in Trouble in Maryland and New Jersey

While the Democrats are attempting to pick up six of the seven competitive Republican-held Senate seats, they risk losing two of their own in Maryland and New Jersey.  In Maryland, Ben Cardin (D) is running neck and neck with Michael Steele (R).  Steele has pulled ahead in one poll, but Cardin is hanging on to an average lead of 3.7%.  In New Jersey, Robert Menendez (D) is battling it out with Thomas Kean, Jr. (R).  Kean is ahead by an average of 4.0% and leads in all of them.


   The left should be able to hold Maryland, but New Jersey looks like it may go to the GOP.  New Jersey is a blue state, but the Democrats have had scandal after scandal in the state.  The public is growing weary of the corruption.  If the Democrats lose either one of these races, they would have to take all seven of the competitive Republican seats to take control of the Senate.  That is highly unlikely.


With Bush's approval over 40%, there is less contempt for the Republicans than there was only a few months ago.  The best prediction right now is that the Democrats pick up five of the seven Republican held seats (PA, RI, MT, OH, MO), but lose New Jersey.  That would give them a net gain of four seats and the Republicans would still control the Senate by a 51-49 margin.


The national Democrats need to start attacking if they are to have any shot of regaining control.  They must emphasize that voting for a Republican will mean Republican leadership in the Senate and House.  For example, many people voting in blue state Rhode Island do not understand that even though Lincoln Chafee is a liberal, he will vote for Republican leadership.  If Democrats can get voters to understand that, they may be able to hold New Jersey and capture Virginia.


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