The world is coming to an end 

That’s one thought that’s probably going through the head of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen as he receives the latest polling numbers from districts Democrats thought would never be competitive. Examples:

  • SurveyUSA has Republican Andy Vidak up over Democratic incumbent Jim Costa 52%-42% in California 20. Obama carried this district with a 67% Hispanic population by a 60%-39% margin.
  • A Monmouth University poll has Republican Jon Runyan leading Democratic incumbent John Adler 48%-43% in New Jersey 3. This is a suburban and exurban area in South Jersey which Chris Christie carried in 2009 after voting 52%-47% for Barack Obama in 2008.
  • A Monmouth University poll shows Democratic incumbent Frank Pallone leading tea party Republican Anna Little by only 52%-45%. Pallone is Chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. She seems to be leading by a wide margin in the Monmouth County portion of the district, which voted for Chris Christie. No report on how she’s doing in Edison Township in Middlesex County, which has the highest percentage of residents born in India of any American municipality—and which despite its Democratic leanings also voted for Christie in 2009. New Jersey 6 was designed to be a safe Democratic district and voted 60%-38% for Barack Obama in 2008.
  • Siena has Republican Chris Gibson leading Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy 50%-41% in New York 20. This is the district that was represented by Kirsten Gillibrand before she was appointed to the Senate and in which Murphy won a special election victory over state legislator Jim Tedisco to replace her.  Obama carried the district 51%-49%.
  • SurveyUSA finds Republican Morgan Griffith leading 28-year Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher 47%-46% in Virginia 9. This is the first time any poll has shown Griffith ahead, and it should be noted that SurveyUSA has been produced Republican-leaning results this year. Boucher has been working hard to justify his vote for the House cap-and-trade bill (he says he was able as an Energy and Commerce subcommittee chairman to influence its contents) in a district that voted 59%-40% for John McCain.

These are just polls, not predictions; some of them may be wrong; and by definition they can’t take into account events of the last week of campaigning. But gee whiz, they sure aren’t what Democrats want to see.

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Michael Barone

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