Magazine article Insight on the News

Democratic Incumbents Need Some Divine Intervention

Magazine article Insight on the News

Democratic Incumbents Need Some Divine Intervention

Article excerpt

The close of the primary season left political observers a bit stunned. The congressional realignment Republicans have predicted for 15 years really might happen.

Witness these poll results: In Massachusetts, Sen. Ted Kennedy is running neck and neck with challenger Mitt Romney. On the other side of the country, House Speaker Tom Foley of Washington trails Republican challenger George Nethercutt by 19 points -- with less than seven weeks to go until the Nov. 8 elections.

Nethercutt, an attorney and former chairman of the Spokane County Republican Party, is favored by 58 percent of voters, compared with 39 percent for Foley, according to a poll conducted for a Spokane television station. Foley, a 15-term incumbent, faces the possibility of becoming the first House speaker since 1860 to be turned out. Foley has been criticized in his district for his role in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Washington state's term-limit initiative, as well as for his support of gun-control legislation.

In Maryland, Republican Ellen Sauerbrey, minority leader of the state House of Representatives, is in a dead heat with Democrat Parris Glendening for the governor's mansion. Glendening has 48 percent of the votes; Sauerbrey has 47 percent, according to a poll by a Baltimore television station. Sauerbrey, an outspoken conservative and tax cutter, was the surprise winner in the primary over Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, a favorite of Maryland GOP officials and the Baltimore business establishment.

Of course, Democrats aren't taking this lying down. …

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