The Boston Globe reports that the GOP is hoping to take its win in New Jersey and use it to build momentum going further north, aiming at the governorships of New England states, including the Democratic bastion of Massachusetts. This isn’t as far-fetched as the casual observer might think. Don’t forget, economic conservatives like Mitt Romney and William Weld won the governor’s mansion in the Bay State. Overall though, the prospect of Republican takeovers here doesn’t exactly set my heart aflutter. New England Republicans tend to be of the country-club outlook that sneers at populism, both economic and social, and while they aren’t always wrong, they aren’t the answer either. The proper answer to the crisis of politics in Massachusetts in general and New England in particular, is the rejuvenation of traditional Democrats at the grass-roots.
Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics has done an in-depth statistical study on the correlation of the economy and the results of the mid-term elections. Interesting data, and I like that Trende shows that it’s not always as cut-and-dried as the pundit class makes it out to be. Nevertheless, the bottom line is this—the Democrats are in a rough ride in 2010, and the fact they hold so many seats in “red territory” inevitably suggested regression to the mean. The sagging economy probably means ’10 is the year that such regression occurs.
Lou Dobbs is getting serious about a possible run for the Senate in New Jersey against Democrat Robert Menendez, and using that seat as a stepping stone to the White House. Because of Dobbs’ stance on trade policy, count me as an enthusiastic supporter. The question remains of whether he should file as a Republican or go independent. I believe the answer is clearly the latter. He has the name recognition to not be dependent on a party. And his strong defense of economic policies that benefit the average American would make him anathema to the GOP’s Wall Street Politburo, just as happened to Pat Buchanan in 1996.