Elliot Ganchrow writes:
In a blog I wrote on the night prior to Election Day, I wrote that people should watch a number of interesting contests including as to whether the Republicans could take back the Nassau County legislature. Not just did the GOP take back the legislature but the voters also threw out the Democratic "rising star" Tom Suozzi, who as Nassau County executive had high hopes to advance to higher office. The defeat of Suozzi and the Democrats in Nassau County, an area which had been voting for Democrats more and more often in recent years, is an example of the voter anger which has been building up against incumbents (and specifically, Democrats) as people do not see the economy and jobs picture improving quickly enough. This voter discontent can now be seen clearly in President Obama's approval rating (an average of 48.8% according to the poll of polls done by RealClearPolitics) and in polls showing longtime Democratic Senators such as Chris Dodd and Harry Reid trailing their potential Republican opponents, Senator Specter (the former Republican) trailing his opponent and Democrats in Delaware, Illinois, Colorado and Arkansas trailing or tied with their Republican opponents. The potential is there for Republicans to do great damage in 2010 to the Democratic majorities in both houses. Last week we even saw Karl Rove raise the question as to whether Republicans could take back the Senate in 2010 (although I think this is still a far-fetched idea). One thing the Republicans will need in the coming weeks if they hope to win big next November is to coalesce around a leader or leaders who can focus the voters on one or two major themes. That figure in 1994 was Newt Gingrich and President Bush through the 2000s. We still await that political leader who will lead the Republicans in the coming months.