He predicts that Deeds will lose by 7 to 8 points and it will bring down some of the close races. Overall, if Lowell's analysis holds, we will still keep some seats and maybe have a few pick ups. But there could be some upsets for Democratic incumbents in districts where Republicans are out spending them. Two districts in particular are worrisome, the 34th, where incumbent Margi Vanerhye faces a very well-funded rightwing extremist, Barbara Comestock. Here, Lowell predicts that Margi will pull it out, though narrowly. Another worrisome spot is the 42nd, where Dave Albo has the cash-on-hand advantage. But Albo also is the one delegate most associated with the hated abusive driver fees from 2007. And Greg Werkheiser lost to Albo by only 4 points in 2005. Still, Werkheiser took the 2007 cycle off and you can't count on anger from two years ago still being that strong. Fact is it has probably dissipated, so Lowell puts this as "slight lean for Albo." But he also says "hang on..."
On a brighter note, Lowell also predicts Mark Keam will beat Jim Hyland in the 35th. Keam has run a strong campaign and has a cash-on-hand advantage here. And he remains optimistic about Scott Surovell who has run a very strong campaign in the 44th. That's a Democratic stronghold and Lowell rates it "likely Democratic retention."
Here is Lowell's overall prediction for this year's election cycle:
To sum up: I see a likely Democratic pickup in the 52nd (Torian), a pretty good shot in the 93rd (Abbott), a possible shot in the 86th (Miller), and a longer shot in the 13th (John Bell). On the other hand, I see possible Democratic losses in the 83rd (Bouchard), possibly even the 34th (Vanderhye), the 51st (Nichols), and/or the 67th (Caputo). On balance, it's looking like a wash on election day, maybe +1 or +2 in either direction, but probably more likely +1 or +2 in the Republican direction if Deeds loses to McDonnell by more than a few points.I pretty much agree with Lowell. Indeed, I would make an argument that Lowell is being optimistic about our chances.
I'd love it to be different. I know so would Lowell. And I'd love to disagree with him and keep spinning it differently. But at some point, even while continuing to push for progressive change and supporting Democratic candidates as much as I can, as a blogger, I have an obligation - as does Lowell, Ben and every other blogger, to tell our readers the truth and to give them our best, honest analysis of a situation, regardless of how much we dislike that reality.
Bloggers are a hybrid. We are part journalist and part political activists and sometimes those two sides come into conflict. But one thing we should always be is truth tellers. And the truth, sad as it is, is that this is probably not our year. But I've been wrong before.
The best I can honestly offer, however, is that if we don't still get out and work our tails off, it will be much worse. The blow out will be bigger and the losses in the HOD will be bigger. Sometimes you just do damage control and live to fight another day.