Michael Barone

In New Jersey, things are murkier. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine's approval numbers are stuck around 40 percent, but he has used his wealth to pummel Republican Chris Christie with negative ads and hopes that independent Chris Daggett will steal anti-Corzine votes from the Republican. If Corzine wins because he is perceived to be the lesser of three evils, it will hardly be an endorsement of Democratic policies.

The situation in New York 23 is simply bizarre. Local Republican leaders nominated an assemblywoman who has been endorsed by the ACORN-allied Working Families Party and who backs the unions' card check bill. One of the Republicans passed over was nominated by the Conservative Party and has picked up endorsements from Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty. He has raised money on the Internet and from the anti-tax Club for Growth. He's now leading in two polls commissioned by his supporters.

All of which highlights, in exaggerated form, the distrust of tea party protesters for Republican insiders and could result in a plurality for the Democrat. As William Galston points out in his New Republic blog, during Obama's presidency voters have been growing more conservative but remain disdainful of Republicans.

The California 10 results will come in last, and just about everyone will be astonished if the Democrat, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, doesn't win in this San Francisco Bay Area district. But many things are possible in special elections.

Both parties will try to spin the results seven days from now. But one thing seems clear. None of the Democrats seems likely to equal Obama's 2008 percentages in these states or districts. None may even come close. But Republicans may find it difficult to convert the increasing unease with Democratic policies into Republican (or conservative) victories across the board.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM