Anniversary week brings key tests for Obama
By Ben Pershing
A week that will include the one-year anniversary of President Obama's election will also provide two key referendums on his tenure so far -- a trio of off-year contests Tuesday and a House vote to move health-care reform forward a few days later.
In 24 hours, the polls will be open in Virginia, New Jersey and New York's 23rd district, and Republicans and Democrats are already battling to set expectations ahead of a wave of "what does it all mean?" stories Wednesday morning. In New York, Dede Scozzafava's decision to drop out of the House special election (and endorse Democrat Bill Owens) turned the contest upside down, as Republicans raced to embrace Doug Hoffman, grassroots conservatives crowed over their victory and Democrats fretted that their opening to steal a seat may have closed. The Associated Press writes that Scozzafava's move to withdraw "could consolidate Republican voters behind Hoffman and improve the party's chances of retaining the seat, which has been represented by a Republican for more than 100 years." While Scozzafava's conservative backers (the few that there were) shifted their support to Hoffman, labor unions moved to back Owens, the Watertown Daily Times reports. In Washington, Republican leaders quickly coalesced behind Hoffman and pledged to get him a seat on the Armed Services Committee, a key chit in this district. One survey already purports to show Hoffman taking a commanding lead in the race, though polling such a fluid contest over the weekend must have been difficult.
Posted at 8:34 AM ET on Nov 2, 2009
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