Just Like That Old Police Song?
11-10-2009
You may have seen this piece at Politico.com earlier today, in which the race for New Hampshire’s first district Congressional seat, currently occupied by Carol Shea-Porter, is once again identified as one of the most interesting contests to watch for 2010. When the adjective interesting is used in this context, it usually refers to the potential for the seat to change parties in the next election.
 
I must say that I actually find this particular race to be less interesting than it might have once been. My sense is that Shea-Porter is no longer as vulnerable as the longstanding journalistic meme suggests, and I say this as someone who has not exactly been a huge booster for her in the past. Both in terms of campaigning and fundraising, Republican challenger Mayor Frank Guinta has yet to live up to the rising star status conferred on him by the National Republican Congressional Committee earlier this year. He still has time to make the contest more interesting, but he will need to step up his game considerably in the next year.
 
The Politico piece ends by comparing Shea-Porter to a canary in the coal mine, an apparent reference to her potential as a test case for whether a genuine Democratic realignment has taken place over the past two election cycles, and/or whether the tea baggers’ wrath over health care reform will be sufficient to drive those Democrats who benefited from office. Perhaps, but I think the Shea-Porter health care angle has been overdone, and is in part a creation of Politico reporting, itself. And, while political observers here will be interested to see just how permanent New Hampshire’s new blueness is, that is probably less true for the Shea-Porter race than for either of the open-seat contests in the state, where no one has the built-in advantage of incumbency.


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