Charlie Cook reviews the NY-20 election

Charlie Cook at National Journal:

If Republicans manage to win this special election, then go on this fall to defeat embattled Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey and also capture Virginia’s open governorship, we analysts will be able to legitimately say that the GOP has begun to exorcise the demons that plagued it in 2006 and 2008.

On the other hand, if Democrats hang on to their precarious lead in New York’s 20th and manage to retain both the New Jersey and Virginia governorships, that would be a good omen for their party in terms of its ability to retain many of the seats it captured from the GOP in 2006 and 2008. Keep in mind that since 1977, the party winning or holding the White House in the preceding election has always lost the Virginia gubernatorial race the next year.

No individual race tells us much about the political future. But if three contests end up much the same way, that’s a pattern worth noting.

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