The cake isn’t baked yet on the 2010 congressional elections, but it’s getting there. Gallup reports President Obama’s approval rating for September was 45 percent, one tick better than August’s 44 percent. Historically, when a president is below 50 percent approval it’s a storm warning for his party in Congress. In the House, a switch of 39 seats would give Republicans the majority. In the Senate the number is 10. Democrats from Vice President Joe Biden on down have been guaranteeing they’ll hold both their majorities in less than a month. You’ve gotta question Biden’s handicapping, at least in the House. People who get paid to produce forecasts think the GOP will get the 39 and might not look back until they’ve hit 45, 55 or even more. Dick Morris says 100 seats are in play. Crazy.
One case in point. In Northern Virginia, freshman Democrat Gerry Connolly is in a rematch with his 2008 opponent, Republican Keith Fimian. The only recent public poll shows Fimian ahead by about five points. Here’s the concern: Connolly’s district is flush with federal workers, who for some reason tend to vote for the party of big government (Democrats). If Connolly is lagging at this point it suggests bad things for Democrats on Nov. 2. Connolly has tried to distance himself from polarizing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying all of the Bush-era tax cuts should be extended for now. But he voted for Obamacare and surely would vote to keep Pelosi as speaker. So watch the Connolly-Fimian tilt. If the Republican wins, it could signal a GOP wave that’s going to wash away a lot of Democrats.