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Republicans In Congress Face Defeat in November

August 21, 2008


As Time magazine reports the GOP faces the perfect political storm that will leave Democrats in greater numbers in Congress after the November elections.

For the first time in 20 years, Democrats are mounting serious challenges to at least two of Miami’s three Republican lawmakers, who often run unopposed. A Bendixen & Associates poll released in July shows Martinez, a popular if controversial former mayor of Hialeah, trailing Diaz-Balart by only 4 points. Nearby, local political veteran Joe Garcia sits just 5 points behind three-term incumbent Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln’s younger brother. The unexpected tests spell trouble not just for the GOP but also for what has long been the staple of Miami politics: open hostility to the Castro regime in Havana. “These were once considered the safest Republican seats in Florida, if not the country,” says political analyst Dario Moreno of Miami’s Florida International University (FIU). “But waving the bloody shirt of anti-Castro politics is less effective now.”

And if South Florida is beginning to slip from GOP control, the situation elsewhere may be worse. Republican incumbents in Ohio, Virginia and the Southwest are facing unexpected challenges from Democrats in districts that have been safe for a generation or more. These battles come just two years after the Democrats stunned the GOP with a pickup of 30 congressional seats and took control of the House for the first time since 1994. Republicans have already lost three special elections this year in once secure districts in Illinois, Mississippi and Louisiana, and many political experts believe they could lose an additional 10 to 20 seats in November.

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