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The Washington Post uses the Jim Gerlach, Lois Murphy race in Pennsylvania's 6th district to illustrate the difficulties the GOP is having in the North East:

Last week's defeat of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut moderate who has supported the Iraq war, in the Democratic primary gave Republicans a vivid look at some of the same angry currents likely to buffet them this fall. A Washington-Post ABC News poll this month found Bush's approval rating at 28 percent in the Northeast -- 12 points below his national average. The Republican Congress fared no better.

Republican losses in the region could echo well beyond the 2006 campaign. Because much of the region is tilting Democratic, history suggests Republicans would find it hard to recapture seats once lost.


Before the 1994 elections, when Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 40 years, Democrats held dozens of Southern districts in which the electorate had been gradually growing more conservative. That year, Republicans picked up 20 of those Southern seats, including several held by Democratic incumbents who -- like Northeast Republicans today -- tried to distance themselves from an unpopular White House and Congress controlled by their party.
As evidence, the Post points to four races in Pennsylvania, Santorum's seat, and the sixth, seventh, and eighth Districts for the House of Representatives, three House races in Connecticut, the second, fourth and fifth Districts, and New York's 24th district.

Each of these races has a strong Democratic candidate facing off against a seemingly weakened Republican incumbent (the race in New York is for an open seat vacated by a Republican.)

The analysis, that once lost, these seats will remain Democratic, is encouraging even if I don't completely believe it. Yes, some of these seats will be safe Democratic seats. The suburbs of Philly are trending blue. At least one of Pennsylvania's senators should be Democratic at any one time. Should Casey win, the Pennsylvania contingent in the senate, a moderate Republican and a centrist Democrat would be a fairly accurate representation of the population of the state. But not all of these seats will stay Democratic. The forces in this election won't be present down the road. To much of the 'back woods' of the North East is very conservative. Yes, the majority of the population is Liberal, but it's concentrated around the major population centers.

We should be glad to have the pick-ups this election cycle but it would be foolish to think that they will some how magically turn into 'safe' seats for Democrats simply because we finally kicked out the Republicans. These seats will remain competitive seats, ones that we can win but ones we can't ignore because we could just as easily lose, for the near future.

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