The Corner

Still the One?

A soft-rocking Democrat faces a tough race in New York:

John Hall — once the bare-chested guitarist for the 1970s band Orleans and the only rock musician ever elected to Congress as a Democrat — was asked whether his entertainment background helped inoculate him from the anti-incumbent frenzy sweeping the nation. “Somewhat,” he said, pausing to contemplate my question. “But now that I’ve been in Congress for three-and-a-half years, some people say that I’ve gone Washington.”

Republicans smell blood:

This year, the national Republican Party has enthusiastically embraced first-time candidate Nan Hayworth, a 50-year-old Princeton-educated ophthalmologist who has raised more than $700,000 and loaned her campaign an additional $500,000. As a result of Hayworth’s partial self-funding, Hall, who had collected $1.1 million by the end of June, concedes, “Ever since she got into this race, I expected to be outspent.”

New York’s 19th district – where both campaigns say that their private polls show the race as deadlocked – provides an intriguing test case of whether Republicans can again win House races in the northeast. Currently, there are just two GOP congressmen in New York and New England combined. “There are some districts in New England and New York that we’ll never get back,” concedes Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee, the official arm of the House GOP. But there are also some 2006 wave babies like John Hall and Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire that the pendulum is running against.”

More here.

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