The Campaign Spot

When Rush Holt Is Only Up 5, We Know It’s a Big Wave Year

I just completed a Ricochet podcast with a heck of an all-star lineup: Rob Long, Peter Robinson, James Lileks, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, and pollster/Fox News contributor Pat Caddell. Caddell said that two weeks ago, he thought the Republican wave had stalled; he now thinks it’s picking up momentum again.

Polls like this in New Jersey make me think he’s right:

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) is in for a close re-election battle, according to a Monmouth University poll released today.

Holt, who has held the seat for 12 years, leads Republican challenger Scott Sipprelle 51 percent to 46 percent in the survey of 630 likely voters.

This is the toughest political climate Holt has faced in a decade. Although he upset a Republican incumbent to win the seat in 1998 and fended off a tough challenge in 2000, the district was changed to include more Democrats. Since 2002, he has won re-election by comfortable margins.

“Comfortable” is an understatement. Holt won 63 percent in 2008, 66 percent in 2006, 59 percent in 2004, and 61 percent in 2002.

Even in a wave year, a guy who’s in a district where Obama won 58 percent to 41 percent shouldn’t be in this much trouble.

Either Scott Sipprelle or Charles Lollar is my new crazy upset special.

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