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Democrats facing Terrible Tuesday, polls say. So Biden heads to NY23 in last-minute rescue mission

November 2, 2009 |  7:00 am

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie campaigns in New Jersey in June 2009

It's looking like a dark day for Democrats tomorrow.

In the Virginia gubernatorial race, polls suggest Republican Bob McDonnell is poised for a rout.

And even in New Jersey, even with a not-exactly-photogenic Republican candidate Chris Christie (the overweight pol is seen above shaking hands with voters in June) and a last-minute appeal from the ever-photo-ready, stylishly-svelte President Obama, incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine is behind in the polls.

So, suddenly, Democrats are looking for hope in a New York congressional district so far north that it abuts Canada. There, a Republican family feud spurred by conservative ideologues could provide the party's only good news of the day.

Even that is a long shot -- the latest Public Policy Polling survey has conservative Doug Hoffman winning over Democrat Bill Owens by 17 points. And that's after Tea Party activists forced Dede Scozzafavo out of the race, prompting the Republican assemblywoman -- with a push from the White House -- to endorse Owens. So the Obama administration is dispatching Vice President Biden to stump for Owens today.

You can tell things are not looking good because Democrats are talking about how worrisome a Hoffman victory would be for the Republican Party. Take a listen to James Carville, waxing nostalgic for the "big tent" Republican Party. If you're not a Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin kind of Republican, he said, then conservative activists are "going to primary you."

The Republican Party seems to be going through some kind of purge, returning to its roots as an anti-tax, anti-spending, anti-government movement, with litmus tests for abortion and gay marriage. The Carville thesis is that if the GOP goes Right, it is doomed from winning national elections in the future.

Small comfort if Democrats lose the trifecta on Tuesday.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images North America