Since Barack Obama's sweeping victory last November, the Republican Party has been low on Hope. But polls showing its candidates running far ahead of Democrats in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races gave them an unanticipated dose of it. In the Garden State, Republican Chris Christie is beating Democratic governor Jon Corzine (D) by 14 points in a Monmouth University poll. In Old Dominion, the GOP's Bob McDonnell is leading Democrat Creigh Deeds for an open seat by the same amount in a survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm.
- Rallying Republicans in Virginia: Eric Kleefeld of TalkingPointsMemo highlighted the PPP polls finding that Republicans are more enthsuaistic than Democrats. Moe Lane at Redstate said this is because Deeds won the nomination by simply "not being" his primary opponents, which leaves Democrats feeling little love for him. Hotline On Call notes that Deeds said he might use "Birthers" who deny Barack Obama's American citizenship to paint Republicans as crazy and reenergize his party.
- The Corzine-Obama Connection: Kleefeld posts a new Gov. Corzine video featuring Obama that is "clearly aiming to tap into this state's fundamentally Democratic leanings, and to leverage Obama's popularity towards getting his positive pitch across." Conservative blogger TigerHawk says Obama needs Corzine to come back to forestall bloodshed for Democrats nationally. If Christie's lead holds through Labor Day it will sound an alarm for Democrats across the country and you can "expect the Obamans to try to ram everything through Congress by the end of October" because they'll be losing one of their strongest states. PolitickerNJ.com reports that an internal Corzine poll has him trailing Christie by eight points.