State by state with NBC's Chuck Todd

The network's political director surveys all 50 states for races and trends to watch. Here's what he sees in the Northwest.
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The network's political director surveys all 50 states for races and trends to watch. Here's what he sees in the Northwest.

NBC Political Director Chuck Todd has posted a detailed state-by-state analysis of presidential and local races and how they affect one another.

Highlights from the Northwest:

Washington: Looking for a bright spot on E-night for the GOP? It could be in this state's governor's race, where Republican Dino Rossi is hoping to revenge his close '04 loss to Christine Gregoire. Right now, Gregoire is trying to ride Obama's coattails to victory; it could very well be enough. Tip: Democrats are worried they won't be able to win a House seat that on paper should be theirs in a year like this, the 8th District.

Oregon: Remember when Oregon was a swing state in '00? No longer. Obama is simply dominating the state and because of his strength, he may drag a Democratic senate candidate across the finish line. Republican Sen. Gordon Smith has done everything he could to stop the Democratic momentum but looks like he may come up just short. If there is a potential bright spot for the GOP, it could be that they come close to picking off the open 5th District. They probably won't, but it's a district they should be competitive in if they ever want to be a majority party again.

Idaho: The problems for the GOP have even spread to this normally rock-ribbed Republican state. Most House race bean counters have already assumed Democrats will knock off Republican Bill Sali. Could a Sali loss, combined with a couple of Club for Growth-supported incumbent losses in Michigan and Maryland lead to an internal fight inside the Republican Party over the power of that group in certain Republican primaries? It looks to me like the Club is seeing a lot of its conservative success stories struggling to hold seats that a Republican shouldn't have trouble keeping.

Alaska: Before John McCain picked Sarah Palin, I used to say, "As Alaska goes, so goes the landslide." My reasoning had everything to do with the battering the state's two longtime Republican congressional leaders — Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young — were taking in the press and in the courts. The sour mood among Republicans inside the state seemed to be doing enough damage that Obama would be competitive with McCain in the state.

Montana: The Republican Party here has been devastated, leaving Obama with a reasonable chance of carrying the state. Republicans have very little reason to go to the polls in Montana outside of the presidential race. There's not a good ground game in the state for the GOP, as it is hard to motivate voters for a gadfly Senate nominee and a gubernatorial candidate who has no shot at knocking off the popular incumbent, Democrat Brian Schweitzer.


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