Just weeks before election date, GOP parties face off over issues of state
POSTED: Monday, October 11, 2010 - 1:59am
UPDATED: Monday, October 11, 2010 - 8:36am
BOSTON (AP) -- Three weeks from midterm elections, Republicans speaking up for fiscal conservatism are making strong runs at governorships across the Northeast, where some of the nation's bluest states went big for President Barack Obama two years ago.
Democratic incumbents face tough fights in Massachusetts and New Hampshire against Republican challengers, and the GOP is making aggressive bids for open seats in Vermont, Maine and Connecticut.
Democrats say they'll prevail in a region where voters eager for solutions to economic woes will be turned off by the surge of tea party activists and extremists driving the GOP rightward. In states dependent on tourism for jobs, they've cast Republicans as too cozy with developers and polluters.
But Republicans are echoing tea party themes of fiscal responsibility, seeking to tap voter discontent over jobs, the sour economy and government spending. GOP gains in the region on Nov. 2 could bolster Republicans nationally, giving the party a stronger hand in congressional redistricting.