November 3rd, 2009
04:51 PM ET

Ten races worth watching around country – and why they matter

Program Note: Don't miss our special election coverage tonight, starting at 8 p.m. ET. And tune in to AC360° as we drill down on the politics of these key races and why they matter. 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/23/art.hoffman.cnn.jpg caption="In New York's 23rd Congressional District race, Republican Dede Scozzafava endorsed a Democrat instead of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, pictured."]

CNN's Political Unit

Tuesday's off-year election might not have the high stakes of the 2008 presidential election, but there are several significant races worth watching:

• New York's 23rd Congressional District

Why it matters: A conservative backlash against a moderate Republican candidate propelled this race into national headlines as proof of an ongoing family feud between the far right and moderates for control of the party.

What's the story?: Local Republican leaders picked Dede Scozzafava because of her appeal to centrist Republicans, independents and even some Democrats. But it sparked a conservative revolt, and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman outpolled Scozzafava, forcing her to withdraw. Scozzafava has since endorsed Democrat Bill Owens.

New York district bares fight for GOP's soul

Biden stumps for Owens, takes shot at Palin

WWNY: Biden asks Republicans to cross over

• Virginia Governor

Why it matters: This race is seen as an early referendum on voters' attitudes toward President Obama and his policies and an opportunity for Republicans to turn back recent Democratic gains.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    I hope Hoffman loses simply because he was not the person chosen by the local Republican politicians in the 23rd district as the main reason, and the second reason why Hoffman got support from the RNC was her positions on what "politically" and "constitutionally" are not political issues as such but religious based and that is supposed to be constitutionally separate, evidently the RNC still do not think so.

    November 4, 2009 at 4:13 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    Seems like most of the races are social issues and that the few that are for a political office are not high enough on the hierarchy of elected offices to really compare who wins there with what it says about Obama – next year will be the year to watch. There should be quite a statement by then and it will be interesting to see if the people referred to as tea partiers right now will wind up as leading the majority or just a very loud minority.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm |