In March, I wrote about the GOP opportunities that follow from the conviction of South Philly machine Democratic State Senator Vincent Fumo. The recent news of Democratic corruption out of New Jersey (mayors, rabbis, and body-parts, oh my!) and the emerging consensus that this fundamentally damages Jon Corzine’s already difficult re-election, when combined with outrage at farcically light sentencing creates real opportunities for Republicans.
Let’s go over the facts and see how much this helps Pennsylvania Republicans in 2010:
1. Pat Meehan, one of the Republican candidates for Governor got the initial indictments against Fumo. Tom Corbett, the other one, has his own story to tell about indicting Fumo and his operation. If Chris Christie ends up winning in New Jersey, there will be a ready-made media narrative comparing New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
2. That narrative will be a little emphasized because southern New Jersey is almost entirely in the Philadelphia media market. It will be non-national political news relevant to both parts of the the Philly media market.
3. Corruption is the sort of thing that suppresses Democrat-leaning independent turnout in formerly Republican suburbs in Bucks and Montgomery countes, and, to a lesser extent, in Chester and Delaware counties. And the South Philly turnout operation that Fumo was so effective at selling is probably somewhat reduced in effectiveness. Democrats can’t win statewide without huge margins out of southeast Pennsylvania. You couldn’t build a better script for reducing those margins.
Grab the popcorn. This will be fun to watch.