This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," October 30, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," as candidates make their final campaign push, a look at the most important races and why they matter, and some sleepers to watch for.
Plus, lessons from the campaign. Our panels take on what's really driving voter anger and their picks for the best and of course the worst moment of the election season.
Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
Candidates across the country are using this final weekend before the election to shore up support and garner last minute votes. And while some high-profile races still remain too close to call, some clear trends are emerging this midterm campaign.
Fox News's own Michael Barone is here to break it down. He's the senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner and frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and co-author of "The Almanac of American Politics."
Michael, good to have you back here.
MICHAEL BARONE, WASHINGTON EXAMINER & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's good to be with you, Paul.
GIGOT: All right, a weekend before the election and we likely to see a big a wave, anti-incumbent wave as some people are predicting?
BARONE: well, Paul, just about all the indicator that I've seen indicates a wave more substantial than we what saw, for example, in 1994 when the Republicans picked up the 52 seats. We've got the, you know, the generic ballot question, which party's candidate will you vote for House of Representatives. The average recent polls in realclearpolitics.com shows Republicans ahead by seven points. If you go back, Gallup has been asking that since 1942. And during that time, I believe that Republicans haven't been ahead by four points and now averaging 17 points ahead, 14 points in Gallup's likely voter low-turnout model. So we see—
GIGOT: It sounds like it really could be extraordinary. When you and I talked about a month ago, you know, we talked about how the Midwest, the upper Midwest, going into the Mid-Atlantic, was an area where Republicans hadn't done well in recent elections, but were making a comeback. Is that trend still holding?
BARONE: Yes, that trend seems to be holding and what we're seeing here is that that in the industrial heartland, blue collar America historically trends towards the Democrats in times of economic distress. We saw that in recessional year elections in 1958, 1970, 1982. That area seems to be trending toward the Republicans.
You know, for some years I've been anticipating that the potential rise in high income — income tax rates on high earners would move the high income towards Republicans, when the Bush tax cuts expired, as they do at the end of this year. What we're seeing is not so much that. We're seeing more, the middle income, the blue collar areas, support for the Democratic programs is just collapsing. The Obama Democrats thought they were going to be giving these people $400 tax rebates in the stimulus package. They would be giving them health care. And they would be grateful if Mr. Obama with his — he told Joe the plumber, spread the wealth around. It doesn't seem to be having that effect at all. Quite the contrary.
GIGOT: One of the states I've been looking at with fascination is Pennsylvania because that has been a swing state before, but it has trended very much Democratic as of late. Yet the Republicans could pick up the Senate seat there, the governorship there and even as many as five House seats. What's going on in Pennsylvania? I'm thinking particularly those collar counties around Philadelphia, which have trended Democratic. But have — looked like they could throw out Democratic incumbents?
BARONE: Well, the suburban counties around Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, from the middle 90s to 2008, were trending Democratic. I think part of that was the cultural issues, the sense that the Republican Party was tied to southern Christian conservatives. And that was out of line with the more liberal views of suburbanites there.
I think that one of the things that's happened in the past two years is that those cultural issues have been brushed aside. We have what Governor Mitch Daniels described as a true culture war. Some people, cultural conservatives and cultural liberals don't like that, but the voters are focusing on something else besides the scope of government, so we've seen some move back toward the Republicans in the Philadelphia suburbs. They've got a good chance to pick up the 8th Congressional district in Bucks County, northeast of Philadelphia. They've got a chance at picking up the seat, the 7th district seat, close-in suburbs with increasing black population that had been held by Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate candidate.
BARONE: So that's been happening there. At the same time, Paul, in Pennsylvania what we've been seeing is that in the blue collar industrial areas, the old country in northeast, Pennsylvania, we see Paul Kanjorski who's been in the Congress a long time, the number two on the banking committee and played a role in that financial regulation, he seems to be running behind his Lou Barletta, who's run against him before, hasn't succeeded. This year, it seems like Mr. Kanjorski's luck may have run out.
GIGOT: And those are those blue collar voters, working class voters you were talking about earlier up in the Northeastern Pennsylvania.