Analysts looking ahead to the November 2010 election are sounding an alarm bell for Democrats looking to keep or add to their hold on Congress. With nationwide unemployment standing at 9.8 percent and likely to go higher, the notion that the recession has lifted may not sit well with voters as they weigh in on the party in power. — JCL


The key number in next year’s U.S. congressional election may be the unemployment rate, which last month hit a 26-year high of 9.8 percent.

The figure helps explains why creating jobs is a top priority in the Democratic-led Congress where lawmakers know their own jobs are at stake if they fail to deliver.

Democrats will get an early whiff of whether they are being blamed for the economy on Tuesday, when voters go to the polls to elect governors of New Jersey and Virginia and a congressman in a conservative-leaning New York district bordering Canada.

In next year’s election, the Democrats face a head wind. The party in power typically loses seats in the election after a new president — in this case Barack Obama — takes office.

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