Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Are Republicans Misreading 2009 Elections?

The GOP is celebrating two big gubernatorial wins in Virginia and New Jersey today. The defeat of incumbent New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was a particularly big win for the party. Once a swing state, New Jersey has become one of the bluest of blue states over the years. Virginia, too, has been trending Democratic, although it remains a competitive state for both parties. Obama carried both states last year. I don't read either the New Jersey or the Virginia election results as a rejection of Obama. There were plenty of local issues at play in these races. In the one race where Obama's policies were clearly at issue, New York's special election in District 23, a Democrat won a district in upstate New York that has been represented by a Republican in Congress for nearly a century. Imagine a Democrat winning Indiana's 5th District. That's what happened in this race. The Republican candidate dropped her campaign this past weekened after many major Republicans endorsed the Conservative third party candidate, Doug Hoffman, and endorsed her Democratic opponent. Democrat Bill Owen won the seat vacated by Republican John McHugh. In another special election in California, the Democrats easily retained a Democratic seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher. The only thing I take from this year's election is that Democrats are on the path to retain their incredibly large majorities in Congress next year.


patriot paul said...

Yes, AI, you've reached the cold hard reality about the congressional count.
I also think that the conservative Christian in Va. who won, along with the NJ. win, sent a message that conservatism is not dead. Even the unknown Tea Party conservative in the bizarre NY district, while losing, gave notice that the Rs. too will be rejected if they don't return to founding values. Maine rejected gay marriage. There is an anti-incumbent conservative mood and it doesn't much matter what letter comes after the party.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Politics proves the physics principle that for every action there is a reaction. Obama and Ds win big in 2008, Republicans do well in the 2009 and 2010 elections. That pattern has been repeated time and time again.

If Republicans want to go beyond the natural bounce back elections they need a more coherent message than is currently the case.

I agree that the D's will maintain their majorities in Congress after the 2010 election. Those majorities are too big to overcome in one election. But the majorities will certainly be narrowed.

Unknown said...

I lost faith in my Republican party when they started acting EXACTLY like democrats.
You can no longer tell them apart without a program.
They are full of excuses, but not ideas...or IDEALS.

swan said...

Exactly right, Roger. Ideas, is what Jesse Ventura say allowed him to win the governorship of Minnesota, although he only used $300,000 to campaign. I am eager to watch his new television show, on conspiracies, soon to air.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Okay, Swan, I heard Jesse Ventura yesterday talk about the "far-right" conservatives who won yesterday. He uses "far-right" whenever he mentions any Republicans. He doesn't have a lot of credibility in my book.

Roger, you must hate the local Republicans then. It's really hard to distinguish what Ballard is now doing from what Peterson did.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The Republican in NJ appears to be a fiscal spending liberal. One who knows government can just keep heaping taxes on people, but likely has more liberal views on other issues.

I might be wrong on a few counts, but I know he favors assault weapons bans for law abiding least I read that on-line. If that is still true, that is enough for me to call him a Democrat.

His website appears to show he is big into renewable energy...a few comments about solar power. Nothing about abortion, the death penalty, healthcare, etc..

Anonymous said...

Roger, you must hate the local Republicans then. It's really hard to distinguish what Ballard is now doing from what Peterson did.

I can't stand any Republican who gets into government to "do stuff." The is half the problem, that they actually want to work. A loud minority, or maybe even a small majority, still the pot till they get things going. The smoking ban is one of them. They are not happy with the current proposal. So a few people want to control others so them, and/or their kids, can go to the more mainstream bars/clubs without smoking. They could careless about the smaller dive bars that will likely lose business, it is all about "me, myself, and I."

I know there is always something to do, but it seems more and more politicians run on things that they want to do. Instead, they should run to do the job, and tell people that when a good majority of their constitutes are saying the same thing..that is the time to act.

Instead, we have politicians taking action on silly things like smoking bans, people holding signs at intersections, etc..

M Theory said...

I lost faith in the Republican party when my Republican governor ran for office claiming to have not raised taxes when we had a 17% sales tax increase.

Jon E. Easter said...

We are in rare agreement on the results. I just posted a similar take before reading your blog post. I think you are right on target here, but I don't think it necessarily carries over to 2010 just yet.

Ryan Biddulph said...

I think that they are. This election was about changing conditions in the states. Obama did not cause NJ to be in its current state; NJ politicians, from the governor down, caused this. Obama's appearances were meant to sway but they didn't. Rather than a rejection of him the vote was more of an embracing of Christie and wanting something different.