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.