Friday, November 6, 2009
Tuesday's Election Recap
“The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated” said a witty Mark Twain more than a century ago. Perhaps the same could be said of the Republican Party.
Last night’s GOP victories for the Governorships of New Jersey and Virginia were a major setback for the Obama administration. The President carried both New Jersey and Virginia in his victory last year and personally made trips to New Jersey to campaign for the Democratic incumbent Joe Corzine but it was not enough to for Republican long shot Chris Christie to take the victory by an amazing 4 percentage points. What’s even more stunning is that Corzine outspent Christie by a 2-1 margin. For a Republican to take New Jersey is HUGE for the GOP.
Likewise in Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell defeated Democrat Creigh Deeds in a closely watched race for the Governor spot there. What is most worrying for the Democrats in 2010 though is the swing in voting habits for voters claiming to be independents.
In New Jersey, the Republican candidate took the Independent vote by 27% over the Democrat incumbent. Likewise, in Virginia, the Republicans won Independents by a 62% to 37% margin. This bodes well for the Republicans as Obama hands down won Independent voters in his 2008 victory.
Now last year people were talking about the demise of the Republican Party; that it was destined to become a regional southern party. I was always doubtful of this. True, the Republican Party was acting, speaking, and portraying themselves in a way that was completely embarrassing to many in our party and much of our defeat was self inflicted. But at the end of the day, Americans are inherently minimalists when it comes to government involvement in their lives and I knew that once the Dems were in power, taxes started going up, and Washington began telling us what to do and how to do it, the scales would begin to balance itself again.
Then there is New York’s 23 Congressional District. A solid Republican stronghold that could only have been lost once Sarah Palin got involved. Not that she should be blamed alone; but the Republican revival would be faster, stronger, and more palatable to the average American if she would confine her activities to the fringes of civilization.
Another surprise was the voter's of Maine overturning a homosexual marriage policy passed by their legislature earlier this year. This was viewed as a major setback for the homosexual rights lobby as Maine is one of the most liberal minded states in the Union. Homosexuality is much hipper in America these days... but apparently not hip enough.
All of this bodes well for the Republicans but they are far from out of the woods yet. We still lack a Statesman who can articulately state a vision from America that can inspire the average American. Their gains two days ago were more the result of Democratic disgust than Republican trust.
But Democratic disgust may be a pretty good place to start...