Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Off-Year Election Results

I heard a lot of gibberish by Mike Steele - RNC Chair - about how winning the NJ and VA Governorships was such a big deal and that the RNC is back. It is a bunch of bunk. Creigh Deeds in Virginia and Gov. Corzine in NJ were very, very weak candidates on their own. Certainly it is no surprise that Steele is crowing - that is what Party Chairs do to try to rally their troops, but the reality is that the mid-terms will be a much better barometer of how the country feels about Obama and Democratic leadership. Governor's races are local affairs between individual candidates. They are not harbingers of national politics. California always has a Republican governor but they never vote Republican in presidential races. Virginia has had numerous Democratic governors, but had not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 45 years.

I think the most interesting race was NY's 23rd House district race. This was a very interesting case all the way around. For 100 years, the district has been Republican. Obama selected the former Republican Representative, John McHugh, as the Secretary of the Army. This opened up the district to a special election that had an interesting back story. The Republican Party had selected a moderate Republican as the candidate, but tea baggers and fringe conservatives hated her and pushed forward their own right wingnut who didn't even live in the district. This dude didn't even understand basic issues within the district.

In the end, the Republican Party was splintered in the 23rd, and a district that is solidly Republican went to a Democrat for the first time in 100 years. As long as the Republican Party has these crazy wingnuts pushing the agenda, they will always have trouble within their own Party to deal with.

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