Thoughts on the special elections
NY-23 -- This one hurt, badly. Not because Doug Hoffman didn't win, but because the NY GOP screwed it up from the start trying to run a DIABLO instead of a real Republican. (Folks, that woman wasn't even a moderate. Mark Steyn nailed it -- Democrat In All But Label Only.) Now, that said, Hoffman didn't not screw up. He focused far too much attention on national issues as opposed to local issues. This was a special election, not a regular election like the one coming up next year.
NJ governor's race -- Bye Johnny. Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you! NJ voters focused on one, primary issue -- the economy. Overwhelmingly, 90% of voters polled after they voted said that the economy was the number one issue on their mind, and John Corzine has run NJ into the ground. Chris Christie represents a new change to the state, and unlike Corzine, he's not the sort to have corrupt and criminal ties. His cronies won't be getting the tax money from hard-working New Jersey residents. (And we don't give a rip what the pundits say, this loss was felt in the White House.)
VA governor's race -- This one was also felt by the White House, considering it's proximity to DC. And just like Jersey, the economy weighed heavily on the minds of voters. But this race was a foregone conclusion. At the start of the day yesterday, Bob McDonnell was sitting with a comfortable, double-digit lead over Creigh Deeds. Barry was still campaigning for Corzine in Jersey, but he had already thrown Deeds under the bus; no doubt at the behest of Axelrod who probably told him there was no way to save the Deeds campaign.
CA-10 -- John Garamendi beat David Harmer handily here. It's the only bright spot for Democrats in the special elections. This was another foregone conclusion as I did predict Garamendi's win. (He won by ten points; I predicted a win by twelve points.) This is A-typical of California, folks. The people of California seem content to keep liberals in power, which is the number one reason WHY California is in dire straits.
Maine gay marriage proposition -- Politico summed it up best: Maine voters on Tuesday repealed a state law granting same-sex couples the right to marry, defeating an effort by gay activists who hoped the state would become the first to approve gay marriage at the polls.
Let me be clear on this. We have no problem with gays being given the same rights as married couples have. But we don't want it called marriage. We have this opinion based on religious beliefs. Marriage should be a union of one man and one woman. Legally speaking, gays can file the proper legal contracts to enact what equates to a civil union which gives them the same rights that a married couple has. It's a a few signatures on a few papers, and voila, they're virtually married. (The better part of this option is that there's no messy divorce for them.) Gay activists need to get over this idea that gay marriage is popular right now, and a majority of people are in favor of it. That's not true. It was proven in California's Proposition 8 fight last year, and it's been proven again in Maine. When the people are asked to approve this idea via ballot propositions, it fails every time. Marriage isn't a right, folks, and those who keep arguing that it is need to get a clue or an education, or both.
All in all, the night wasn't bad. Two gubernatorial races turned a blue state (NJ) into at least a purple one, and turned a purple state (VA) back to red. These two races sent an earthquake not only to the White House, but to DC, as well. People are clearly irritated with the dithering and dawdling, the contrite tinkering by Congress that has caused much of this economic mess. Those voters voted with their wallets (which has little more than change left in it). They want real change, not only in their states, but at the national level.
How can we say that the White House was rocked by an earthquake? Take a look at the exit polls breaking down the demographics. As Mike Allen observed at The Playbook, the earthquake came in the defection of Independents. Independents overwhelmingly came out for Barry last year, and this year they broke for McDonnell (63%) and Christie (58%). Independents have been running away from Barry for the past five months (when pollsters started noticing the drop in support amongst Independents. Jim Geraghty noted this last week on Hugh's show that Independent support of Barry was down 15%. This means he's losing the bulk of his support in a swing group that he really can't afford. (I know it's too early to look at 2012, but if he can't ratchet up more Independent support, he's done like dinner for a reelection bid; he'll be a one term president.)
These special elections yesterday are the precursor of the 2010 midterms. We're sure Blue Dogs were watching the returns last night, and paying close attention to the ire of the populace. They know that the writing is on the wall. People are fed up with the overreach of the federal government, and they're really fed up with their individual states and the inability of those elected representatives to stabilize the recession affecting their states. This set of special elections don't bode well for Democrats, and they better have been paying attention last night.