Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Summing Up the Night

The verdict is still out on gay marriage and civil unions and we don't have an official call in NY-23 (although it is all but over), but I'll try to sum up the night and the three major races.

The GOP smoked the DEM's in this purple state, pure and simple. They ran a better candidate, ran a better campaign and took advantage of the state's center-right economic leanings and misgivings about Democrats use of their power in Washington. This was partly a local race but had national undertones, although President Obama largely steered clear of it. The massive margin (McDonnell ran almost 25% ahead of McCain's perentage last year) should be a wake-up call to Democrats and a reassurance to Republicans that the party is not dead and has not been marginalized in Virginia. Most importantly for the GOP, it breaks a bad losing streak in the state.

Impact on the national scene: relatively minor

New Jersey
An unpopular, ineffective governor meets a solid candidate. This is probably the race with the most national significance as President Obama expended significant political capital stumping for Corzine. Ultimate, it didn't work in this blue state and Christie, a true conservative, won.

Impact on the national scene: significant

Okay, this race is probably not as important as we political junkies like to make it out, but it sure was a hell of a lot of fun.

(1) GOP nominates a moderate who leads in early polls
(2) National GOP abandons party and closes in the "small tent", supporting a third-party conservative
(3) National endorsements chase the Republican out of the race
(4) Republican drops out and endorses the Democrat
(5) Democrat wins (probably) and ironically, wins by a smaller margin than the still-on-the-ballot dropped out Republican's vote total

You couldn't make this stuff up.

Congratulations (I think) to Bill Owens. But don't get too comfortable in that seat, you probably face a tough challenge next year. This is the one big win for the DEMs tonight.

National significance: only us junkies will remember this race next year

Updates on the remaining races soon.

No comments: