The voting results are in from this year's off-year election--for VA Governor, NJ Governor, NYC Mayor and a special election in NY's 23rd Congressional District. The Republicans won in VA and NJ, looks like the Democrat won in NY-23, and Mayor Bloomberg seems to be ahead in NYC. While both parties' various hacks will try and spin the results in their own idiotic way, you come here for some reasonable analysis that you can only get at Not Enough Tequila in the World.
1) VA Governor--Republican Bob McDonnell pulled a big-margin victory here, in the Old Dominion, a state that generally trends Republican but did elect Democrats for Governor in the last two cycles, and went for Barack Obama in the 2008 election--the first time it went to the Democrats for the presidency since LBJ. McDonnell had run as a moderate, stressing his Northern VA roots and transportation plans and bipartisanship. His opponent, Creigh Deeds, made some big errors--namely, his ad campaign almost solely focused on painting McDonnell as socially extremist, which at a time when voters are more concerned about quality of life and pocketbook issues, doesn't resonate much (and besides, voters who would be turned off by such concerns? They'd be pulling all levers for the "D"s anyway.). Moderates broke heavily for McDonnell here.
2) NJ Governor--Republican Chris Christie beat incumbent governor Jon Corzine by about five points, in a state that has been solidly Democratic for quite a while--the last time a Republican won the governorship was 1994, and the GOP hadn't claimed it in a presidential election since 1988 when the first Bush was running. It didn't help that Corzine is a major douchebag. He put out ads making fun of Christie's weight (seriously, are we in third grade?), and I never liked the guy because after making his fortune at Goldman Sachs (the Freemasons of our era who control everything) he spent over 60 million bucks of his own personal fortune to run for NJ Senate (prior to running for Governor). Seriously, if a man thinks a job paying about $150K is worth blowing $60 million of his own money on, then he is either (a) a moron or (b) so corrupt and power hungry that he has no business being in power. Christie, a former prosecutor, had run as a moderate--beating a more conservative opponent in the GOP primary.
3) NYC Mayor--let's face it, Bloomberg is richer than God and is willing to--like Corzine--spend it to retain power. He is also genuinely independent of any party--a onetime Democrat, then Republican (since their nomination was easier to get), then who knows, Bloomberg has managed to hold on largely because of the force of his personality and the weakness of his opposition. The interesting thing here is that in this very liberal city that the Democrats used to have iron control over, that party has not been able to elect a mayor since 1989.
4) NY-23rd--this district has been in Republican hands since that party was called the Whigs, but last night Democrat Bill Owens won. Apparently, the original GOP nominee was considered too moderate for the likes of conservative activists around the country, including notorious idiot Sarah Palin who is really too dangerously stupid to allow anywhere near anyone who might catch her stupidity secondhand. The Palinites poured tons of out of state money and media attention on an out-of-district man named Doug Hoffman, who might be a smart man but it makes you wonder when he kisses up to Glenn Beck without realizing that Beck is actually a satire and not a real pundit. Hoffman, who had lost the GOP primary but ran on the Conservative line, was as of last week leading the GOP nominee, who dropped out over the weekend and endorsed the Democrat (which puzzled me--if she wanted Owens to win, wouldn't she stay in the race to split the GOP vote?). So it came down to Conservative Hoffman, or Democrat Owens--and Owens has won.
What to make of all of this? If there's a consistent theme, it's that the party in power in the two big states--VA and NJ--is being punished at the polls due to a bad economy and sense of despair over the direction the country is headed. The voters aren't necessarily embracing hard-right conservatism, or explicitly rejecting the left and Obama--after all, Christie and McDonnell made very little mention of Obama and ran as moderates. The NY-23 election may have had more to do with Hoffman's lack of connection to a district that is very provincial, and while the voters there are largely conservative they may have been turned off by the "teabagger" activism of Palin and Beck. (Upstate NYers do trend conservative, but they're a more subdued kind). As for NYC, let's face it--Bloomberg's money talks, and the Democratic machine in that city has been rotting for quite some time.
So what does this trend mean? Not much!