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The Meaning of Election 2009 and Grading Obama's First Ten Months

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Steven Leser       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   13 comments

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As it stands, it looks like Republicans have won the Governor's mansions in New Jersey and Virginia, while the Maine amendment targeting the right for gays to marry has passed and a Democrat won the congressional race in New York's 23rd congressional district.

Speaking of the Democratic candidates in New Jersey and Virginia, they were so unpopular that Democrat Corzine from New Jersey was quietly asked not to run for re-election by the DNC and by the Obama administration. They knew he had no chance. Ultimately, Obama tried to help Corzine, but you cannot help someone who has the popularity of swine flu. There is no referendum on Obama here. An MSNBC exit poll showed that 19% of New Jersey voters voted to send a positive message to the President, 19% voted to show a negative message to the President and for 60%, the President was not a factor in their decision. A CNN poll showed similar results in Virginia.Regarding Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, he ran such a poor campaign that Obama administration officials took the unusual step of criticizing his campaign a few weeks before the election. The only surprising thing about these races was that the margins of victory were not larger. That Christie's victory was only about 5% against such an unpopular incumbent says a lot about Christie. I'm looking forward to Christie and McConnell reminding people why you shouldn't vote for Republicans.

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A Democrat won a congressional seat in a heavily Republican district, and Republicans won two gubernatorial races against Democratic candidates so personally unpopular, about the only person living in the United States who might, and again I say MIGHT, not have beaten them is Charles Manson.

By the way, it's a little off the radar, but Charlotte, North Carolina elected a Democratic mayor for the first time in 22 years. If there was a shift in purple or red states away from Democrats and toward Republicans, one would hardly expect to see something like this.

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Taking this all into account, I'd say this is a minor Democratic/Liberal/Progressive victory. The biggest story is that Republicans are still showing weakness in congressional races that district demographics indicate they should be winning big and they have started fighting amongst themselves. In the event you haven't heard this, the Republican nominee in New York's 23rd congressional district, Dede Scozzafava, was essentially pushed out of the race by an ultra-conservative candidate who got the support of folks like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Dick Armey. This is a pattern that is repeating around the United States as right wing conservatives are attempting to drive more moderate Republicans out of office and out of the party. Message threads on Free Republic are full of comments encouraging this. The Wingnuts on the right have seemingly forgot that shrinking your tent isn't the best prescription for assembling winning electoral margins. Let's not do a lot to remind them.

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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)

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