Uh-O-bama: VA, NJ Go GOP; TX Dems Switching; What It All Meansby Phil on 11/4/2009
9:40 pm (11/4) update:
Before getting to the overall wrap-up of last night’s election results, LibertarianRepublican provides an update as to what’s going on down in the great State of Texas (what with the local officials switching from (D) to (R)):
Austin – The Republican Party of Texas is pleased to welcome several Democratic officeholders who switched parties today and became Republicans. Today in Hardin County, seven Democrats announced that they are switching parties to become Republicans. The new Republicans include Sheriff Ed Cain, County Judge Billy Caraway and Precinct 4 Commissioner Bobby Franklin. And at noon Tuesday in Palo Pinto County, Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Bobby Hart switched his party affiliation and became a Republican. Three other Palo Pinto County Democratic officeholders indicated a strong interest in switching parties. The Republican Party of Texas has been working to build Republican strength at the local level, by working with county parties, recruiting candidates for the GOP primary and by recruiting conservative Democrats to switch parties.
“The wave of Republican strength continues to build,” said Republican Party of Texas Chairman Cathie Adams. “Americans are simply fed up with the Washington Democrats’ failing leftwing policies and government power grabs. The elections in Virginia and New Jersey Tuesday prove that Republicans are gaining momentum as the voters tell Democrats ‘Enough is enough!.’ We welcome these newly minted Republicans and anyone else who will stand with us for more freedom, lower taxes and smaller government.”
What is for sure about last night’s election? The love affair, as it were, over Mr. Obama is most definitely over.
As RedState posts:
The Obama invincibility that was so much in evidence then seems to have lost its power. People can argue the reasons why these elections, all in places Obama carried handily, were so close. But if he were the political marvel he was thought to be, these races wouldn’t have been contests, but walkovers. So one consequence of this Election Day is the end of his special political magic.
That’s no surprise — as that magic was a largely substanceless froth whipped up by campaign consultants and compliant big-media cheerleaders.
The truth is, Obama wasn’t ready to be president when he ran in 2008. When he started, he probably thought he had no real chance — he himself admitted upon entering the Senate that he wasn’t qualified to be president — and that his first run would simply be a PR effort that would lift him to the top ranks of Senate Democrats. …
But he was right the first time about not being ready for the Oval Office. As president, he seems confused and a bit distant on the issues, leaving the details to congressional Democrats and an ever-growing number of “czars” while he golfs and launches attacks at Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
With the economy tanking (unemployment is much worse after Obama’s deficit-swelling stimulus than Obama’s advisers predicted it would be with no stimulus at all), with the promised post-partisanship dissolving into witch-hunts against hostile media and the promised post-racial America devolving into the awkwardly staged “beer summit,” with the “necessary war” in Afghanistan the subject of endless dithering and the promised “smart diplomacy” materializing as a series of awkward missteps by Hillary Clinton, the froth has become a lot less frothy.
The entire article is well worth the read.
So, how does this affect healthcare? Consider the following two links:
- HotAir has a few links in their posting worth reading entitled, “Nervous Blue Dogs: Hey, maybe we should postpone some of these liberal agenda items.“
- The NRCC has come up with a pacing clock for reading the healthcare bill — you know, what with the Dems so graciously giving the GOP a whole 72 hours to pour through the bill (via RedState).
9:25 am (11/4) update:
Jeff Schreiber presents an excellent run-down of the races here, along with this interesting bit RE: NY-23:
If there is any race which can be spun in any direction, it is this one. A seat traditionally in the hands of a moderate Republican is vacated when the president appoints that Republican to a bigger position on Capitol Hill. A Democrat runs, joined by a liberal Republican who ran unopposed through the primary process. Later in the game, an out-of-district conservative candidate joins the fray. Hilarity ensues, and within hours of the election, the liberal Republican drops out, endorses the liberal Democrat, and establishment Republicans finally put half-hearted support behind the conservative.
You couldn’t make this stuff up, folks. And what resulted was a uniquely spinnable race, regardless of result.
As it turns out, the conservative third-party candidate lost to the Democrat. Inevitably, the media will spin this as a life lesson for the GOP, a referendum on whether conservatives and the tea party movement will be able to elect someone, a sign that the tea partiers and conservatives on the right are pushing independents away from the GOP. Clearly, as we’ve seen in both the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, this is not so.
What has happened, my friends, is that we have been given a lesson about the viability of a third-party candidate. Sure, Doug Hoffman doesn’t live in the district. Sure, he wasn’t a seasoned, experienced candidate. But if Dede Scozzafava had been opposed by a conservative in a primary, she would likely not have been on the ballot to begin with yesterday, and a conservative Republican would likely have prevailed, especially considering that adding Scozzafava’s votes to Hoffman’s would have been enough to vanquish Owens, the Democrat.
Short-term effect: Folks like the Blue Dog Dems are going to hold firm on their stances RE: healthcare.
Long-term effect: Since Mr. Obama spent so much time criss-crossing VA and, especially, NJ for the incumbent Democrats, one cannot remove the President from any calculations as to how things will go in 2010. As ABCNews reports, it could be disaster for anyone with a “D” after their name, especially if everyone keeps voting their pocketbooks.
10:15pm et update:
The AP is now calling New Jersey for GOP Christie.
10:00pm et update:
According to the latest New Jersey numbers, GOP challenger to the NJ Governor’s seat Chris Christie is currently ahead by 50-44% (with 64% precincts reporting) against incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine.
And the NY-23 race with Conservative Party Doug Hoffman versus Democrat Bill Owens is absolutely too close to call…
8:15pm et update:
Two big things to report RE: tonight’s races at this point — and that the aviary we call Twitter is a-tweetin’ ’bout: HotAir.com and RedState.com are reporting (with various references) and 73Wire that Republican Bob McDonnell has absolutely shellacked the Democrat Criegh Deeds in the great State of Virginia.
What’s even more interesting is that (per NotLarrySabato) the VA House of Delegates appears to be or is in the process of being turned into a near-Republican sweep.
And, what’s more, something that’s been somewhat under the radar… Eric Dondero at LibertarianRepublican is reporting this evening that “as many as 50 to 70 elected officials on the county level throughout Texas” could be switching Republican:
What we do know is that the Party Switchers appear to be within 4 Counties: Palo Pinto, McColloch, Hardin, and another yet to be named. Hardin has 8 Party Switchers. A Judge has already switched in Palo Pinto. By the end of the week said Preston, as many as 10 County elected officials are expected to be listed as new Republicans.
Commented Preston on the main reason for the Switching: Today’s election results with Republicans on the verge of a blow-out and the fact that “Obama’s name is becomming poison here in Texas.” …
The RPT has just released preliminary information on a press release at RPT.org
5:00pm et update:
This evening, The Right Side of Life will be aggregating citizen reports concerning tonight’s returns. In many respects, there will be a lot riding on the outcome to these races.
In the following list I have put together a good listing of reasonable sources that I’ll be using to track these races:
- CQPolitics Political Wire Twitter Aggregator (@PWire)
- Frontloading HQ (@FHQ)
- 73Wire (@73Wire)
- AJC.com: Atlanta elections, minute by minute (@AJCPolitics)
This evening will mark the first major slate of elections since Mr. Obama ascended to the presidency in what will culminate the first batch of battles between underdogs and the establishment. These include races in New Jersey, Virginia, New York and the city of Atlanta.
The Wall Street Journal posted a good summary of tomorrow’s contests:
Each of Tuesday’s three high-profile races has unique factors that could confound efforts to discern national trends. In New Jersey, independent Chris Daggett is attracting significant support — which could tip the outcome toward incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in his close race with Republican challenger Chris Christie.
In Virginia’s gubernatorial race, Republican Bob McDonnell has led by double digits for weeks and is likely to end a recent Democratic surge in a longtime Republican state. Democrat R. Creigh Deeds has been weighed down as much by his troubles addressing questions about state tax and transportation policy as by his ties to Mr. Obama’s policies.
In New York, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has surged into the lead in the 23rd Congressional District, according to two polls, following the abrupt withdrawal Saturday of Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava. A Siena Research Institute Poll showed Mr. Hoffman, who was embraced by the Republican Party following Ms. Scozzafava’s withdrawal, leading 41% to 36%. A survey by Public Policy Polling showed a bigger lead, 54% to 38%.
How did these races start to turn against either the incumbents or the establishment picks, be they Democrat or Republican? Rush Limbaugh took part in an interview last Sunday on Fox News Sunday, and Neil Cavuto covered how the tea partiers took on the 23rd CD race in New York (h/t AmericanPower):
The AmericanDaughter blog posts an excellent opinion piece on what the Doug Hoffman NY-23 race is all about (though I’ll disagree that a third party should be the ultimate result of this libertarian-conservative uprising).
Eric Dondero at the LibertarianRepublican posts that Obama would own a New Jersey loss, what with the President’s criss-crossing the State in support of Gov. Jon Corzine:
From Public Policy Polling (PPP):
Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine 47-41 in PPP’s final poll of the New Jersey Governor’s race, with Chris Daggett at 11%.
Corzine had pulled to within a point of Christie on our poll three weeks ago after trailing by as many as 14 points over the summer, but his momentum has stalled since then and Christie’s built his lead back up to 4 points last week and now 6.
Christie’s advantage is due largely to his support from independents and because he has Republicans more unified around him than the Democrats are around Corzine.
Note – PPP is regarded as a Left-leaning Pro-Democrat polling firm. Also note, a 6 point lead is outside of the margin of Democrat voter fraud, particularly important for any New Jersey race.
Virginia’s loss for the ‘D’s will be largely ignored and explained away tomorrow night. A New Jersey loss, will send shockwaves through the entire political community throughout the Nation, and will be an outstanding portend for Republicans 2010.
LR also goes on to point out that should independent Mary Norwood win the City of Atlanta mayoral race with 50% + 1 of the vote, she’d be the first “Republican” mayor, ever:
The city of Atlanta has never had a Republican Mayor. That could change on Tuesday with the election of Mary Norwood. She is currently leading two other candidates in the polls, and the very latest poll numbers suggest she’s expanding that lead. Norwood is at 45%, and her nearest rival at 25%.
Norwood, a “fiscally conservative white City Councilwoman” as described by the local government-run NPR, is challenging two Democrat opponents; Sen. Kasim Reed and Atlanta City Council President Lisa Borders. The State Democrat Party is worried that they’re splitting the vote. They’ve opened up the attacks on her for her Republican ties, and background, even claiming she’s a “Reaganite.”
She’s run two main commercials here in Georgia pretty hard, and she doesn’t make it overtly obvious to which party she belongs. Here’s one of her ads:
Shifting gears to healthcare, LogisticsMonster posts on how Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) is putting out a call for tea partiers to show up in DC on November 5. The following video was her interview with Sean Hannity concerning healthcare legislation:
Speaking of it being unconstitutional, a posting at HotAir shows a video of CNSNews.com’s interview with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) talks about this very concept:
And Jeff Schreiber over at AmericasRight has a couple of great posts regarding healthcare — one regarding the overall numbers per the bill, the other discussing the bureaucratic nightmare its passage would dictate.
Regardless of the spin in the media, tomorrow’s races are important in helping to gauge where the nation could be going in preparation for 2010; after all, we’re officially less than a year from the results of the 2010 election.
Photo courtesy AmericanGrandJury