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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Thoughts on Election Day

I haven't said much about this because it's hard to add anything new. The stories are pretty straightforward. In Virginia, Bob McDonnell should win by double digits. That's what Republicans should consider a victory. In New Jersey, it's up in the air and we'll only know who won later this evening. In New York 23, the race is up in the air because the dynamic changed so late with Scozzafava dropping out late. Her endorsement of the Democrat (Scozzafava is technically a Republican) is a slap in the face to the Republican establishment and Newt Gingrich that backed her.

If, and that's still a big if, the Republicans sweep (if you consider Hoffman a Republican), then without a doubt, health care reform does NOT pass this week. Whether or not these three elections are or are not a referendum on President Obama, a sweep will be viewed as such. There's no way moderates will then have any use for the very liberal health care reform. If Corzine and Owens win and Deeds is within single digits, then health care reform will almost certainly pass.

Ironically enough, each of the three races have their own local dynamic which make them a referendum on things other than President Obama. For instance, if you think that the New Jersey Governor's race is a referendum on President Obama, then the Republican candidate, Chris Christie, will vociferously disagree. He believes it is a referendum on Governor John Corzine. He's been running on lower taxes and smaller government platform. Corzine has raised just about every tax he's been allowed to raise in the previous term. New York 23 has been so goofy that it's unclear what it's a referendum on. First, no matter what this seat won't be Republican for the first time since the Civil War. Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party platform. If he wins, that should surprise no one. After all, the district is fairly conservative. If the Democrat wins, what does that say about the Republican Party.

In Virginia, the Democrat Deeds is a bland candidate running an even blander campaign. It's hard to see how that's a referendum on Obama. The dynamics of each race are convoluted with national politics and in the end no one will know exactly how much is a national referendum and how much is a by product of local issues.

Perception, however, is reality. So, what it really is, is not nearly as important as what it appears to be. So, everyone will be waiting breathlessly as the results roll in. My prediction is McDonnell by 12, Christie by 2, and Hoffman by 8.


Anonymous said...

So then what happens if we split the difference, with Corzine, Hoffman, and McDonell winning? Probably a whole lot of nothing.

I'm still kinda surprised nobody has made an issue out of Corzine being a former Goldman Sachs CEO.

As far as what the Hoffman race says, I can't help but feel like the Republicans need their moderates more than the Democrats. Republican moderates might vote for the occasional Democratic legislation, but do they ever threaten to kill their own party's agenda like some of the Democrats have?

When a moderate Democrat is replaced by a conservative Republican, not much changes because most of the time the moderate Democrats would obstruct Obama's agenda anyway. But if a moderate Republican was replaced by a liberal Democrat? Just look at Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Jason Gillman said...

My prediction is McDonnell by 14, Christie loses by 2, and Hoffman by 10.

Would I put money on it? Nope.. Just a gut.