Virginia has continued it’s long tradition of electing governors from the opposite party of whomever is in the White House. So, after 2 Democratic governors and a recent trend away from the GOP to the Democrats in the Senate, the Republicans won big in the VA governor’s race. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) won like 60% of the vote over Creigh Deeds (D-VA). Deeds ran a great primary race, but then just ran out of steam in the general election. So, VA remains a purple rather than blue state.
New Jersey, the other ’09 governor’s race, is closer. It should have been a runaway for Bob Christie (R-NJ) because of Jon Corzine (D-NJ–Inc.)’s horrible polling, but Christie is under federal investigation for fraud and several things he did as part of the Bush admin. and all these became campaign issues. Christie is ahead so far, but the heavily Democratic areas of NJ have yet to report. If Christie holds on to win, he could end up indicted before he is even inaugurated. Update: AP is calling NJ for Christie. He should have a rocky term–and maybe a short one. Corzine concedes. Well, maybe Goldman-Sachs will hire him back.
Republicans will see these wins (if NJ ends up being a win) as an early repuke of Pres. Obama. But governor’s races are almost always about local matters and the poor economic situation will effect incumbent parties. Also, the president’s party almost always loses some ground in the next elections.
Mayor Bloomberg (I-NYC) has seemed to win a third term, but now it seems too close to call. Democrat Thompson is only about 200 votes behind with only 40% of the vote in–but the NY Times is still calling it for Bloomberg. Update: Bloomberg won.
Democrat Garamandi won a special election in CA.
It’s too early to see whether or not the 23rd Congressional District in NY will stay Democratic or flip to the ultra-conservative after he drove the moderate Republican from the field. Early votes look Democratic. Update: Democrat Owens won.
Only 22% reporting, but so far Maine looks like it will keep same-sex marriage by popular demand. Good for Maine. Update: Marriage equality lost 53-47%, repeating CA last year. Meanwhile a civil unions bill won in Washington State. GLBT gains are being made, but not quickly–and not without setbacks.
No real trendlines for or against Democrats in ’10. The key will be the economy–especially employment. Whether or not Obama gets a decent healthcare bill this year, THE theme of ’10 has to be job creation. The lower he can get unemployment the better Dems will do in the mid-terms. It’s that simple.