Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

2009 Elections–U.S.

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.


November 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Voter polls are showing that the President didn’t figure into either of the Republican wins.

    Comment by Ralph | November 3, 2009

  2. True. But Obama’s theme in ’10 has to be jobs, jobsw, jobs, if he is to avoid massive mid-term Democratic losses.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | November 4, 2009

  3. New Jersey politics is a nasty business. A good percentage of younger voters didn’t turn out this time, but did in the Presential election. If Republicans are going to be successful they have to attract independent voters.Obama has to get a handle on unemployment.

    Comment by Paul | November 4, 2009

  4. You may be interested in a new blog I just started about the implications of a radical “free church” vision for contemporary Christianity. It’s called “The Free (Church) Radical.” Hope you’ll check it out!

    Comment by a Free Church Radical | November 4, 2009

  5. The problem is that the strategies for reducing unemployment will require money that Congress will be reluctant to spend–other than that which is already budgeted for 2010. 1) He could send states money earmarked for school construction and hiring his promised ‘army of teachers.’ This would also invest in the future. 2)He could greatly increase the money allocated for a network of high speed rail across country and light-rail in every major city. This would cost about 3 trillion over 10 years (a small fraction has been budgeted in 2010), but would directly create 7 million jobs and indirectly far more–and be a permanent aid to the economy and to ecology. 3) He could budget money for every federal, state, and local law enforcement agency to purchase new (GM) cars. 4)IF a strong healthcare reform bill passes with a strong public option that will lower labor costs and encourage creative entrepeneurs to start small businesses. There are other moves, but all of them involve public spending and the GOP and the media are screaming that the stimulus didn’t work and this is throwing good money after bad. (Actually, the evidence is that the stimulus kept us from Great Depression ii but was too small to do more. But the public’s patience with deficit spending–which seemed inexhaustible under Bush–is fast running out now.)

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | November 4, 2009

  6. As a Virginia resident my opinion on the Deeds defeat is simple. He ran a mediocre and terrible campaign. McDonnell stayed on message and didn’t sell himself as a social conservative. Deeds won the primary and then dropped off the face of the earth for a month and let McDonnell have airways all to himself. No matter what the issues you can’t win when you don’t seem to put forth any effort.

    Comment by mctiller | November 6, 2009

  7. What I couldn’t figure out is WHY Deeds ran such a terrible general election campaign.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | November 6, 2009

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