Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Election of 2009, cont'd

So Republicans won a governor's race in Virginia for the first time since 1997 and recaptured the Governor's seat in New Jersey from the very unpopular Corzine, albeit probably with barely 50% of the vote. Good news for the GOP, sort of. But in the nationalized contest in NY-23, the Dems are going to pick up a House seat from the Republicans, and the Maine anti-gay referendum remains too close to call at this hour (No has led most of the night, but it's still early). For reasons that are hard to fathom, at the same time, we see medical marijuana in Maine passing by over 60%. War on drugs is over. War on love still being waged by conservatives.

2009 will go down as a split decision, between D and R, but a big loss for social conservatives. The only social conservative to win, McConnell in VA, only did so by pretending he wasn't. Sarah Palin also is the big loser. Her public endorsement of Hoffman in NY-23 was a bust. The endorsement that mattered was the unknown derided Scozzafava (Republican, but pro-choice and called a RINO by the blackshirts of the party) dropping out to endorse her Democratic opponent over the weekend.


The Law Talking Guy said...

Well, gay marriage in Maine is going to lose narrowly - more narrowly than in California last year. But it will lose nonetheless.

Still, it is hard not to be heartened by how close these votes are getting. In the 1990s, state after state voted overwhelmingly to pre-emptively ban gay marriage. Today, it's a bare majority. It seems almost inevitable that marriage will triumph in many places by 2020.

Raised By Republicans said...

These three races were very idiosyncratic. Virginia is a swing state undergoing economic difficulties with an incumbent Democratic governor. New Jersey's Corzine, as LTG pointed out, is personally very unpopular and voters had a choice between the unpopular Corzine and the demonstrably corrupt Republican.

Then we have the mess up in upstate New York that might have been avoided by a primary in the Republican party to nominate a less moderate candidate in the first place.

Maine is the oldest state in the country with a median age of 40. 5 years older than the national median. We know that support for marriage equality is extremely age sensitive. Maine is also ranked 48th in terms of share of its population living in urban areas. We also know that support for marriage equality tends to correlate with urbanization (with rural voters being more likely to be bigoted). For this vote to be this close in the oldest and one of the most rural states in the country is a tough loss for marriage equality but probably a good sign in the long run. If this vote is redone in 5 or 10 years in Maine the result will likely be different.

In short, I don't think we can read much into any of this.

The Law Talking Guy said...

As I have suggested before, the only thing we can and should take from these races is that the GOP did *not* run hard against Barack Obama in 2009. This suggests that doing so in 2010 will be hazardous also, particularly if the economy has by then improved, as it is likely to, and the Congress is on to less divisive legislation.