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America's Debate > Archive > Election Forum Archive > [A] Election 2006
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Cube Jockey
Overall the 2005 elections turned out very well for Democrats. They were able to:
- Elect a Democratic governor in Virginia who not only won but seriously eroded Republican strongholds in previous elections.
- Several state legislature seats were picked up by Democrats in Virginia.
- Elect a Democratic Governor in New Jersey (this one was expected).
- Defeated every single one of Swartzenegger's propositions in California likely making him a lame duck for the remainder of his term.
- Defeated an anti-gay initiative in Maine
- Completely swept the Dover, PA school board removing all of the Republicans which favored Intelligent Design
- St. Paul, MN democratic mayor who endorsed Bush was replaced by another Democrat
- Anti-tax legislation was repealed in Colorado (this was Grover Norquist's baby)
- The Tuscon, AZ city council was reverted to Democratic control

There were a few losses as well:
- The election reform issues in Ohio all failed
- Texas passed an anti-gay marriage initiative (this was expected)
- Bloomberg was re-elected as mayor of NYC (this was expected)

Today the media is widely proclaiming that this is a sign of things to come in 2006. Just a sampling of the newspapers out there reveals this:
New York Times
QUOTE
Democrat Wins Race for Governor in Virginia

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, won the race for governor on Tuesday night, scoring a major political victory for his mentor, Gov. Mark Warner, and sending a powerful message that President Bush's political standing has fallen in this reliably Republican state.


New York Times
QUOTE
Stinging Defeats for G.O.P. Come at a Sensitive Time

After months of sagging poll ratings, scandal and general political unrest, the Republicans badly needed some good news in Tuesday's elections for governor. What they got instead was a clear-cut loss in a red state, and an expected but still painful defeat in a blue one.


Washington Post
QUOTE
In the Suburbs, Backlash Against Republicans Hits Hard

An anti-Republican sentiment spread across Northern Virginia yesterday as voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots for Democrats, sweeping aside the traditional Virginia formula in which Republicans carry the outer suburbs and Democrats win the inner ones.

In winning the election for governor, Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) took Loudoun and Prince William counties, something Mark R. Warner (D) couldn't accomplish when he was elected governor four years ago. Kaine also received nearly three in four votes in Arlington and seven in 10 in Alexandria.


Wall Street Journal
QUOTE
Democrats' Wins Pressure Republicans

Democrats easily held the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey, while California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was heading for defeat on all four of his reform initiatives, deepening Republican anxieties about the political cost of President Bush's second-term troubles.

In New Jersey, Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine defeated Republican business executive Douglas Forrester after a bitter campaign in a state that Mr. Bush lost in both his presidential campaigns. More disappointing to the White House was Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine's win over Republican Jerry Kilgore in conservative-leaning Virginia despite a last-minute campaign appearance by the president.


LA Times
QUOTE
No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No

In a sharp repudiation of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Californians rejected all four of his ballot proposals Tuesday in an election that shattered his image as an agent of the popular will.


LA Times
QUOTE
2 Wins Lift Hopes of Democrats

Democrats swept gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday, sending new tremors through Republicans worried that President Bush's sagging popularity may drag down the party in next year's midterm elections.


I could go on but I think the point has been made - those stories are in every major paper out there today whether you feel it is a right leaning paper, left leaning paper or balanced and they all conclude the same things.

Questions for debate:
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?
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Roswell
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

I think you answered the question with the first part of your statment, off year elections generally have no predictive value. As Fred Barnes said "But both (VA and NJ) had Democratic governors coming into yesterday's election. Both will continue to. Thus, there was no change, no earthquake, no reordering of the political universe. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise."



2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?

As far as I know Kilgore in VA just ran a really stupid campaign and just flat out lost. He emphasised the wrong issues and didn't really stand up for what he believed in.

California is still a deep blue state, Arnold did the best he could but I don't believe he really ever stood a chance having his list approved. In my opinion, he's the governor not because he's a conservative and the people want a conservative in office, but because he was NOT Davis and people wanted Davis gone along with those close to him.

edit: spelling
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(Roswell @ Nov 9 2005, 10:44 AM)
I think you answered the question with the first part of your statment, off year elections generally have no predictive value.  As Fred Barnes said "But both (VA and NJ) had Democratic governors coming into yesterday's election. Both will continue to. Thus, there was no change, no earthquake, no reordering of the political universe. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise."
*


I don't think that quotes from pundits generally hold much value. In fact there are some significant insights from the Virginia race, as I said in the opening post NJ was expected to be won by the Democratic candidate, Virginia was expected to be a close race and it wasn't.

There is also a whole lot more going on than two governors races, none of which was addressed in this quote or your post.

What we saw in Virginia though was a serious erosion of support in traditionally conservative/republican strongholds. The washington post article I linked above about suburbs gives you some more information on that.

When this happens it says something about the satisfaction of Independents and moderate Republicans with the party in power. We have a president with a 36% approval rating, a vice president with a 19% approval rating, an increasingly unpopular war and various scandals and indictments amongst all of the party leadership - this is proof positive that Americans are tired of it.

There is no better poll than the one conducted on election day.
AuthorMusician
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

Democrats will take back the Senate in 2006 and win the governorship of Colorado. I think the Democratic message that they are better at governing than Republicans is getting through. Around here, voters took a good look at reality and found no Republicans there. My guess is that this is happening across the country.

2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?

Skipping this one, it takes too much time.

edit add: Oh wait, voucher purists lost school board elections. This indicates a return to faith in public schools on the local level. See ya, privitizers. This will carry through to 2006, the lack of confidence in privitizing public services.
carlitoswhey
2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?

- Elect a Democratic governor in Virginia who not only won but seriously eroded Republican strongholds in previous elections.
This is probably the biggest concern for Republicans in '06. Several districts appear to have eroded support for the Republican candidate for governor.

But ... That said, both parties had a lackluster candidate. Kaine benefitted from his association with the popular incumbent Warner, a NASCAR fan, regular-guy who no doubt appealed to moderate Republicans. Turnout was relatively low. Not sure if this is a harbinger of anything, other than Warner is now free to run for president full-time. Oh, and that Republicans stupid enough to run ads that compare their opponent with HITLER deserve to lose. mad.gif

- Several state legislature seats were picked up by Democrats in Virginia.
See above.

- Elect a Democratic Governor in New Jersey (this one was expected).
Expected. No real impact. Horrible, horrible campaign by the Republican. Ads featuring Corzine's ex-wife saying that he 'let his family down' - another mockery of elective politics.

Defeated every single one of Swartzenegger's propositions in California likely making him a lame duck for the remainder of his term.
Either he's a lame duck or he finally gets serious about politics and brings California republicans into the fold. He's functioned as a sort of independent, and having all the liberals in the Horseshoe is turning off the Republican base. Who didn't turn out for his initiatives. I don't see how any rational voter who read the legislation on the anti-gerrymanering legislation could vote against it, it must have been better turnout from the Democratic base. Ditto union dues for political reform, abortion notification for parents of minor children (not, um, consent). Arnie needs to bring some conservatives into his organization and throw a few bones to the base if he's going to get anyone to show up come re-election time.

- Defeated an anti-gay initiative in Maine
In terms of implications for '06, OK. But your phrasing is misleading. As long as gays continue to use LGBT they deserve to lose these elections. The whole "equal" rights thing is really special rights, and gays lose the moral high ground when they include bisexuals and cross-dressers in their cause. If your point is "I'm born this way so I deserve protections like blacks" it makes you look a little silly to have the same anti-discrimination law as a guy who likes to wear dresses. If I own a restaurant and don't want to hire a freaky cross-dresser as a waiter, that has nothing at all to do with civil rights. And this was the case in Maine.

- Completely swept the Dover, PA school board removing all of the Republicans which favored Intelligent Design
Significant factors - people to whom God gave intelligence used that intelligence and voted to keep science class, um, about science.

- St. Paul, MN democratic mayor who endorsed Bush was replaced by another Democrat
Don't know this one, but my instinct is that mayor of St. Paul doesn't have much to do with presidential politics. Local politics is 99% local. (except maybe if you live in San Fransisco flowers.gif )
QUOTE(cubejockey)
There were a few losses as well:
Wouldn't the defeat of CA referendums above be a 'loss' ? hmmm.gif

- The election reform issues in Ohio all failed
Not sure if their gerrymandering was as bad as California's 100% "perfect" incumbent re-election rate, but that one is disappointing. Yes, the current power is with Republicans, but gerrymandering is wrong for everybody. As for the vote-by-mail initiative, this is getting a little scary. These ACORNs and AMERICA VOTES and others encourage people who voted by mail to then show up and vote again in person, using a provisional ballot if they are denied. I have personal experience in Chicago that most who ask for a provisional don't deserve it but get one anyway, and their vote is counted. This may have swung the "surprise" victory for Kwame Brown in Detroit yesterday, where he won by 10,000 votes, and something like 13,000 people voted by mail.

Implications for 2006 in this one are that George Soros can't buy everything he wants. Good news there.

- Texas passed an anti-gay marriage initiative (this was expected)
Yup. Traditional marriage is now, what, 16-for-16? Anybody listening out there?

- Bloomberg was re-elected as mayor of NYC (this was expected)
I can't remember who said it, but would you want your police force reporting into an associate of Al Sharpton? Didn't think so. Bloomberg has kept Giuliani's police policies. Implications for '06 - One big blue state likes Rudy!

edited to add - Cube, you neglected to mention the handgun ban passing handily in San Francisco. As a fellow handgun-ban city dweller, I'd recommend a Remington 870 or something similar for home protection.

Oh that's right, there will be no need for home protection because:
1) the criminals will turn in their handguns on April 1 like the law says and
2) the police will protect you at all times.
DaffyGrl
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

I think it displays a trend among disenchanted voters. The rah-rah cheerleading of those in power sounds a whole lot emptier and more desperate now, five years and several scandals down the road. I think many people across the country are fed up with belligerent posturing and are starting to realize the emperor(s) has no clothes. I, for one, hope the trend continues and that the Republicans continue their blinkered, tired old strategy of fear-mongering.

When it backfires, I’m sure they’ll try to find someone to blame, but with Republican control in all 3 branches of government for 8 years, that’ll be a tough sell. I don't think the American people are THAT gullible or stupid (though I could be wrong; look what happened in 2004 whistling.gif ).

As for the unimportance of gubernatorial elections, let’s not forget how many presidents (including you-know-who) were formerly state governors. thumbsup.gif
QUOTE
According to a recent Battleground Poll, majorities of Southern voters (63 percent), Catholics (67 percent), conservatives (51 percent), independents (74 percent), Hispanics (82 percent), married women (60 percent), rural residents (65 percent) and even evangelical voters (60 percent) now say the country is on the wrong track. 
<snip>
Fewer than one in five Americans – a "stunning" statistic, according to the Battleground Poll – now think their children will do better economically than they have.

And then there is the war.  San Diego Union-Tribune

2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?

As for California and the overwhelming defeat of all Schwarzenegger’s proposals, I think Ah-nold alienated those who had supported him in the past, catalyzed those who never supported him in the first place, and ticked off the majority of California citizens who felt this expensive special election was unnecessary and a muscle-flexing political exercise at best. Schwarzenegger shot himself in the foot on this one, and his future as governor is a lot shakier than it was before he bulled this special election through. If even a half-decent candidate runs against him, he’s out. thumbsup.gif
Giles
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?


I think that it shows American's votes are correlating with Bush's approval rating at an all time low. Last night was a good night for the democrats and I am interested to see how future races, such as the '06 senate race in Maryland pans out. The republican candidate Michael Steele is a huge Bush supporter and I wonder if supporting Bush will backfire on him. I think the days of winning races by riding in on Bush's coattails are over.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 9 2005, 12:00 PM)
Turnout was relatively low. 
*


This isn't really accurate Carlito. First of all you can't expect much for off-year elections (not even talking mid term elections here). I haven't yet been able to locate voter turn out stats for Virginia but the turn out looks pretty good to me. Here are the numbers from the official voting site:
QUOTE
Registered Voters: 4,451,207  Total Voting: 1,976,872  Voter Turnout: 44.41 %


QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Either he's a lame duck or he finally gets serious about politics and brings California republicans into the fold. He's functioned as a sort of independent, and having all the liberals in the Horseshoe is turning off the Republican base. Who didn't turn out for his initiatives. I don't see how any rational voter who read the legislation on the anti-gerrymanering legislation could vote against it, it must have been better turnout from the Democratic base. Ditto union dues for political reform, abortion notification for parents of minor children (not, um, consent). Arnie needs to bring some conservatives into his organization and throw a few bones to the base if he's going to get anyone to show up come re-election time.

What is there left to get serious about? His approval ratings are about the same level or lower than Bush's ratings, this election proved that is accurate. Secondly, his big stick the entire time he has been governor has been the threat that if the Democratic majority legislature didn't work with him then he "take his issues to the people." The legislature called him on that bluff and the "people" rejected him and his issues. That leaves him with zero political clout. If he expects to get anything done before he gets booted out of office in 2006 then he has to work with the Democratic legislature and do things their way. Finally, he came into office saying he was against special interests running the state. During his time in office he has raised and taken more money from special interests than Gray Davis did and his initiatives were purely special interest based. Pretty much every California paper has been slamming him on this.

His initiatives were not non-partisan, they were directly out of the Republican playbook. Prop 73 was a direct attempt to reach out to the religious right - it got shot down. Prop 75 and 77 were purely about Republican power grabs and they both got shot down. Prop 78 was bought and paid for by Big Pharma and covers his "corporate" base and it got shot down. What else exactly does he need to give his "base" for them to vote for him?

QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Significant factors - people to whom God gave intelligence used that intelligence and voted to keep science class, um, about science.

You aren't going to get any argument from me but the fact of the matter is that a significant contingent of the Republican party plays to this base and in a city that managed to start up a modern day scopes monkey trial using Intelligent Design this kind of clean sweep is big news. People like Santorum and Coburn better watch out during the next election.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Don't know this one, but my instinct is that mayor of St. Paul doesn't have much to do with presidential politics.

Nope it was precisely because of that factor - link
QUOTE
St. Paul voters punished Mayor Randy Kelly on Tuesday for standing with President Bush a year ago, denying the Democrat a second term in Minnesota's capital city.

Former City Council member Chris Coleman, also a Democrat, routed Kelly by a more than 2-to-1 margin in unofficial returns with most precincts reporting. Ahead of the election, independent polls showed voters were primed to fire Kelly, and most cited his 2004 endorsement of the Republican president as the reason.


QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Wouldn't the defeat of CA referendums above be a 'loss' ?

Not for the Democrats Carlito, the first 6 were in place and supported by Swartzenegger and his financial backers. The last 2 were unimportant and one of them was simply a counter proposal for 78.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
edited to add - Cube, you neglected to mention the handgun ban passing handily in San Francisco. As a fellow handgun-ban city dweller, I'd recommend a Remington 870 or something similar for home protection.

Oh that's right, there will be no need for home protection because:
1) the criminals will turn in their handguns on April 1 like the law says and
2) the police will protect you at all times.

I didn't mention it because I didn't think it was relevant, at least not to national politics. Measure H did pass and it will likely be declared unconstitutional. However, I always enjoy an opportunity to tick off the gun nut set.

And I don't need home protection because SF is a relatively crime free city (violent crime at least) and there are really only two parts of the city that are even remotely dangerous and they aren't anywhere near where I live.

While we are on the subject of SF initiatives they also passed Measure I dubbed "college not combat" which makes the city oppose military recruiters being present in schools. Symbolic and largely without any bite but once again a fun thing to wish for.

Edited to add
: More analysis of the Virginia race which shows exactly where Kaine did better than Warner and to what degree.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 9 2005, 03:35 PM)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 9 2005, 12:00 PM)
Turnout was relatively low. 
*


This isn't really accurate Carlito. First of all you can't expect much for off-year elections (not even talking mid term elections here). I haven't yet been able to locate voter turn out stats for Virginia but the turn out looks pretty good to me. Here are the numbers from the official voting site:
QUOTE
Registered Voters: 4,451,207   Total Voting: 1,976,872   Voter Turnout: 44.41 %


Turnout was OK - not great, but OK. About the same as 2001, when you account for population growth - from USNews.com
QUOTE
Turnout in Virginia, with 99.67 percent of precincts reporting, was up 4 percent as against 2001 in a state where turnout increased in 2004 as compared with 2000 by 17 percent and in which population, according to census estimates, increased 5 percent in 2000-04.


QUOTE(cube jockey)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Either he's a lame duck or he finally gets serious about politics and brings California republicans into the fold. He's functioned as a sort of independent, and having all the liberals in the Horseshoe is turning off the Republican base. Who didn't turn out for his initiatives. I don't see how any rational voter who read the legislation on the anti-gerrymanering legislation could vote against it, it must have been better turnout from the Democratic base. Ditto union dues for political reform, abortion notification for parents of minor children (not, um, consent). Arnie needs to bring some conservatives into his organization and throw a few bones to the base if he's going to get anyone to show up come re-election time.

What is there left to get serious about? His approval ratings are about the same level or lower than Bush's ratings, this election proved that is accurate. Secondly, his big stick the entire time he has been governor has been the threat that if the Democratic majority legislature didn't work with him then he "take his issues to the people." The legislature called him on that bluff and the "people" rejected him and his issues. That leaves him with zero political clout. If he expects to get anything done before he gets booted out of office in 2006 then he have to work with the Democratic legislature and do things their way. .

I'm agreeing with you that "the people" rejected his efforts. What I'm trying to say is that you can't just come into office as a Republican, not include key republicans in your program, have a bunch of liberal advisors still in Sacremento, and expect the Republican rank-and-file to show up for your special election. Even if you have a wishy-washy parental-notification for abortion law on the ballot. For your and California's sake, I hope he gets it together, but you're right that it does not look good.

QUOTE(cube jockey)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Don't know this one, but my instinct is that mayor of St. Paul doesn't have much to do with presidential politics.

Nope it was precisely because of that factor - link
QUOTE
St. Paul voters punished Mayor Randy Kelly on Tuesday for standing with President Bush a year ago, denying the Democrat a second term in Minnesota's capital city.

Former City Council member Chris Coleman, also a Democrat, routed Kelly by a more than 2-to-1 margin in unofficial returns with most precincts reporting. Ahead of the election, independent polls showed voters were primed to fire Kelly, and most cited his 2004 endorsement of the Republican president as the reason.
2 democrats on the same ticket? Excellent. I wish that Chicago would do this. Would save a lot of money, considering that whomever wins the democratic primary, wins the election. PS, your asking me to take the Strib's analysis as "news" which is asking a lot!

QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 9 2005, 03:35 PM)
And I don't need home protection because SF is a relatively crime free city (violent crime at least) and there are really only two parts of the city that are even remotely dangerous and they aren't anywhere near where I live.

That's what a lot of New Orleans residents probably said before the hurricane. In a city where a major quake could happen without warning, you may just want to think about it - local Democratic officials haven't aced the public law-and-order thing as of late. I bet when the riots happened in Toledo last month, the 'gun nuts' felt a lot safer in their homes.

QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 9 2005, 03:35 PM)
While we are on the subject of SF initiatives they also passed Measure I dubbed "college not combat" which makes the city oppose military recruiters being present in schools.  Symbolic and largely without any bite but once again a fun thing to wish for.

The SF school district is losing about 1000 students per year, the service international union and teachers union are going to continue to increase their pay and fight needed school closures, you pay about $10,000 per pupil K-12 to turn out only 40% of students that read at grade level... I'm glad you're happy, but have you thought that perhaps the administrators and the teachers union should perhaps place a higher priority on other things?
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 9 2005, 02:38 PM)
Turnout was OK - not great, but OK.  About the same as 2001, when you account for population growth - from USNews.com
QUOTE
Turnout in Virginia, with 99.67 percent of precincts reporting, was up 4 percent as against 2001 in a state where turnout increased in 2004 as compared with 2000 by 17 percent and in which population, according to census estimates, increased 5 percent in 2000-04.

*


I think you made my point for me Carlito, this isn't a presidential election year. It is a fairly well accepted statistical fact that you'll have the highest turn out for presidential elections followed by mid term elections followed by special or off-year elections. The fact that the turnout increased by 4% over the previous special election gives no one an excuse to say that voters didn't turnout, they in fact turned out in greater numbers.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
2 democrats on the same ticket? Excellent. I wish that Chicago would do this. Would save a lot of money, considering that whomever wins the democratic primary, wins the election. PS, your asking me to take the Strib's analysis as "news" which is asking a lot!

I don't know anything about the Star Tribune so I don't know what you are referring to. They are reporting on an independent poll which was taken amongst voters, regardless of what you think about the paper itself, you haven't called that poll into question.

Regarding the SF measures, I really don't think they are worth discussing in this thread. Every election in San Francisco, and usually the surrounding bay area counties, has at least one provision on the ballot that is symbolic in nature - we have a long history of that. In the 2004 election it was something to the effect of "should the city officially oppose the Iraq war?" and it passed by an overwhelming margin. Now what is going to happen here? The mayor is going to send a letter to Bush which will be promptly trashed? It doesn't really matter - they have no force of law because they often contradict with state and federal laws. In other bay area counties there were provisions to decriminalize prostitution and marijuana use - even if they passed it wouldn't matter. What is important is that San Francisco has a history of codifying these things with election results.

So now that we are past this side distraction, it would be good to address the real issues at hand here smile.gif
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Amlord
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

I think we have a little too much "tea reading" going on here.

If we take a step back and think about elections in general, we must keep in mind that old saying "all politics is local". Although national figures might affect election locally, they usually only do so when they are closely tied to the local candidate (i.e. the national figure actually stumps for the local candidate or issue).

In this case, Bush did stump in Virginia on election eve with little success. Obviously a man with low approval numbers isn't going to have much of a positive impact.

In a more general sense, if local voters do not like the ways things are going, they are likely to vote for change. In California and Ohio, for example, there were quite a few "reform" issues on the ballot. In Ohio, it was fairly muddy about who was behind which issue. In both states, all reform issues were defeated. This indicates to me that the voters were not crying out for a change.

2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?

I think there were very few real surprises in this year's election. A Democrat won in New Jersey (what else is new?).

In Virginia, the Lt. Governor successfully succeeded his very popular governor. Kaine ran as a pro-lifer, openly spoked of his religion and opposed the death penalty based on those religious principles. It doesn't seem to me that the voters were rejecting conservativism with this choice. If anything, it will hurt George Allen's aspirations for President, since he could not pull his protege over the finish line. In the Virginia House, my source has the Democrats only picking up one seat, with the Republicans losing 2 (one to an Independent) source. The Republicans maintain a very strong 58/39/3 advantage in the House there. Again, it doesn't seem to be a rejection of anything. In fact, very little changed at all.

In California, Arnold stuck is neck out, took on the unions, and lost. It is notable that the people rejected the reform initiatives. The union dues/political contribution measure was a no-brainer: look at the thread here on ad.gif to see how emotional such a thing can get. If anything, these results tell me that the unions are strong in California. The fact that the voters rejected a call for fical discipline (Prop 76) seems most troubling, but it was opposed by the unions. Perhaps it was poorly worded, but Prop 76 had good intentions at least (it appears from my outsider's perspective). Prop 77's defeat (redistricting) seems to be an affirmation of the status quo (similar to Ohio's) rather than a repudiation of it. The teacher's tenure and political contribution by union members (both opposed by unions) don't seem to be galvanizing issues so their passage or defeat is ho-hum at best (no national implications).

All-in-all, the elections seemed to favor the status quo over reform or change. Although the results favor Democrats in some cases, I don't see a rejection of conservatism.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(Amlord @ Nov 9 2005, 04:33 PM)
I think we have a little too much "tea reading" going on here.
*


I have to strongly disagree here. Back in 2004 directly after the election there was post after post and several topics authored here by yourself and others about how Bush had a "mandate" based on 100K votes and some change in Ohio, how the country had loudly spoke out against liberal values, etc, etc. This went on for months and might still be going on, I haven't been as active lately.

Now we have an election a year later with proof of Republican candidates being replaced almost across the board, Democrats gaining strength and republican and conservative issues being defeated at the polls and it is "tea reading?" Right. If you look at my original list there is a lot more going on there than VA and CA. I'm sure there are several races I didn't even account for, it was meant to be an example.

QUOTE(Amlord)
If we take a step back and think about elections in general, we must keep in mind that old saying "all politics is local". Although national figures might affect election locally, they usually only do so when they are closely tied to the local candidate (i.e. the national figure actually stumps for the local candidate or issue).

In this case, Bush did stump in Virginia on election eve with little success. Obviously a man with low approval numbers isn't going to have much of a positive impact.

So you are atttributing Kilgore's loss to Bush stumping for him the day before the election? That doesn't sounds like a very sound analysis. Kilgore was not only beaten in the election but he lost a lot of support in traditionally Republican voting counties and with the military - all of this to a man who ran on a more liberal platform than Warner did.

In a lot of ways these elections were a referendum on national politics. If we are to believe the things you and others have suggested about the country becoming "more conservative" then surely these elections would have seen greater Republican support and a red southern state like VA would have elected a Republican governor. You wouldn't expect the the democrats to lose NJ but the support might have been eroded (it wasn't, Corzine's opponent was crushed) and You might have expected at least some of Arnold's propositions to pass - they didn't. So I guess that means we have to reject that conclusion.

QUOTE(Amlord)
Kaine ran as a pro-lifer, openly spoked of his religion and opposed the death penalty based on those religious principles. It doesn't seem to me that the voters were rejecting conservativism with this choice.

The analysis I have read stated that Kaine ran on a more liberal platform than Warner did 4 years ago. The fact that he is pro-life and religious in a southern state is irrelevant, that just means he is similar to the people that elected him. Unless you have some sort of evidence or promise he made to help over turn Roe v. Wade or fight abortion then the pro-life bit is meaningless and nothing more than a personal belief. Opposing the death penalty based on religious principles is no different than a Marin Hippie in CA opposing it based on morality Amlord. Religion = Morality, it is just defined by a book.

If you take a minute to look at some of the other examples I cited you'll see that conservative principles were rejected. One of the biggest was probably the repeal of Grover Norquist's crown jewel - anti-tax legislation in Colorado. Voters have seen over the course of the last 10 years or so that this philosophy of government simply doesn't work in Colorado and they rejected it. Next year I'm pretty sure they'll be tossing the Republican governor out as well.

There is also the issue of intelligent design in Dover, PA - not exactly a bastion of liberalism. The school board responsible for including that in science class (all Republicans by the way) wass completely swept last night by democratic canndidates that ran on an anti-Intelligent Design platform and said it should only be taught as philosophy or comparative religion.

There are a lot of other examples but hey if you want to be blindsided in 2006 that is fine with me thumbsup.gif

QUOTE(Amlord)
In California, Arnold stuck is neck out, took on the unions, and lost. It is notable that the people rejected the reform initiatives. The union dues/political contribution measure was a no-brainer: look at the thread here on ad.gif to see how emotional such a thing can get. If anything, these results tell me that the unions are strong in California. The fact that the voters rejected a call for fical discipline (Prop 76) seems most troubling, but it was opposed by the unions. Perhaps it was poorly worded, but Prop 76 had good intentions at least (it appears from my outsider's perspective). Prop 77's defeat (redistricting) seems to be an affirmation of the status quo (similar to Ohio's) rather than a repudiation of it. The teacher's tenure and political contribution by union members (both opposed by unions) don't seem to be galvanizing issues so their passage or defeat is ho-hum at best (no national implications).

I don't know much about the initiatives in Ohio and I won't comment on them. But you as an Ohio resident admit that you didn't know much about them or what was behind them. I could easily turn this same logic applied above and say "Only a fool would vote against election reform measures in your state - they had nothing but good intentions!" I might or might not be wrong and I wouldn't say that because I don't know.

However I will say that your reading of the CA initiatives is completely inaccurate and represents nothing more than was conveyed in the ads presented by both sides. The people in California rejected them precisely because they knew what they were about, not because they didn't understand them.

Personally I spent several months involved with them and researching them and they were an attempted power grab by the CA Republican party on all counts. The voters recognized that and rejected each and every one of Arnold's props. Now he'll limp into 2006 powerless and if he even runs for governor again he'll easily be defeated as long as the Democrats can find someone with a heartbeat to run against him.
kalabus
Although the democrats can make gains in 06 in the house and senate the earth would really have to shake like crazy for us to pick up the senate.

Only 6 republican held states are even winnable and we would have to win them all and hold all of our own in order to win back the senate. The seats are simply not there.

I covered every senate seat on here before. I watch them all like a hawk.

My review of every senate battle in 06

I can tell you anything about the 33 senate seats up for play in 06. Haydes would have to freeze over for the democrats to capture the senate.

Cube Jockey
QUOTE(kalabus @ Nov 9 2005, 09:49 PM)
My review of every senate battle in 06

I can tell you anything about the 33 senate seats up for play in 06. Haydes would have to freeze over for the democrats to capture the senate.
*


I had forgotten you posted that previously. I think that things have changed quite a bit in the past month since you posted that though. I'm not sure who your picks were in that thread but I'd say we are virtually assured that Santorum and DeWine will be unseated and there is a good chance of success (but not a certainty) in Montana, Rhode Island, Tennesee and Missouri. Blunt may well get linked to DeLay which would taint the party in his state. Of course the more the Bush administration messes up, the more we get nailed on gas and energy prices while oil companies are making record profits and the more of the parrty leadership that is embroiled in scandal the chances get better.
logophage
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

I believe it's easy to over-estimate the importance of these elections. While the travails of the Republican Party surely had some effect, I agree with Amlord that for the most part this demonstrates electoral moods at the local/state level rather than at the national level.

What has more predictive value are the polling numbers for Dubya & Cheney, the Iraq War and perceived ethical issues of the Republican Party. Should the approval stats not improve by late '06, then the Republicans will be in a world of hurt. We are already seeing the fiscal conservative Republicans breaking away from the big government Republicans. Still, let's not discount the continued disarray of the national Democratic Party as a counter (via negativa).

2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?

Having said all that, I do believe Virginia may have something to say about 2006. While Kilgore did play the Hitler card (what was he thinking?), Dubya's endorsement didn't help him at all. Virginia voted for Dubya twice. I think this is telling.

California, on the other hand, was a referendum on Schwarzenegger. It was all about personality and populist politics and had very little to do with the Republican party (national or state). He's gonna have to suck it up and actually work with the "girly-man" legislature. Just as a side note, I was in favor of prop 77 (redistricting) and I also voted against SF prop H (gun ban). Still, I was happy to see props 73-76 go down.
nemov
Here’s my question, what are the Democrats going to run on? Despite a bout of American pessimism, we are facing an economy that is on solid ground. Anyone that argues that things are bad economically is on the same footing Dole was in 96. Iraq has been a sore spot, but everything about the coverage on Iraq is perception. If we start slowly scaling back the number of troops over there and Iraq starts defending itself, isn’t that good news for Bush?

As for energy prices, those are not going down no matter who is in charge. I doubt Democrats will make too much of an issue of this because they know if they do it could come back to haunt them immediately. The way the districts are drawn the House isn’t changing over unless something remarkable happens. Historically it is very likely the Democrats will pick up seats in the Senate. This in my opinion would not be much of change considering how weak the Republican leadership is in that body.

odds

70% That the Democrats pick up seats in the Senate
35% That the Democrats take over majority in the Senate
95% That the Republicans maintain control of the House
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 9 2005, 08:06 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord @ Nov 9 2005, 04:33 PM)
I think we have a little too much "tea reading" going on here.
*


I have to strongly disagree here. Back in 2004 directly after the election there was post after post and several topics authored here by yourself and others about how Bush had a "mandate" based on 100K votes and some change in Ohio, how the country had loudly spoke out against liberal values, etc, etc. This went on for months and might still be going on, I haven't been as active lately.

Now we have an election a year later with proof of Republican candidates being replaced almost across the board, Democrats gaining strength and republican and conservative issues being defeated at the polls and it is "tea reading?" Right. If you look at my original list there is a lot more going on there than VA and CA. I'm sure there are several races I didn't even account for, it was meant to be an example.

Cube, you'll get no argument from me that the Republicans are in disarray (see upside-down elephant to your left). But Republican candidates 'being replaced almost across the board?'
Using your list:
2 Democratic governors replaced by ... Democratic governors
1 Democratic Lieutenant governor replaced by ... a Republican Lt. Gov
1 Democratic mayor in a liberal city replaced by ... a Democratic mayor
1 Republican mayor in a liberal city... re-elected by a freaking landslide (bloomberg)
The Dover school board? Seriously? If I listed some Libertarians and Greens that won library or school board elections, would you call it an indicator of 3rd party strength in 2006?

Honestly, other than the state legislature in VA, I don't see it. That does not diminish your points on the referendum in Cullyfornia or Colorado, I just don't think that these local issues were a referendum on anything national - especially foreign policy, which will come more into play in 2006.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 10 2005, 06:38 AM)

Cube, you'll get no argument from me that the Republicans are in disarray (see upside-down elephant to your left).  But Republican candidates 'being replaced almost across the board?
*


I have tried to say numerous times that I didn't list every single candidate that was running in this election. There are a lot more than I listed up in that initial post. Some states had state congress elections and there were numerous mayoral elections.

This wasn't a big election (in terms of number of candidates), but what I said is still factual.

QUOTE(=carlitoswhey)
That does not diminish your points on the referendum in Cullyfornia or Colorado, I just don't think that these local issues were a referendum on anything national - especially foreign policy, which will come more into play in 2006.

Some of it was local but other parts of it weren't because the parties at the national level count on these issues. I can use Colorado as a good example of what I'm talking about here. Sometime in the early 90's some anti-tax legislation was passed in Colorado that enforced the Grover Norquist philosophy of attempting to shrink the government - this state was his pride and joy. It took them long enough but Colorado has realized the downside of this philosophy and they've rejected it. This coming from a state that voted for Bush twice. Nationally you have the same thing, Bush trying to pass ridiculous tax cuts when we are so far in debt it is getting to the point of being dangerous. In 2006 these voters are going to vote the same way, to remove those politicians that support that philosophy.

QUOTE(logophage)
What has more predictive value are the polling numbers for Dubya & Cheney, the Iraq War and perceived ethical issues of the Republican Party. Should the approval stats not improve by late '06, then the Republicans will be in a world of hurt.

You don't feel that this election was a validation of those polls? This didn't happen in a vacuum.
Dontreadonme
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

I agree with the traditional premise that there is not much to be divined from an off year election, and there were no surprises in this one, to me at least. I would have been surprised if any of the elections had been reversed. NJ continues to be held by a Democrat governor, Rhino Bloomberg won handily and California continues as it's role as our nations wacked out social experiment.

As much as I don't really want to see the left take over either house of congress, that would be exactly what the Republican party deserves, and may be the only way to slap them back into line with conservative values and idealogy. From surrendering ANWR to Harriet Miers to unbelievably poor selling of Social Security reform, losing big in 2006 may be the only wake up call that will work on politicians who value their lucrative employment and perks packages more than actually standing up for what they profess to believe in. As long as they continue careening down the road of bigger government and spending money like a drunken private on payday, they'll continue to lose votes to moderates, Democrats and Libertarians.

For me lately, the adage of there being no difference between the two major parties has never been more true.
logophage
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 10 2005, 09:37 AM)
QUOTE(logophage)
What has more predictive value are the polling numbers for Dubya & Cheney, the Iraq War and perceived ethical issues of the Republican Party. Should the approval stats not improve by late '06, then the Republicans will be in a world of hurt.

You don't feel that this election was a validation of those polls? This didn't happen in a vacuum.
*

Not really. Certainly, I believe that there was some spill-over effect; yet, state and local politics often trend differently from national politics. I suppose if one were to argue that these election results have had a galvanizing effect for the Democratic Party and a disheartening effect for the Republican Party, then I could agree with a stronger linkage position. Still, this would be post hoc argument. Going into these elections, I believe the state/local electoral moods were the most relevant.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 10 2005, 11:37 AM)
QUOTE(=carlitoswhey)
That does not diminish your points on the referendum in Cullyfornia or Colorado, I just don't think that these local issues were a referendum on anything national - especially foreign policy, which will come more into play in 2006.

Some of it was local but other parts of it weren't because the parties at the national level count on these issues. I can use Colorado as a good example of what I'm talking about here. Sometime in the early 90's some anti-tax legislation was passed in Colorado that enforced the Grover Norquist philosophy of attempting to shrink the government - this state was his pride and joy. It took them long enough but Colorado has realized the downside of this philosophy and they've rejected it. This coming from a state that voted for Bush twice. Nationally you have the same thing, Bush trying to pass ridiculous tax cuts when we are so far in debt it is getting to the point of being dangerous. In 2006 these voters are going to vote the same way, to remove those politicians that support that philosophy.

As far as the Colorado anti-tax initiative and its national implications...

According to this chart provided by the Brookings Institution (no conservative think tank), the federal government is going to take in more money in 2005 than ever before - $2.05 Trillion. (although individual income tax receipts are not quite as robust) The problem is that it's going to spend more than ever before as well - $2.5 Trillion, or double what we spent in 1990. If the Republicans could find a candidate that spoke fluent English (unlike their current standard bearer) and could work a pie chart a la Ross Perot, this whole tax issue would die. Especially when you consider that practically the entire middle class is going to get hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax next year see here. That could finally start a tax revolt that gets something done.

If we can't squeak by with a federal budget of money.gif2 Trillion, we should seriously consider the overthrow of our government. Not just one party or the other, but the whole thing. $6700 for every man, woman and child per year should cover the federal obligations to our citizens quite nicely, thank you.

The problem with the incumbent protection racket as it stands in places like California and Ohio, is that we can't throw the bums out. They pick their voters, we don't pick them anymore.

edited to add - Kilgore in Virginia refused to take a firm anti-tax stand and lost. The Republican who won the Lt. Gov race took an unambigious anti-tax stand and won the race.
Rancid Uncle
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path? I think the democrats will pickup 4-7 seats in the senate and get somewhat closer in the house. It seems obvious the country is very displeased with the current political climate and the demcrats should naturally take advantage of that.

2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006? I think the major factor in most of these races was the use of pervasive negative advertising. Forrester and Corzine were nasty, Kilgore was nasty, and the two sides in the California initiatives were nasty. If the 2005 elections are any indicator the 2006 elections will be very negative and expensive.

By the way, Tuscon didn't throw out the republican city council, Tucson did. Tucson is a pretty democratic town so it isn't that surprising, plus people were angry about the garbage tax. Tuscon on the other hand, doesn't exist.
nighttimer
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 9 2005, 01:25 PM)
Questions for debate:
1.  Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year.  What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

2.  What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative?  How would these be applicable to 2006?


I tend to agree with Amlord's assessment. The Republicans are in a bad state of affairs right now, but in New Jersey and Virginia all we had was Democrats succeeding Democrats. Here in Ohio I supported the reform measures, but I wasn't surprised they went down in flames on Election Day. They were overly ambitious, too sweeping, and the supporters did a lousy job of selling them to the voters.

What it means is that going into 2006, the Democrats have a chance to make some serious inroads into Republican hegemony. Probably not enough to change the balance of power in the House and Senate but quite possibly enough to reduce the margins of GOP strength.

It's a good place to be and though the polls can swing back toward the Republicans, the Democrats have reason to believe they can pose a credible challenge to them. Certainly Bush and Rove's dreams of creating a permanent Republican majority has been derailed by their own ineptitude, scandals and lack of a coherent plan for the nation.

But I don't think the cynicism and disdain the American people have for politicians in general is going to be negated simply by Democrats saying they aren't Republicans. They need to offer not just criticism of the GOP but viable solutions.

2. All politics are local and what factors lead to victory or defeat in one state might not apply elsewhere. If I had to name one person though who comes out of these off-year elections with a sudden burst of energy it has to be Mark Warner, the outgoing governor of Virginia. He was able to carry his successor to victory while President Bush's drive-by endorsement of Jerry Kilgore did nothing to enhance his candidacy.

Warner is going to be a major player for the Democrats in 2008. Right now he's not well known, but he's going to have the credibility of being able to conduct winning campaigns in the red South and that's something that Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Evan Bayh and other potential challengers can't claim.

Meanwhile, Bush is going to have to put a lot of time and energy in reviving his own political fortunes before many Republicans are going to see him as an asset to their own reelection bids.

dry.gif
Cube Jockey
I ran across this poll today which I thought was appropriate for this discussion. I'll just throw it out there - link.
QUOTE
ABC News/Washington Post  Poll. Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2005. N=1,202 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults). Fieldwork by TNS.

"If the election for the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2006 were being held today, would you vote for the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate in your congressional district?" If other/unsure: "Would you lean toward the Democratic candidate or toward the Republican candidate?" Options rotated

              GOP  Dem. Neither/Other
                    %  %    %       

ALL adults      36  53  4 

Reg. voters    37  52  5

"If a candidate for Congress supports Bush in many areas, would that make you more likely to support that candidate for Congress, more likely to  oppose that candidate, or wouldn't it make much difference in your vote?"

  More Likely to Support    More Likely to Oppose  Not Much Difference Unsure
  %                            %                            %                        % 
ALL adults
18                                34                        48                    1 

"Regardless of your local contest, which party would you like to see in control of Congress after the congressional elections a year from now: the Democrats or the Republicans?"
Options rotated

  Republicans  Democrats  Neither (vol.)  Unsure 
  %              %                  %              % 
ALL adults
37                55              6                  2


There are some other interesting polls on that page as well.

I know the whole "local politics" thing is convention wisdom but this election did not happen in a vacuum and these candidates did discuss some issues of national significance.
Eeyore
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Nov 10 2005, 12:55 PM)

and California continues as it's role as our nations wacked out social experiment. 

*



Nice cheap shot at California. Of course the same thing could be argued about the South as well. Something must be going right out there because the standard of living is pretty good and the economy despite all of its wacked out activity played a major role in driving the economic boom of the 90s.

Nemov I don't see the same economy you do. I don't think this is the same climate as 96. Things are better (again) for the haves, while Katrina reawakened America to the problems of our underclasses. The present response has been to temporarily undo prevailing wage and have the Congress pass a social spending cut budget.

The middle class faces rising college costs (colleagues were talking this week about paying $27K total costs for a year of college at the University of Alabama and LSU respectively this week.) rising medical and drug costs, and the nation's revived economy seems to be about downward pressure on wages and a rising employee contribution of the costs of benefits.

Companies are going into bankruptcy to cut out workers' benefits and dramatically reduce their wages. There are plenty of things out here to gripe about in the economy.

As for this election. I don't think it was a blow to the Republicans in the sense that it did no real damage to their party. I do think, that after a long string of bad election days, this election may have the effect on the Democratic Party that the War of 1812 did for America. There is no clear victory to claim, but the fact that there was no further setback is going to continue to embolden democrats who are coming out of their slumber and they are starting to fashion winning strategies and policies.
Cube Jockey
There is an article in The Star-Ledger this morning containing one of the first postelection interviews for NJ-Gov's Republican candidate - Forrester. He seems to be blaming his loss in part on Bush's popularity.
QUOTE
It's all George W. Bush's fault.

Doug Forrester, in his first postelection interview, laid the blame for his loss in the governor's race last week directly at the feet of President Bush. He said the public's growing disaffection with Bush, especially after Hurricane Katrina, made it impossible for his campaign to overcome the built-in advantage Democrats have in a blue state like New Jersey.

"If Bush's numbers were where they were a year ago, or even six months ago, I think we would have won on Tuesday," Forrester said. "Katrina was the tipping point."


Later in the article we also have this:
QUOTE
Bush's approval rating last week slid to 36 percent nationwide in one poll, an all-time low for him. In New Jersey, it was at 34 percent just before the election.

The president was one of few top-name Republicans not asked to campaign in New Jersey on behalf of Forrester and other GOP candidates this year.

Forrester, a major donor to the Bush re-election campaign, also credited Corzine for trying to link him to Bush. "It was not a foolish thing to pound that issue so hard," he said.


It is pretty clear to me that Bush is radioactive right now and if he remains that way into 2006 then we are going to see a lot of Republicans booted out of office.
nemov
QUOTE(Eeyore @ Nov 12 2005, 08:30 AM)
Nemov I don't see the same economy you do. I don't think this is the same climate as 96.  Things are better (again) for the haves, while Katrina reawakened America to the problems of our underclasses.  The present response has been to temporarily undo prevailing wage and have the Congress pass a social spending cut budget.

The middle class faces rising college costs (colleagues were talking this week about paying $27K total costs for a year of college at the University of Alabama and LSU respectively this week.) rising medical and drug costs, and the nation's revived economy seems to be about downward pressure on wages and a rising employee contribution of the costs of benefits.

Companies are going into bankruptcy to cut out workers' benefits and dramatically reduce their wages.  There are plenty of things out here to gripe about in the economy.

*



The problem with this argument is that it could have been made in 1996. The truth of the matter is there is always “something” to gripe about in the economy. For those of us that have studied it, it is just nice to point out the biggest difference between 2005 and 1996 is perception and ideological viewpoint.

The 90’s were not a good time to be in manufacturing in North Carolina (and many areas of the country), things started going south after NAFTA.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(nemov @ Nov 14 2005, 01:50 PM)
The problem with this argument is that it could have been made in 1996.  The truth of the matter is there is always “something” to gripe about in the economy.  For those of us that have studied it, it is just nice to point out the biggest difference between 2005 and 1996 is perception and ideological viewpoint.
*


That is not at all accurate if you start looking at the actual data that is both traditionally used by economists to guage health and by looking at things that matter to people like the cost of health care, etc. However this isn't the topic to have that debate.
carlitoswhey
The spin about these elections was so intense that a headline writer with the AP in Georgia mistakenly wrote that 2 Republican governors were unseated. As opposed to 2 Democratic governors replacing 2 Democratic governors and one Republican Lt. Governor replacing a Democratic Lt. Governor. You know, Democrats losing a net of one "seat" if you will in those two races.

QUOTE(right-wing hack website newsbusters.org)
The national media worked overtime last week insisting that Democratic victories in governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia were huge setbacks for the Bush administration and national Republican party. Apparently, the liberal media spin was enough to hoodwink an unsuspecting headline writer at the Albany Herald in Albany, Georgia.

“Two Republican governors unseated,” read the November 9 headline over an article written by Associated Press correspondent Robert Tanner. The AP story does not appear in the Herald's online archives, but someone from the area noticed the humorously off-base headline and sent us a copy.


As for this:
QUOTE
It's all George W. Bush's fault.

Doug Forrester, in his first postelection interview, laid the blame for his loss in the governor's race last week directly at the feet of President Bush. He said the public's growing disaffection with Bush, especially after Hurricane Katrina, made it impossible for his campaign to overcome the built-in advantage Democrats have in a blue state like New Jersey.

"If Bush's numbers were where they were a year ago, or even six months ago, I think we would have won on Tuesday," Forrester said. "Katrina was the tipping point."



Forrester was anti-stem cell research, he ran an ad attempting to exploit his opponent's divorce, his campaign manager attempted to smear Corzine with sexual rumors regarding a staffer, refused to release his tax returns, and even said that he was a fan of both the Giants and the Eagles in football (Heresy!)

This idiot needs to look in the mirror as to why he lost the election. If the choice is between two millionaires who are richer than they are smart, maybe next time "the people" could please vote "none of the above" and the petulant loser could shut his mouth instead of blaming the President.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 15 2005, 09:05 AM)
The spin about these elections was so intense that a headline writer with the AP in Georgia mistakenly wrote that 2 Republican governors were unseated.  As opposed to 2 Democratic governors replacing 2 Democratic governors and one Republican Lt. Governor replacing a Democratic Lt. Governor.  You know, Democrats losing a net of one "seat" if you will in those two races.
*


Spin Carlito? I don't see anyone here but you trying to spin this election. What you are pointing out is that a reporter made a mistake with a headline. So what? What is your point? Have you never made a mistake at your job? Just because someone is a reporter doesn't mean they are God.

There are literally hundreds of other articles that got things right and as I have said in previous posts most of them don't believe there was any sort of power upset. Instead many of them take the angle that this election was a validation of current public opinion polls.

I really don't think I need to cite them because they should be pretty much common knowledge but it is no secret that every poll out there says people are fed up with Bush, tired of his policies and tired of the Republican party in general. However, there are always those that say polls are meaningless and that isn't really how Americans feel. Some of the country had an opportunity to speak and what they said validated those polls.

Everyone who comments on these things, on the left and the right, has stated pretty clearly that 2006 is going to be a sweep if things continue on the current track. So if you want to ignore every scrap of evidence and all of the people commenting on this subject that is fine, but it doesn't change the facts and the facts don't support your conclusions.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 15 2005, 11:42 AM)

Spin Carlito?  I don't see anyone here but you trying to spin this election.  What you are  pointing out is that a reporter made a mistake with a headline.  So what?  What is your point?  Have you never made a mistake at your job?  Just because someone is a reporter doesn't mean they are God.

There are literally hundreds of other articles that got things right and as I have said in previous posts most of them don't believe there was any sort of power upset.


8 years ago, at exactly the same time in Bill Clinton's second term, the Republicans had these two governorships. The Republican incumbents won. The news reports at the time said things like "with economy on a roll, voters choose status quo" or "In Virginia, more of the same." This time, with the tables reversed, the economy showing very similar numbers, and Democrat incumbents holding 3 of 4 seats in the same races, the news reads like this:

stinging defeats for g.o.p. come at sensitive time

QUOTE
WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 - After months of sagging poll ratings, scandal and general political unrest, the Republicans badly needed some good news in Tuesday's elections for governor. What they got instead was a clear-cut loss in a red state, and an expected but still painful defeat in a blue one.


The above reads a little differently from the coverage 8 years ago which reads like:
QUOTE(cnn "stay the course" in 1997)
But while Republican leaders were quick to read the results as a sign that a GOP steamroller would sweep through next year's elections, it's wise to note that the results merely reinforced the status quo. Together, the results from New York, New Jersey and Virginia constituted an incumbent's dream.

Obviously, Vito Fossella (R-NY 13) and Jim Gilmore (R-VA) weren't incumbents, but members of their party were the incumbents, and if there had been any kind of anti-incumbent voting, it would have shown up in all of the major races contested Tuesday. That never happened.


As for "what spin" compare what you are saying today with what Republicans were saying 8 years ago. It's almost exactly the same.

another old cnn article

QUOTE
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 5) -- You know the lesson of the 1997 elections? Get in line. Party officials on both sides are applying their very best spin to Tuesday's results.

"Something big is happening. That's what yesterday said," House Speaker Newt Gingrich said.

<snip>

This morning, President Bill Clinton said the overall economy kept voters happy with the status quo. "They won in places that they had before and we won in places we have before, in the urban areas where we had elections," Clinton said. "And I think the lesson of this year is that when the economy is up and crime is down, people believe the country and their states and their communities are moving in the right directions, and they tend to stay with incumbent candidates and parties."

Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson assured all who would listen that his party had been paying attention to this fall's contests. "The results in Virginia are going to be a model we are going to follow and study in the 1998 elections," he said.

Seriously, replace Newt Gingrich with Harry Reid, or replace Jim Nicholson with Howard Dean and it's almost verbatim quotes. Spin, pure and simple. On both sides. And we all know what happened at the end of Clinton's second term...the Democrats won the popular vote for President of the United States devil.gif
Lesly
Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

Clearly? unsure.gif Maybe it’s just the electorate once again voting for the least extreme—or if you prefer as DTOM demurred, least “whacked out”—party. Apologies to Karl Rove’s genius: in a galvanized electorate a religious* base continues responding to overtures that surpass previous overtures. Notwithstanding Pat Robertson’s veiled divine threats, the Religious Right may be approaching the limit of its political influence and ability to intervene in the lives of Americans.

Nighttimer’s assessment of the Ohio initiatives is spot on. I was hoping Ohio and California would at least vote yes on the redistricting issue. That initiative wasn’t perfect, but it was a step in the right direction letting politicians know redistricting isn’t one of the “spoils of war” in elections.

* The New Republic: Beached Party (Theocrats, paragraph 3)
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 15 2005, 10:08 AM)
8 years ago, at exactly the same time in Bill Clinton's second term, the Republicans had these two governorships.  The Republican incumbents won.  The news reports at the time said things like "with economy on a roll, voters choose status quo" or "In Virginia, more of the same."  This time, with the tables reversed, the economy showing very similar numbers, and Democrat incumbents holding 3 of 4 seats in the same races, the news reads like this:

stinging defeats for g.o.p. come at sensitive time
*


Should we start going into how exactly 2006 is different from 1998? I don't think that is really within the bounds of this topic. However I will say that 1) the economy is absolutely not anywhere close to the same ballpark and 2) the headline is 100% accurate because the GOP is on the run in almost every conceivable way - even (especially) their self declared core strength - security.

So bearing that in mind I don't find that your comment really has any relevance to the topic. The situation during Bill Clinton's 2nd term can't even remotely be compared to current events and it would be highly refreshing if we could have a debate where Clinton wasn't brought up by someone.
A left Handed person
1. Off year elections generally have no predictive value, but clearly the mood of the electorate has changed over the last year. What do you believe is in store for 2006 if things continue on this path?

The Republicans will lose massively. They seem, to be getting blamed for everything now, and unlike this past summer, public discontent seems to be more directed at them, then at politicians in general. This thread seems to have gotten into a huge debate about how significant the results of this election were, but if we really want to know what the publics current alignment is, then we ought to be looking at polls.

Heres a poll conducted about week ago:
.
"To begin, suppose the elections for U.S. CONGRESS were being held TODAY. Would you vote for the Republican Party's candidate or the Democratic Party's candidate for Congress in your district?" If other/unsure: "As of TODAY, do you LEAN more toward the Republican or the Democrat?"

36% Republican, 53% Democratic

Mind you, the elections wont happen for a year, and our glorious democracy ensures that people who live in sparsely populated areas have more governmental representation per person, then people who live in densely populated areas (Washington DC has six fifths the population of Wyoming, and gets no representation in the federal government, whatsoever), so nothings really certain.

2. What are the significant factors that lead to victory or defeat for each candidate/initiative? How would these be applicable to 2006?

I honestly don't know enough about these individual canidates to say.

nemov
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 15 2005, 05:11 PM)
[Should we start going into how exactly 2006 is different from 1998?  I don't think that is really within the bounds of this topic.  However I will say that 1) the economy is absolutely not anywhere close to the same ballpark and 2) the headline is 100% accurate because the GOP is on the run in almost every conceivable way - even (especially) their self declared core strength - security.

So bearing that in mind I don't find that your comment really has any relevance to the topic.  The situation during Bill Clinton's 2nd term can't even remotely be compared to current events and it would be highly refreshing if we could have a debate where Clinton wasn't brought up by someone.
*



I think Carlito ended this debate. His comparison had little to do with Clinton and more to do with the historical context of off year elections. Carlito showed that the Democrats are spinning the election exactly as the Republicans did in 97. As far as your assessment of the economy, I am hardly surprised by your outlook that differs from economists. This does not mean 06 will not end up being a bad year for Republicans. It just means things can change a lot in one year. Just ask Bush.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(nemov @ Nov 17 2005, 06:04 AM)
I think Carlito ended this debate.  His comparison had little to do with Clinton and more to do with the historical context of off year elections.  Carlito showed that the Democrats are spinning the election exactly as the Republicans did in 97.    As far as your assessment of the economy, I am hardly surprised by your outlook that differs from economists.  This does not mean 06 will not end up being a bad year for Republicans.  It just means things can change a lot in one year.  Just ask Bush.
*


Carlito did nothing of the sort. There is absolutely no valid comparison between the events that happened in the '97-'98 timeframe and today. The situation of our economy, our government and the world itself is fundamentally different.

If the Republicans do not do something to right themselves then this election will be exactly what they should expect in 2006. If you are following the polls of various senate and house races then you would know that to be true. The country is tired of Republican policies and unless they manage to cure cancer in the next year they are going to lose a sizeable amount of their power in 2006.

The evidence I see so far does not paint a positive outlook for the Republicans turning things around. In fact there is a large amount of infighting and power struggle going on right now as well which also doesn't bode well.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 17 2005, 12:36 PM)
  If you are following the polls of various senate and house races then you would know that to be true. 

Since there has been a lot of focus on Bush's low approval numbers (latest wsj/harris poll has him at 34%), I just thought I'd remind us that he isn't running for anything in '06. As to those Congressional races, there were some other numbers of interest. (note to cube - I haven't looked at any individual races here)
link
QUOTE(WSJ/harris poll)
"Bush's current job approval rating stands at 34%, compared with a positive rating of 88% soon after 9/11, 50% at this time last year, and 40% in August.

And he's not alone. Cabinet members, Congressional leaders and both parties in Congress have also seen their ratings slip, with Democrats seeing one of the biggest dips in approval, the telephone poll of 1,011 U.S. adults shows.
<snip>

At the same time, only a quarter of Americans polled give Democrats a positive rating in the latest poll, compared with 31% in August, while Republicans' approval ratings fell to 27% from 32%.


So, pretty much everyone in Washington except for Condi Rice has negative approval. This could be good for Democrats. But I have to wonder - how is it that Congressional Democrats even now still have a lower approval rating than the Republicans? And it's one of the biggest approval dips? That's unbelieveable. They are down from 34% in April to 25% now, with the negative up to 70%.

QUOTE(WSJ/harris poll)
In the most recent poll, Americans were also asked to name the two most important issues that the U.S. government needs to address. When considering the most important issues, 34% of those polled say the war is most important, 13% said the economy and 13% said Iraq. Other issues mentioned were health care (11%), education (10%) and taxes (9%)."


Well, the fact that the war is still the biggest issue explains (and partially reflects) some recent statements by both sides of the aisle. Congressional Democrats are going to pound on this for the next year as it is the only issue big enough to give them any anti-incumbent swing. Not sure how well it will work though, as Kerry's non-position position hurt him in '04.

As an example, a New York Republican Senatorial candidate (or even a liberal primary challenger) could run ads over and over with Clinton saying that Hussein was a threat, he has WMD, he works with terrorists, etc. This attack from either side hurts her.
From the right - she's a hypocrite if she now adopts the Howard Dean strategy
From the left - she's a (quoting Cindy Sheehan) war monger if she sticks to her current position.

Tough spot either way. As for the economy, I just filled up for $2.29 / gallon. thumbsup.gif
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 18 2005, 11:30 AM)
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 17 2005, 12:36 PM)
  If you are following the polls of various senate and house races then you would know that to be true. 

Since there has been a lot of focus on Bush's low approval numbers (latest wsj/harris poll has him at 34%), I just thought I'd remind us that he isn't running for anything in '06. As to those Congressional races, there were some other numbers of interest. (note to cube - I haven't looked at any individual races here)
*


Ok well let's look at some of them then because they prove your WSJ poll completely wrong.

Rassmussen 11/15. MoE 4.5%
DeWine ® 41
Hackett (D) 42

No clue why they didn't poll against Hackett's primary opponent Sherrod Brown but Rassmussen states that Hackett is relatively unknown. If he is relatively unknown why does 42% of the population favor him over DeWine? Surely that can't be a good sign. I imagine that Brown's numbers are the same or higher.

Strategic Vision 11/11-13. MoE 3% (this is a Republican partisan poll)

Republican gubernatorial primary
Swann ® 38 (38)
Scranton ® 34 (31)
Piccola ® 17 (15)

Head-to-Head matchups
Rendell (D) 45 (46)
Swann ® 42 (41)

Rendell (D) 46 (47)
Scranton ® 44 (43)

Senate race
Santorum ® 36 (36)
Casey (D) 51 (52)

Note the horrible numbers for Santorum, they have been like this for months.

St. Norbert College 10/31-11/11. MoE 5% (indpendent)
Wisconsin Gov
Doyle (D) 45
Green ® 32

Doyle (D) 46
Walker ® 31

Quinnipiac 11/8-13. MoE 3.4%
FL-Sen
Nelson (D) 55 (57)
Harris ® 31 (33)

Rasmussen 11/10. Likely voters. MoE 4.5%
WA-Sen
Cantwell (D) 52
McGavick ® 37

I'm sure that we could examine all the races and you'd see similar trends. The democratic incumbents stand to keep their seats and the Democratic challengers have great numbers.

Or we can look at it another way - the FEC released their 9 month senate numbers and in this link you'll find a PDF that compares the fundraising numbers for Democratic and Republican challengers and incumbents from 2005 and 2003. By every objective measure the Democrats are outraising Republicans so far and both parties are raising considerably more money than they did in 2003.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Tough spot either way. As for the economy, I just filled up for $2.29 / gallon.

There is a lot more to the economy than the price of gas.
carlitoswhey
Thanks for posting the poll numbers from those races. You're right - Santorum is not in favor at present. Howard Stern using his name as a pronoun for excrement for a couple of years probably didn't help. In every individual race, they have a year to define themselves (we haven't had primaries yet!) so those numbers seem subject to change - both ways of course. My larger point was that both parties' insiders were polling so poorly in both executive and legislative branches.

QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 18 2005, 03:10 PM)
By every objective measure the Democrats are outraising Republicans so far and both parties are raising considerably more money than they did in 2003.

For the Senate for 2005, you are right. But didn't I just read this on the front page of the Washington Post?
QUOTE(wapo nov 12)
Democrats Losing Race For Funds Under Dean
The Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean is losing the fundraising race against Republicans by nearly 2 to 1, a slow start that is stirring concern among strategists who worry that a cash shortage could hinder the party's competitiveness in next year's midterm elections.

The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate took the chairmanship of the national party eight months ago, riding the enthusiasm of grass-roots activists who relished his firebrand rhetorical style. But he faced widespread misgivings from establishment Democrats, including elected officials and Washington operatives, who questioned whether Dean was the right fit in a job that traditionally has centered on fundraising and the courting of major donors.

Now, the latest financial numbers are prompting new doubts. From January through September, the Republican National Committee raised $81.5 million, with $34 million remaining in the bank. The Democratic National Committee, by contrast, showed $42 million raised and $6.8 million in the bank.

Obviously the fund raising isn't as important as it used to be, given the 527's, but still not super-encouraging for the Dems. On the flipside, given the pathetic performance by the Senate Repubs, those fund-raising "surveys" go straight in the can at my house, so more money for Christmas for me!
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 18 2005, 01:22 PM)
The Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean is losing the fundraising race against Republicans by nearly 2 to 1
*


So what is your point? It was 3 to 1 or more under the previous DNC chair. The RNC has always raised more money as a whole. Dean has greatly improved things, of course the Washington Post doesn't feel like reporting that.

I showed you the numbers for the Senate races because the Democrats actually have a chance to take the Senate in 2006 and both fundraising dollars and poll numbers support that. I don't think taking the House is realistic, the power disparity there is too large.
Aquilla
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Nov 18 2005, 01:38 PM)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Nov 18 2005, 01:22 PM)
The Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean is losing the fundraising race against Republicans by nearly 2 to 1
*


So what is your point? It was 3 to 1 or more under the previous DNC chair. The RNC has always raised more money as a whole. Dean has greatly improved things, of course the Washington Post doesn't feel like reporting that.

*



Not sure where you got that, CJ. According to this article that's not a true statement at all, From the article from last December.....

QUOTE
The GOP and the Democrats broke all previous fundraising records this year, but for the first time since the mid-1970s, the Democratic National Committee raised more money than the Republican National Committee.

The DNC reported yesterday that it raised $389.8 million from Jan. 1, 2003, to Nov. 22, 2004, compared with $385.3 million by the RNC.


Imdbombboarder
Well one thing that i think will happen, not saying it based on my party selection, but between Hilary and Condoleeza, Condoleeza has it in the bag. Hilary was one that was born into wealth. Were parents were republicans..... one thing that also doesn't help hilary, is the fact aht she said she was a Republican until she smartened up. Condoleeza, was born into poverty. She was poor, and really worked her wayup. I mean, going from a 1 room shack, to having the option to run for president is pretty big. I think that will be touching the hearts of our society a bit more then hilary's story!
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