Elections in Virginia, New York and New Jersey show shift in political landscape
First, a few obsevations:
1. Democrats are getting hammered in swing state Virginia. It’s not just Bob McDonnell, down ticket, too.
2. Independents (very deficit-phobic) look like they are flocking to VA GOP.
3. Economy isnt that bad in VA, just 6.7 percent unemployment. So more than just anxiety about job loss.
4. Blue Dogs will look at VA and fear for their seats, especially if McCain in ’08 or Bush in ’04 won their districts.
5. #4 is is bad news for Obama agenda. Already it looks like healthcare will slip into 2010.
6. Spending, spending, spending is freaking Americans out. “Trilion” has a powerful, visceral impact.
7. All the candidates in NY, NJ and VA ran as low-tax, control spending types. But McDonnell in VA was able to successfully paint Dem Creigh Deeds as a taxer and spender.
8. NY a sign that me-too, moderate Republicanism is a non-stater in party. Hofffman will encourage more primary challengers and boost folks like Rubio in FL and DeVore in CA.
9. Will Blue Dogs revolting and GOP emboldened, Obama agenda as currently constituted is in bad shape.
10. Blaming Bush for economy is done as a political weapon. New polls show 49% blame Bush, 45% blame Obama. Give that number another year of high unemployment. This was Jon Corzine’s strategy vs. Chris Christie. Good thing for Corzine that he had Dem machine in his corner, plus outspent Christie by 3-to-1.
Bottom Line: While there were local factors as play, this election day is looking like a rejection of big-spending Washington that seems to be doing little to fix the economy. And certainly using the weak economy as crisis to be exploited is at an end. Sorry, Rahm Emanuel. Just another data point, of course. But a significant one.