Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Election 2009: Winds of Change
What is the number issue on voters’ minds? The economy and the uncertainty around their pocket book were major issues. According to ABC news exit polls from Tuesday November 3, 2009:
Voters who expressed the highest levels of economic discontent heavily favored the Republican candidates in both states – underscoring the challenge Obama and his party may face in 2010 if economic attitudes don't improve. The analogy is to 1994, when nearly six in 10 voters said the economy was in bad shape, and they favored the out-of-power Republicans by 26 points, helping the GOP to a 52-seat gain and control of Congress for the first time in 42 years. www.abcnews.com
In Virginia on Tuesday, voters who were "very" worried about the economy concern supported the Republican winner, Bob McDonnell by a wide margin, 76-24 percent. In New Jersey, while the gap wasn't quite so broad, voters who were most worried about the economy backed Republican Chris Christie by 59-36 percent. ABC News www.abcnews.com
So how does this project into the upcoming 2010 elections throughout the US? Not good news for incumbent Democrats, especially those in conservative leaning or GOP districts (that either Bush and/or McCain carried in 2006 or 2008). But it also reflects that any incumbent that is running for re-election in 2010 will have his or her hands full.
According to CCN exit polls from Election Day 2009, also indicate the power of the swing Independent (Unaffiliated vote) in the Governor races in Virginia (where GOP McDonnell leads with 59% of the vote http://www.vpap.org and in New Jersey where Republican Chris Christie is leading incumbent Dem Corzine).
(CNN) - Independents appear to be playing an important role in the country's two off-year gubernatorial races. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com
In Virginia, where 30 percent of voters identify themselves as independent; 65 percent cast their ballots for CNN's projected winner, Republican Bob McDonnell. That's according to early CNN Exit Poll data. Democrat Creigh Deeds earned the votes of 34 percent of independents.
In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie took 58 percent of the independent vote while incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, got only 31 percent. Independent candidate Chris Daggett got just 9 percent of the independent vote. Independents made up 28 percent of the voters in New Jersey race.
On Wednesday morning the Democrat and Republican pundits will begin spinning the election results. The White House and Democrats will downplay the results. The GOP will trumpet them. But one thing is clear: Any elected official, at what ever level of public service, will need to heed the will of the American people in the area of the economy, taxes, jobs and government that is smaller, but actually works for the people. Or they’ll be retired like Jon Corzine, despite an endorsement from President Obama and spending millions to be reelected.
© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, www.jasperwelch.org