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Thread: GOP sweep: Republicans win Virginia & New Jersey governor races

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Default GOP sweep: Republicans win Virginia & New Jersey governor races

    WASHINGTON Independents who swept Barack Obama to a historic 2008 victory broke big for Republicans on Tuesday as the GOP wrested political control from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey, a troubling sign for the president and his party heading into an important midterm election year.
    Conservative Republican Bob McDonnell's victory in the Virginia governor's race over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and moderate Republican Chris Christie's ouster of unpopular New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was a double-barreled triumph for a party looking to rebuild after being booted from power in national elections in 2006 and 2008.
    Elsewhere on Tuesday, Maine voted on whether to affirm a state law that would allow same-sex couples to wed. If supporters prevail, it would mark the first time that the electorate in any state endorsed gay marriage.
    And Democrat Bill Owens captured a GOP-held vacant 23rd Congressional District seat in New York in a race that highlighted fissures in the Republican Party and illustrated hurdles the GOP could face in capitalizing on any voter discontent with Obama and Democrats next fall.
    California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, also a Democrat, won a special election to a vacant congressional seat, Ohio voters approved casinos and a slew of cities selected mayors, including New York, which gave Michael Bloomberg a third term.
    The outcomes of Virginia and New Jersey were sure to feed discussion about the state of the electorate, the status of the diverse coalition that sent Obama to the White House and the limits of the president's influence on the party's base of support and on moderate current lawmakers he needs to advance his legislative priorities.
    His signature issue of health care reform was dealt a blow hours before polls closed when Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid signaled that Congress may not complete health care legislation this year, missing Obama's deadline and pushing debate into a congressional election year. Democrats in swing-voting states and moderate-to-conservative districts may be less willing to back Obama on issues like health care after Virginia and New Jersey showed there are limits to how much he can protect his rank and file from fallout back home.
    The president had personally campaigned for Deeds and Corzine, seeking to ensure that independents and base voters alike turned out even if he wasn't on the ballot and voters still rejected them. Thus, the losses were blots on Obama's political standing to a certain degree and suggested potential problems ahead as he seeks to achieve his policy goals, protect Democratic majorities in Congress and expand his party's grip on governors' seats next fall.
    Interviews with voters leaving polling stations in both states were filled with reasons for Democrats to be concerned and for Republicans to be optimistic, particularly about independents the crown jewel of elections because they often determine outcomes.
    Independents were a critical part Obama's victory in Virginia, New Jersey and across the country. But after more than a year of recession, they fled from Democrats in the two states, where the economy trumped all.
    The Associated Press exit polls showed that nearly a third of voters in Virginia described themselves as independents, and nearly as many in New Jersey did. They preferred McDonnell by almost a 2-1 margin over Deeds in Virginia, and Christie over Corzine by a similar margin.
    Last year, independents split between Obama and Republican John McCain in both states.
    In Virginia, McDonnell won by big margins in rapidly growing, far-flung Washington, D.C., suburbs places like Loudoun and Prince William counties that Republicans historically have won but where Obama prevailed last fall by winning over independents and swing voters. Republicans swept all three statewide Virginia offices up for election: governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
    "Bob McDonnell's victory gives Republicans tremendous momentum heading into 2010," declared Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association. "His focus on ideas and pocketbook issues will serve as a model for Republicans running next year."
    Said Tim Kaine, the Democratic National Committee chairman and the term-limited Virginia governor: "We are disappointed."
    In both states, the surveys also suggested the Democrats had difficulty turning out their base, including the large numbers of first-time minority and youth voters whom Obama attracted. The Virginia electorate was whiter in 2009 than it was in 2008, when blacks and Hispanics voted in droves to elect the country's first black president.
    Democratic victories in both Virginia, a new swing state, and New Jersey, a Democratic stronghold, in 2005 preceded big Democratic years nationally in 2006 and 2008.

    Tuesday's impact on Obama's popularity and on the 2010 elections could easily be overstated. Voters are often focused on local issues and local personalities.
    Yet, national issues, like the recession, were clearly a factor, with voter attitudes shaped to some degree by how people feel about the state of their nation and their place in it.
    And, voter attitudes particularly among independents could bode ill for Democrats in moderate districts and in swing states like Ohio, Colorado and Nevada, should they remain unchanged when the party seeks to defend its turf next fall. In 2010, most governors, a third of the Senate and all members in the House will be on ballots.
    It's also difficult to separate Obama from the outcomes after he devoted a significant chunk of time working to persuade voters to elect Deeds in Virginia and re-elect Corzine in New Jersey.
    More than four in 10 voters in Virginia said their view of Obama factored into their choice on Tuesday, and those voters roughly split between expressing support and opposition for the president. People who said they disapprove of Obama's job performance voted overwhelmingly Republican, and those who approve of the president favored Deeds, the Democrat. The Obama factor was similar in New Jersey, though there were slightly more voters who said the president did not factor into their choice.
    GOP sweep: Big governor victories in Virginia, NJ
    I'm not shocked about Corzine losing, even though I voted for him. He sealed his fate years ago when he shut the state down in a hissy fit over the budget.

    The one bright spot is the GOP lost the race in upstate N.Y. Hopefully, these losses will be the kick in the butt that Obama and the Dems need to get the lead out.

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    Corzine lost because of his own record and foolishness, not because of Obama.

    And Democrat Bill Owens captured a GOP-held vacant 23rd Congressional District seat in New York in a race that highlighted fissures in the Republican Party and illustrated hurdles the GOP could face in capitalizing on any voter discontent with Obama and Democrats next fall.
    I hope that the teabaggers keep up this ideological purity. It will hurt the GOP.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    And the corruption sweep of Dems a few months ago helped drive the final nail into Corzine's coffin. Ironically, as much as I hate Christie, I'm not upset that he won.

    It'll be strange having a Republican governor again, since N.J. hasn't elected a Republican since Christie Whitman in the late 90's.

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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    I wish there was a way to combine some of the three major candidates. I liked some of each candidate so it was really hard to decide. I have to agree with you King, as much as I wasn't crazy about any of them I am ok with Chrisite winning. Now let's see if he is going to clean up NJ like he supposedly says he will.
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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Holy shit I am soooo glad the election is over. It has been all District 23 shit and I was so fucking sick of it. Bill Owen/Doug Hoffman, and the chick that was forced to quit the race---the Republican that SUPPORTED GAY MARRIAGE AND ABORTION.

    The Conservative Doug Hoffman, I swear to God, is a closted gay. I'd bet my life on it.

    On the Governor race in NJ: Hadn't really followed it much but thought that Corzine was fairly well liked. *shrugs* not sure what happened there...

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Lynnie, the big mistake Corzine made was that he tried to run N.J. like it was a company instead of a state. I remember when he got into that bad car accident a while back there wasn't an outpouring of concern in N.J. for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by viggofan View Post
    I wish there was a way to combine some of the three major candidates. I liked some of each candidate so it was really hard to decide. I have to agree with you King, as much as I wasn't crazy about any of them I am ok with Chrisite winning. Now let's see if he is going to clean up NJ like he supposedly says he will.
    I think Christie will be another waste like Christie Whitman was. But since I want to move to California, which already has a Republican governor, I can't get upset about Christie.

    Plus, N.J. has gone through it's cycle of Democrats with McGreevey and Corzine, so it was time for a Republican to win.

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    New Jersey, years ago, for decades, was known as a Republican state. Then it went blue for a while, now it's red again. The county I live in (lifelong resident), to the best of my recollection, has *always* been red. I live in a very conservative area and the politics are ripe around here. Without trying to give too much away about where I live, my small TOWN is embroiled in a major scandal .... we've been predominately a Republican town for as long as I can remember, and then a Democrat got in as mayor .... there have been fist fights at town meetings between council members, other big wigs (well, as big as they think they are in my small town) that have been hauled off by the police during council meetings, then recently, the local police department (of which my family knows about 90% because of school or family relationships) canvassed the entire town door to door to notify about a convicted sex offender living in the area (before that we had ONE since Megan's Law was enacted), which I will admit, scared the living shit out of me (but I'm paranoid anyway) ... until my DH came home and kept saying he KNOWS the sex offender's name, but just couldn't place him .... until AH-HA ... he remembers it's the freaking mayor's son (who has mental problems and doesn't technically live in this town, just visits his father from time to time, which TECHNICALLY did not warrant a canvass of the area by the police department, especially given his tier offender status) .... and this is all a political war because the mayor is a Democrat (with SERIOUS ethics problems, including being on mental disability from his law enforcement job from another area while holding office, tax evasion/unpaid taxes and numerous personal fraud lawsuits pending, plus being the subject of numerous impeachment attempts since shortly after he was elected) and the rest of the town's elected officials are Republican. We get dueling "news" (gossip) politico privately funded "newsletters" in the mail or stuck in our door (for years). There is a website that is FULL of charges about the corruption going on in this town (I believe it's owned by one of the "newspapers"). It's just absolutely insane and this is just in my small town.

    Did you know that all 21 counties in New Jersey are currently in the top 100 counties in the COUNTRY that have the highest property taxes ... even though there are a few counties that are severely poor? Two years ago (maybe three?), the state made all towns/cities reevaluate property values ... my property value (for tax purposes) more than TRIPLED in that one visit (and this was RIGHT before we put new windows/doors in, new roof, new siding, new hardwood flooring throughout the house and installed skylights, so I can't even imagine what it would have been after all those improvements) ... and now my property tax assessment is higher than I can sell my house for because of the current market. I believe (I'm fairly certain without fact checking) that NJ's property taxes are the highest in the nation. Not California. Not New York. NEW JERSEY. And this is just ONE problem that NJ residents face. We are not considered the most corrupted state in the nation for no reason.

    I try to remain neutral in terms of politics on boards because, frankly, it's just not worth it. But I will state that I am a moderate conservative (and the moderate has only been for the past few years, because I'm slowly being disillusioned by a two party system anyway), just in the interest of full disclosure. I am pro-choice ... always have been, which is really against my party, but I have always believed that is a women's issue, and not a political one. I am also anti-discrimination for ANYBODY, and that includes being pro-gay rights, which is *really* against my party ... but it is what it is. I think New Jersey didn't really have a chance in this election ... Corzine needed to go, but Christie was not an ideal candidate either and anybody that thought that an Independent had a chance to win an election in NJ was just fooling themselves. I fear for this state, but I fear for our nation too .... and that sucks.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    the sane people should lock the nuts on an island.
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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Lynnie, the big mistake Corzine made was that he tried to run N.J. like it was a company instead of a state. I remember when he got into that bad car accident a while back there wasn't an outpouring of concern in N.J. for him.



    I think Christie will be another waste like Christie Whitman was. But since I want to move to California, which already has a Republican governor, I can't get upset about Christie.

    Plus, N.J. has gone through it's cycle of Democrats with McGreevey and Corzine, so it was time for a Republican to win.
    Whitman and Corzine were horrible imo, and McGreevy now unfortunately only seems to have his "scandal" to be remembered for. Hope Chrisitie does better b/c NJ is one state that is definately in the crapper. Has been for some time too. Taxes are astronomical, businesses are gone, jobs went with them. DH is not only talking about moving out of the state but sometimes out of the country.



    Grimmock, that is going to be one very over populated island.



    Nevan I agree with much of your post especially about the taxes, and also how not everything about each candidate matched my feelings. It was a hard decision, Corzine definately had to go, but Chrisitie wasn't in favor of gay or women's rights. I really think the time has come (actually been here for some time imo) for us to get rid of a two party system. Also, in a perfect world I would love to see a candidate disqualified as soon as the mud starts flying. This past election was ridiculous with the mud slinging. It takes away from the real issues and gets to be really immature and annoying.
    Last edited by viggofan; November 5th, 2009 at 10:38 AM.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I think this was happenstance. Not a sweep.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^It's considered a sweep because the GOP won in both N.J. and Virginia.

    Quote Originally Posted by viggofan View Post
    Whitman and Corzine were horrible imo, and McGreevy now unfortunately only seems to have his "scandal" to be remembered for. Hope Chrisitie does better b/c NJ is one state that is definately in the crapper. Has been for some time too. Taxes are astronomical, businesses are gone, jobs went with them. DH is not only talking about moving out of the state but sometimes out of the country.
    Of the three, Whitman, McGreevey and Corzine, I think McGreevey was the best. And that's not saying much. McGreevey's scandal, which I still think was the funniest thing I've ever seen, didn't wipe out the fact that he cleaned up the mess Whitman made, especially with the DMV and property tax rebates. I think that's why there wasn't a huge public outcry in N.J. to get McGreevey out of office after the scandal broke.

    As far as Christie goes, there's just something about him I don't trust. He just reminds me of a low-rent Tony Soprano. But his win was a good thing for the Dems, because they've been in power for too long and that's why all of the corruption set in. Hopefully, Christie won't decide to go off the deep end like most of the Republicans because that will backfire on him.

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    ^^^ I agree with your assessment of Christie. DH and I are very active voters and routinely vote even on local issues and school budgets and such. This election was the first time in many years that we've missed an election (we're all sick). I do not think the next four years are going to go well for NJ ... I'm just hoping it's going to be LESS bad than it would have been if Corzine stayed in office. I felt like I couldn't get behind anybody in this race.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Same here. When I voted for Corzine the first time around I was excited because I thought he'd be a good governor. I had no enthusiasm in this election because Corzine was a lameduck, I don't trust Christie and I figured the Independent would just be a wasted vote anyway. In fact, I didn't even care enough about the election returns to keep tabs on them until after 1 a.m.

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    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    I didn't vote for Christie nor do I trust him. At least with Corzine - you knew what you got. I'm tired of voting against the person I don't want more, than for the person I want. I voted for Corzine to prevent Christie from winning., as did many people I know. That didn't work out so well.

    I am disgusted with this state. It doesn't matter who is in office - it's the same old story of corruption, high taxes and partisan fighting. NJ pays the highest property taxes on average of any state, and my town is among the highest in the state. People down the street in the town next door pay half the rate that we do. It's a huge rip-off - especially when you feel that your money is being wasted. I can't wait to move out of here someday when we are able.

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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    They didn't just win in Virginia. They steamrolled in Virginia. Seriously, they all won by landslide each, as in 60% to 40%.
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