Strangely, that is also the only one of the three races (Virginia, New Jersey and NY-23) in which President Obama did not campaign. Perhaps if he used the same strategy in Virginia and New Jersey the Democrats would have fared better.
Here is why the Democrats are in serious trouble in 2010:
Refusal to accept the truth. Democrats insist on laying the blame on Creigh Deeds.
If only a more progressive candidate, like Moran or Terry Mac had won the primary. The Obama voters that put him in office would have turned out. A low voter turnout combined with a large drop in the African American vote would have put one of the other primary candidates in office.
But the facts just don’t support that common belief in New Jersey or Virginia.
- In New Jersey 2,355,000 people voted, and increase of over 180,000 from the 2005 Governor’s race.
- And 16% of the voters were African-American compared with 14% that turned out in 2008 for Obama.
- In Virginia, Bob McDonnell garnered 1,157,680 votes compared to Creigh Deeds’ 814,063, a margin of 344,000 votes out of 1,971,743 votes cast.
- In 2005, Tim Kaine won 1,025,942 votes, 132,000 less than McDonnell won in 2009. Total votes cast in 2005 were 1,982,222 – or 10,000 fewer than this year. Hardly a “low” turnout.
- In 2001, Mark Warner received 984,177 votes, or 174,000 fewer than Bob McDonnell out of 1,885,908 votes, 86,000 fewer than this year.
- In 2004, 63.8% of eligible voters turned out to vote nationwide. In the 2008 Presidential race, only 63.6% showed up. So, there was no “big, energized turnout” of “new” voters for Obama. (Note – the raw numbers increased from 2004, but that was due to a 9 million person population increase in the US. But no matter if it is Virginia or Nationwide, it simply never happened.
So, despite the numerous polls attempting to show this was not a referendum on Obama, the numbers say otherwise. Moderate voters simply shifted to the right. McDonnell won the great masses in the middle. The moderates.
I snicker when I read the lefty blogs analysis insisting that Deeds was the wrong candidate. A more liberal candidate would have brought out the Obama voters.
But, as we can see, it was not a case of too few voters turning out. It was a case of the moderates moving to McDonnell. A more liberal candidate would have likely driven more moderates to vote for McDonnell.
The Democrats were defeated, not by a poor Deeds campaign, although that likely made things worse. But rather by a huge (and growing) backlash to Obama and Pelosi.
Former President George W. Bush caused a huge negative headwind for Republicans. The wind has now shifted. This time, the wind is blowing to the left. And it is picking up velocity.
With every radical bill, every radical Czar and inept policies for Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the rest of the Foreign Policy agenda, Obama increases the likelihood of the demise of the Democrat’s majorities every day.