Democrats Sweep Tuesday Election

Across the country, Democratic mayors trounced Republican contenders. In New York City, Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg was expected to handily win reelection, and spent over 100 million dollars to assure that, but barely squeaked by in a city that usually reelects even Republican mayors who are not in prison or dead with strong majorities.

Republicans did make gains in a few places where they have already been strong. Virginia was transformed into a Republican stronghold during the so-called “Reagan Revolution,” though Democrats did surprisingly well there one year ago riding on Obama’s coattails. Republicans took back some party-level momentum there with the election of Bob McDonnell as governor, which is not surprising. They also, as expected, won the governor’s race in New Jersey.

The real test for an anti-Democratic party or anti-Obama backlash was in Upstate New York in a previously Republican congressional district. That race had become quite complicated with the right wing splitting on ideology, and numerous major Republican political leaders spending considerable time there campaigning for their candidate. Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Fred Thompson, and others made this a test case for a Republican comeback. The Democratic challenger won, putting a relatively liberal Democrat in this House seat that as been occupied by conservatives since the late nineteenth century. The backlash test failed: The Obama-led Democratic momentum is still strong.

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8 Responses to “Democrats Sweep Tuesday Election”

  1. November 4th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    The Science Pundit says:

    How do you spin the Maine results on question 1 as a win for Democrats? It seems difficult to me. I realize that there were other questions on the ballot that passed, such as Tax Increases were approved 60.19%/39.81% and Medical Marijuana was approved 58.66%/41.34% of the electorate. I guess bigotry is bipartisan?

  2. November 4th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    MRW says:

    For the NY 23rd election…

    The actual vote %s are pretty amazing, given the regular patterns of the district. For recent elections, ~2/3rds or more has reliably gone to the Republican candidate. This time, the Republican & Conservative candidates combined barely broke 50% (50.7%).

    As for Maine, yeah, bigotry is bipartisan. Remember that 2/3rds of House Democrats and 2/3rds of Senate Democrats voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. I’m sure there’s been some shift since then, but the number of Democratic voters opposed to gay marriage is still high, I’m sure. Mix in strong opposition among Republican voters, and it’s easy to guess that even a Democratic-leaning electorate would oppose gay marriage.

  3. November 4th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    The Science Pundit says:

    Yeah, I think the biggest divides are young/old and urban/rural. Young people are less attached to “Tradition”, plus they’ve grown up watching movies and television shows with openly gay protagonists–something the older generations simply weren’t exposed to. Also, the cities in Maine went big-time for NO on question 1. Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor were all heavily NO, and one of those (if I recall) was around 70%/30% NO/YES. Most of the northern districts went heavily YES. And interestingly, right across the Penobscot from Bangor, Brewer went YES. That probably shouldn’t have surprised me as Brewer is blue collar, has lots of retired folks, and is über-Catholic.

    The medical marijuana vote isn’t all that surprising either since the question was not to introduce such a law, but to extend one that had been in place for 10 years. There’s a lesson there for the marriage equality movement. These anti-civil rights propositions always succeed where there is either no history of marriage equality, or where gay marriage is so recent that people haven’t had a chance to realize that it’s not apocalyptic.

  4. November 4th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    How do you spin the Maine results on question 1 as a win for Democrats?

    I don’t. Have you been to Maine? The Maine catholic church spent 550 thousand dollars to make sure this bill passed. In Maine that’s a LOT of money. That was a victory for the Catholic Church in Maine. That was not a Republican victory of any kind.

    One of my best friends of all time is not ILLEGALLY married in Maine. The next priest I see is going to get an ear full.

  5. November 5th, 2009 at 7:00 am

    a daughter's mother says:

    I think the Maine vote is predictable, but lamentable. I’m looking forward to the California Defense of Marriage Act of 2010 that I’ve been hearing about on the radio. A TRUE defense of marriage, it would make divorce illegal. A judge finally OKed it for the rounding-up-petition-signatures process that would actually put it on the ballot. There is a part of me that is gleefully waiting for all the wing nuts and idiots to pass that by majority vote before realizing what they’ve done. But hey, if marriage isn’t a civil right, how much less of one is divorce?

  6. November 5th, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Greg Laden says:

    adm: Yes, that is very interesting. It is always good to see examples of crazy political logic taken to the extreme. Helps focus the fight and it move the center, or at least moves the fight to the center where there is a chance.

  7. November 5th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Todd Lockwood says:

    In Washington State, voters approved measure 71, which creates a legal union for couples equal to marriage, but not called “marriage.” It passed by a fairly high margin. It seems to me that the hang-up is on the word “marriage.”

  8. November 5th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    a daughter's mother says:

    The word isn’t just a word, Todd, it’s a legal hodgepodge of rights and obligations, especially on the federal level. Until legal unions carry the same legal rights for, say, Social Security and income taxes, they don’t count for shit. There are well over a hundred ways where, if it’s not marriage, it’s just not good enough. State by state doesn’t do it. It’s like legalizing marijuana for medical use in your state – pointless when the DEA can sweep down and arrest you for “legal” use.

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