A year ago, Americans ended the longest Presidential campaign in our history; and in just a few hours, some go back to the polls in what many pundits call the first real electoral test of President Obama’s term. A few highlights and predictions…
NEW YORK 23rd
This must be the most sensationalized race of the 2009 cycle. As we’ve all heard, the Republican Dede Scozzafava recently dropped out of the race seeing poor polling numbers after several national Republicans (Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson and Dick Armey amongst them) endorsed the Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman. Since, she has endorsed and recorded robo-calls for the Democrat Bill Owens. As the moderate Scozzafava hemorrhaged support, both Hoffman and Owens benefitted. Ultimately, though, this is a Republican district and Hoffman seems poised to take the seat. The spoiler: if Republicans accidentally or in protest vote for Scozzafava, whose name will still appear on the ballot.
Hoffman (C) by 7.
NEW JERSEY GUBERNATORIAL
In what is probably the most exciting race of the year, Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine is practically tied with Republican Christopher Christie, with the Independent candidate Chris Daggett lucky to be in double digits. If you look at the polling trends, though, Christie is falling as Corzine rises. Daggett also seems poised to be a conservative spoiler, drawing supporters from Christie in a close race. Corzine is my favorite for this one. The spoiler: if Daggett supporters see the Corzine-Christie race as too close to support an independent candidate.
Corzine (D) by 2.
Virginia will maintain an historical trend this year. In the past eight gubernatorial elections, since 1977, the party of the President has lost the keys to the Governor’s mansion, and it will do so again. The question isn’t who will win, but by how large of a margin the Republican Robert McDonnell will decimate Democrat Creigh Deeds. The spoiler: If Virginia counts votes like Afghanistan.
McDonnell (R) by 13.
NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL
Bloomberg (I, Incumbent) by 15.
The Democrats also look likely to pick up some other City Halls, as well as the California 10. Maine’s Proposition 1 to overturn a law legalizing same-sex marriage is really too close to call; undecideds seem to be breaking ‘yes’ but the ‘no’ supporters are arguably ahead. I’ll go shot-in-the-dark and say ‘No’ wins.
Does this mean anything for President Obama or the Democrats in 2010? Probably not. Unless the results overwhelmingly list conservative, which they probably won’t, these elections won’t mean much for either party. The only major shift might come from New York 23, where we’ve watched concrete evidence presented of centrists being pushed out of the Republican Party. Will it be a trend? We’ll see…
(Images courtesy of the AP)