Lessons from Election Night

posted at 8:48 am on November 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Republicans had their best night in five years yesterday, winning two governorships in states that went big for Barack Obama last year.  They came closer than some would have guessed in holding a California district while running a no-name against the state’s Lieutenant Governor.  And while the local GOP botched a district in New York just as bad as they possibly could, the news from NY-23 is actually not bad at all.

Let’s start with the special election in New York.  Many of us hoped that Douglas Hoffman could pull off a remarkable outsider bid yesterday to beat Bill Owens, and he came within a couple of points of making it.  That puts a Democrat in the seat for the first time since 1993 (not 117 years as has been previously reported).   It’s never a best-case for the GOP when a Democrat wins, but by keeping Dede Scozzafava out of the seat, the GOP has the chance to win this seat back in a year with a better candidate — perhaps Hoffman, perhaps another Republican who shares core principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism.  Dislodging an incumbent Republican would have been considerably more difficult, and a unified GOP should win this district — especially given the signals sent everywhere else to Democrats.

What signals?  The GOP trounced Democrats in two states that Barack Obama won big just one year ago.  Obama beat McCain in Virginia by 13 points; Bob McDonnell won it by 17.  Republicans swept the statewide offices, reversing Democratic gains made over the last few election cycles, and are set to take at least a half-dozen Democratic seats in the legislature.  It should be remembered that the current governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, is also the Democratic Party chair, put there in part to consolidate Democratic gains in his state.

In New Jersey, the news is even worse.  Chris Christie beat Jon Corzine by four points in a state that went for Obama by 15 points — and where a Republican hadn’t won in over ten years.  Unlike Virginia, Obama campaigned heavily for Corzine, calling him his “partner” and putting his prestige on the line.  Joe Biden made a couple of campaign appearances, too, and the White House supervised the campaign in the final weeks after Corzine initially fell behind.  Obama made the argument for Corzine all about Obama — and New Jersey, one of the bluest states in the nation, rejected him.

Obama will still be president for another three years, but the mystique is gone.  New Jersey just taught Democrats in Congress a big lesson — Obama can’t get them re-elected.  Being the President’s “partner” on his radical agenda is not a winning position; it wasn’t for Corzine in what should have been a secure blue state, and it certainly won’t be in moderate or conservative districts and states held by Democrats in the House and Senate.

That is a huge blow to Obama and his agenda, as Democrats now have to consider unpopular bills for ObamaCare and cap-and-trade in an entirely new light.  If they fall in behind Obama instead of listening to their constituents, they will find themselves in retirement after the 2010 midterms.   That’s the big lesson, and it will not be lost on moderate Democrats.

Update: Glenn Reynolds wonders whether the Obama magic is gone, too:

The Obama invincibility that was so much in evidence then seems to have lost its power. People can argue the reasons why these elections, all in places Obama carried handily, were so close. But if he were the political marvel he was thought to be, these races wouldn’t have been contests, but walkovers. So one consequence of this Election Day is the end of his special political magic.

That’s no surprise — as that magic was a largely substanceless froth whipped up by campaign consultants and compliant big-media cheerleaders.

The truth is, Obama wasn’t ready to be president when he ran in 2008. When he started, he probably thought he had no real chance — he himself admitted upon entering the Senate that he wasn’t qualified to be president — and that his first run would simply be a PR effort that would lift him to the top ranks of Senate Democrats. …

But he was right the first time about not being ready for the Oval Office. As president, he seems confused and a bit distant on the issues, leaving the details to congressional Democrats and an ever-growing number of “czars” while he golfs and launches attacks at Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

With the economy tanking (unemployment is much worse after Obama’s deficit-swelling stimulus than Obama’s advisers predicted it would be with no stimulus at all), with the promised post-partisanship dissolving into witch-hunts against hostile media and the promised post-racial America devolving into the awkwardly staged “beer summit,” with the “necessary war” in Afghanistan the subject of endless dithering and the promised “smart diplomacy” materializing as a series of awkward missteps by Hillary Clinton, the froth has become a lot less frothy.

Unfortunately, the froth appears to be all there was.  Read the whole thing.


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The man’s race motivated enough minorities to vote, and he bamboozled just enough indepentents to win. He has told whopper lies DAILY since January and people are realizing it. Yes, his mojo/facade is gone.

marklmail on November 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM

I’m making people, especially young people with small children, commit to helping out at the polls next year. kelley in virginia on November 4, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Is that legal?

Akzed on November 4, 2009 at 9:46 AM

And even the new Virginia governor downplayed his socially conservative views and focused on economic issues.

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 9:30 AM

And that’s bad news for Democrats going into 2010.

This Democrat Congress is THE most anti-business, anti-profit, anti-free market Congress in American history. It’s not even up for debate.

They aren’t even remotely intrested in policies that will help private businesses start hiring again, or at the very least, getting the hell out of the way.

Instead, with Health Care “reform”, Cap and Tax and Card Check, Democrats are telling private business, “don’t hire”. That’s the message.

Even with all of the phoney numbers coming out of the White House, the economy is not improving and will not improve in the next year.

Democrats will be massacred in the next election, this is just a taste of things to come.

NoDonkey on November 4, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Seems like the magic was gone once we realized the stimulus bill didn’t stimulate, Afghanistan wasn’t the all important war, the ACORN/Obama love affair is worse than we thought, and on, and on …

MarkBoabaca on November 4, 2009 at 9:49 AM

He will have to run another Athiest, Meggy Mag, or Sarah Palin is destroying the Republican Party post to make hinself himself feel better.

Brain to fingers…come in…

mwdiver on November 4, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Here’s the real significance of yesterday’s elections…

stoutcat on November 4, 2009 at 9:51 AM

The man’s race motivated enough minorities to vote, and he bamboozled just enough indepentents to win. He has told whopper lies DAILY since January and people are realizing it. Yes, his mojo/facade is gone.

marklmail on November 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Obama, America’s lying pimp

Jeff from WI on November 4, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Yazz And The Plastic Population said it best when they said…

Sharke on November 4, 2009 at 9:51 AM

marklmail on November 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM

I agree. The Obama bandwagon was all about “righting past wrongs.” It all had to do with race. Obama did not win because of his speeches, his policies, etc.
The whole aura crap had to do with Obama’s skin color.

Now that he is president, people realized the huge error they made.

cubachi on November 4, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Good article. The man is a hard-leftist and a stuffed suit. He was only elected on the basis of mass delusions and projection.

I hope he continues to fail. The less damage he does the better.

Anders on November 4, 2009 at 9:52 AM

It will be interesting to see what the final numbers are on African-American turnout in Virginia, New Jersey and even NY-23 for Tuesday night.

In terms of prestige and racial/cultural identity politics that Democrats use so often, you really couldn’t get a bigger election than in 2008, so 2009 naturally had to be seen as something of an anti-climax, which may have depressed the numbers in the predominantly black precincts from the 2005 and 2001 totals, when Bush and the Republicans controlled the White House and Congress and Democrats won in both states.

If there was lower turnout, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in Virginia, but it could have gotten the N.J. result within the margin of lawsuits, so that the state’s Democratic-controlled judicial system could take over and produce a result similar to last year’s Minnesota senate race. And if that’s the case, it’s not a good omen for Democrats in marginal urban-suburban mix congressional districts in 2010, let alone Democratic governors and Senators running in purple or even light blue states.

jon1979 on November 4, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Here’s a good analogy for the arc of Obooba’s political career: the first pick in the draft who can’t get on the field for four seasons then gets cut.

Akzed on November 4, 2009 at 9:42 AM

I say Obama was a NUMBER TWO as Hillary was number one.

A more appropiate analogy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlCOs2D80Zg&feature=related

Painful to us Charger fans.

dthorny on November 4, 2009 at 9:57 AM

A couple points to keep in perspective:

-A Scozzafava win was the worst scenario. She would have been to the left of Owens and likely served as a ‘bi-partisan’ shield for Pelosi in the House. She also would have been running as an incumbent next year, with full GOP backing (to the tune of another million bucks).

-The primary goal of the Hoffman campaign, and grassroots support, was to keep Scozzafava from winning. People are only disappointed tonight because his campaign got further than anyone initially thought it would.

-Hoffman will likely pick the seat up next year running on the (R) ticket. In retrospect, the Christie win is the bigger story tonight.

BadgerHawk on November 3, 2009 at 11:15 PM

—————————————————
Add on top of that the fact that Owens is moderate enough the kos endorsed Scozzafava. It’s highly unlikely he’ll serve as a rubber stamp for Pelosi, especially given the election battle he’s looking at just a year from now.

Hoffman = Dream
Scozzafava = Nightmare
Owens = Meh

BadgerHawk on November 4, 2009 at 8:18 AM

BadgerHawk on November 4, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Here’s another way to look at it:

RINOs/social moderates won in NJ and NY. Three months ago, the hardcore conservatives wanted Lonegan to run in NJ, but he was beaten by Christie in the primary. The more moderate Democrat beat Hoffman in NY.

And even the new Virginia governor downplayed his socially conservative views and focused on economic issues.

I think we have to seriously stop with the social conservatism AS THE LEADING ISSUE.

FISCAL conservatism should always be the lead, as spending and wasting money are really the largest problems most conservatives of either stripe see in government.

In other words, these elections – particularly the Christie upset – suggest that fiscal conservatism is the unifying issue – not social conservatism.

Not saying social conservatism is bad – just that it’s not the best issue with which to unify the party.

Good Lt on November 4, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Don’t dismiss the social conservatives. Gay marriage has lost everywhere it has been voted on by the people. Maine and California are not by, any means, socially conservative states, but gay marriage went down in flames when the people voted on it. That is 30 (31?) to 0 on that issue.

mwdiver on November 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Good Lt on November 4, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Agree and it’s almost impossible to affect most of that stuff anyway and it gives Democrats a way to distract people from the issues that can be affected.

Democrats are incompetent and corrupt. Fiscal responsibility is the antithesis of what Democrats are all about.

NoDonkey on November 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM

And even the new Virginia governor downplayed his socially conservative views and focused on economic issues.

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 9:30 AM

While his opponent played them up in about a dozen ads a day for two months, and the Washington Post featured them on page 1 for a solid month running. That little talking point was stupid the first time it was uttered, and doesn’t get better with the retelling (about 400 times since last night, just on HotAir, if I counted right.)

Yes, it’s true that the Republicans will win on the economy, if they run on the economy. The reason Bush was so unpopular is the same reason Pelosi and Reid are, and Obama is quickly following.

While you may convince some otherwise sensible people to ignore a $250 billion deficit, when you’re talking 4 times that much, projected out for the foreseeable future, and not even counting health care, the truth is that some fairly socially moderate/liberal people were willing to overlook McDonnell’s social conservative views, just to get someone in who might help to check the fiscal insanity that is the Obama Democrat Party.

notropis on November 4, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Kerry/Bush vs Obama/Keyes

Watch out Social Conservatives.

Obama Poison In Texas

MSimon on November 4, 2009 at 10:04 AM

I think there was a cake but Chris Christie ate it because of his fatness.

Proud Rino on November 4, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Lol. If MegMac jokes are fair game, we can’t really complain about this.

And I’m not sure I buy that you’re actually making fun of Corzine here, but whatevs.

BadgerHawk on November 4, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I won!

DarkCurrent on November 4, 2009 at 10:12 AM

I hope this will stiffen the Republican spine against Dear Liar’s fascist agenda and will give pause to moderate & conservative Democrats in embracing The Whine.

Zero’s election last year was more about people being sick and tired of W. (8 years of war will do that) and corrupt Republicans selling out their core principles. It’s also why Sarah Palin was more popular than McCain; she also was a fresh face, and one who had actually taken on corruption in her own party.

Memo to the GOP: do not run the same tired old candidates, or party hacks just because they’re your friend (e.g. Dede). Get fresh faces who believe in fiscal conservatism and limited government. Oh, and make sure they are not corrupt too.

rbj on November 4, 2009 at 10:12 AM

I can’t picture Obama shifting away from his agenda, frankly. He’s not like Bill Clinton, who would have said, “I’m hearing you…” and then move to the center. Obama isn’t a flexible kind of politician from what I’ve seen.

I also think the message is clear to the GOP that keeping the focus on issues and off of overly dramatic talk is the way to win.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 10:14 AM

slightly OT:

The BLS will release the unemployment numbers for October at 0830 on Friday morning.

10?

Pookie, whatcha think?

ted c on November 4, 2009 at 10:15 AM

This:

Hoffman’s capital-C Conservative campaign, however, tried to separate itself from the majority parties by making a big deal of the social issues. He was all upset that Scozzafava was pro-gay marriage, seemingly as upset as he was with her support for the stimulus plan. He projected the image of a bluenose in a world that increasingly doesn’t want to hear about these things. Hoffman’s is a selective vision of the nanny state – you can nanny about some things but not about others. I suspect America deeply dislikes nannying about anything.

Rae on November 4, 2009 at 10:17 AM

And I’m not sure I buy that you’re actually making fun of Corzine here, but whatevs.

BadgerHawk on November 4, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I can’t stand Corzine. Christie, by all accounts, is a good guy. New Jersey needs a guy like Christie a lot more than a guy like Corzine. I can’t believe it was even this close.

Proud Rino on November 4, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Lesson Number 1: Don’t run an uncharismatic squirrely looking guy for Congress.

Speedwagon82 on November 4, 2009 at 10:18 AM

There are two related questions here. Was it a good night for Republicans? And was it a good night for Conservatives.

The answer vis a vis Republicans is clearly yes. The answer for conservatives — in light of NY 23, the centrism of their winning governors and exit polling showing significant approval of Obama policies in New Jersey and Virginia — is “maybe.”

Regarding the Glenn Reynolds idiocy, Conservatives made up this whole meme about Obama being a frothy concoction of media support and unrealistic expectations and now they continue to embrace in order to convince themselves that his moment has passed.

In truth, most Obama supporters were (enthusiastic) realists who understand that he’s being dragged down by an economy he inherited and an opposition whose entire strategy is mindless obstructionism. As for the rest, anybody that can be lost in nine months can be won back in a year. Don’t believe your own BS and you might have a chance, but keep calling Obama lightweight and you’ll be blindsided once again. He’s been counted out many times before.

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

slightly OT:

The BLS will release the unemployment numbers for October at 0830 on Friday morning.

10?

Pookie, whatcha think?

ted c on November 4, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Initial estimates are saying 200,000 jobs were lost in October. Whether that drives up the unemployment rate is another matter. The rate actually went down a few months ago despite the loss of a quarter million jobs.

Doughboy on November 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM

What we NJ voters take away from this is:

Jon Corzine finally met an election he couldn’t buy.

If the independents and, yes, even some Democrat voters can come to their senses, then when the next election rolls around maybe — just maybe — there’s hope for the vastly outnumbered Republicans in this state after all.

Paul_in_NJ on November 4, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Initial estimates are saying 200,000 jobs were lost in October. Whether that drives up the unemployment rate is another matter. The rate actually went down a few months ago despite the loss of a quarter million jobs.

Doughboy on November 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Because more people gave up trying to look for work, which shrank the “labor pool”.

steveegg on November 4, 2009 at 10:26 AM

What we NJ voters take away from this is:

Jon Corzine finally met an election he couldn’t buy.
Paul_in_NJ on November 4, 2009 at 10:22 AM

and the corollary:

Pookie just ain’t that into Obama

ted c on November 4, 2009 at 10:26 AM

In truth, most Obama supporters were (enthusiastic) realists who understand that he’s being dragged down by an economy he inherited and an opposition whose entire strategy is mindless obstructionism.

naive morons who don’t understand he and the country are being dragged down by an economy he’s loaded with mind-boggling debt and an opposition struggling to keep America a free, strong Republic.

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

FIFY

DarkCurrent on November 4, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

When you give conservatives advice on how to win it comes across as being very disingenuous, even if that’s not how you mean it.

BadgerHawk on November 4, 2009 at 10:28 AM

The lesson I learned from Election Night was that people in New Jersey will elect ANYBODY as Governor. Even a fat guy. Is that even legal?

Proud Rino on November 4, 2009 at 9:08 AM

If being fat were against the law, you would have been locked up long ago.

NJ decided a big governor was better than big government. There’s hope for them, but none for you.

chunderroad on November 4, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Regarding the Glenn Reynolds idiocy,

he’s being dragged down by an economy he inherited

Bleeds Blue 343 on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

First time I’ve ever heard a Distinguished Law Professor referred to as an idiot. Especially one who holds liberal views on social issues such as abortion, the War on Drugs and gay marriage.

As for the economy, O’bama asked to inherit it. Stop blaming Bush, although I know it’s all you have.

Del Dolemonte on November 4, 2009 at 10:28 AM

opposition whose entire strategy is mindless obstructionism.

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

You left out the part about them haveing absolutely zero power to do so.

CDeb on November 4, 2009 at 10:29 AM

“The lesson of last night to the GOP in NY-23 is a lot more strident with an Democratic win. If Hoffman had pulled it off, the GOP could have called Scuzzy an “oops” instead of a DISASTER! Let’s hope they learn the lessons of NY well.”

I would much rather this result than emboldening more RINO’s. Americans are 40% conservative only 20% liberal. 40% are in between. To select a liberal for a Republican Candidate is sheer madness. A conservative should get 60% if we split the middle. A liberal Republican can only ever win if true Republicans hold their nose and vote for they. Why on earth should we do so? If you want a liberal vote for and register as a Democrat.

But I disagree with many here. We need to get off the Republican Bandwagon when they select Liberal Candidates. We need to vote third party and not just stay home. We must never again vote for a McCain. If we do we will completely destroy this country if we haven’t already.

Steveangell on November 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM

the centrism of their winning governors

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

If you see McDonnell as a centrist, you’re to the right of Sarah Palin.

I know, “But he ran as one!!!!”

Sure, baby, sure. While every single Deeds ad, and every single Washington Post headline made sure the entire state of Virginia knew he was a bigoted, sexist, racist homophobe, who would like to institute some sort of Christianist Sharia Law in Virginia.

But somehow, the voters didn’t scare this time. Guess something’s scaring them worse. Could be it’s the total insanity of the Obama Democrat fiscal policy.

notropis on November 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM

He has told whopper lies DAILY since January and people are realizing it. Yes, his mojo/facade is gone.

marklmail on November 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Yes, he has to tell more and more lies every day to cover the whoppers he already told. Even Bozo’s cheerleaders in the old dead media known henceforth as the ODM, are embarrassed and have started pointing out his lies.

Take Katie Couric and company laughing last week about Bozo’s claims on jobs.

They see writing on the wall and the words do not spell out “Merry Christmas”.

dogsoldier on November 4, 2009 at 10:35 AM

“The message is conservatives… can’t win a general for Palin….”
To all RINO’s and Trolls the above quote is from one of your kind and my preemptive response is as follows. How the F do you know Gov. Palin can not win a general election you don’t. Every election Sarah has run for herself she has won except one and that was her first state wide election. When Sarah is the messenger she wins. She can only do so much for candidates like Hoffman and McCain. It was up to Hoffman and McCain to close the deal and they are the one who came up short not Sarah. She did her part for them. If and When Sarah runs her own campaign with her own message it will be all positive and contrast in bold colors what the Rats policies are. For you to summarily dismiss Gov. Palin is proof positive you have no idea who Sarah is. Just wait and see she may just surprise you.

Clyde5445 on November 4, 2009 at 10:36 AM

opposition whose entire strategy is mindless obstructionism.

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

You left out the part about them haveing absolutely zero power to do so.

CDeb on November 4, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Perhaps you’ve heard of the filibuster?

When you give conservatives advice on how to win it comes across as being very disingenuous, even if that’s not how you mean it.

BadgerHawk on November 4, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Wasn’t giving advice. Just reading the tea leaves, like everybody else. To the extent that people differentiate between “Republicans” and “Conservatives,” its possible that two different conclusions should be drawn.

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:37 AM

But I disagree with many here. We need to get off the Republican Bandwagon when they select Liberal Candidates. We need to vote third party and not just stay home. We must never again vote for a McCain. If we do we will completely destroy this country if we haven’t already.

Steveangell on November 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Wouldn’t it make more sense to really get out and stump for a candidate with ideals that more closely match our own? Such persons within the GOP can win with enough help, but that means guys like us have to get off our collective butts and go out and do something.

I agree with what you said about McCain and to that I would add George W. He was a RINO also and damned proud of it, if you read what he’s had to say lately.

NEVER AGAIN.

dogsoldier on November 4, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Jeff from WI

LOL

beachgirlusa on November 4, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Perhaps you’ve heard of the filibuster?

Perhaps you can count to 60?

CDeb on November 4, 2009 at 10:39 AM

I love how franticly the nutroots is spinning this election. I thought Obama was a new God-Messiah who would make Republicans everywhere unelectable and usher in a new age of Democrat ascendancy? His inability to swing Virginia or New Jersey means that the Republican Party is still as alive as it ever was.

Speedwagon82 on November 4, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Bleeds Blue on November 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Yep when “pees blue” runs out of arguments, he/she/it falls back to dems 2008 talking points and blames booooosh.

idiots, no matter what color.

jbh45 on November 4, 2009 at 10:40 AM

The Thrill is gone, it’s gone away for Good.- B.B. King

portlandon on November 4, 2009 at 10:40 AM

most Obama supporters were (enthusiastic) realists who understand that he’s being dragged down by an economy he inherited

Please let me know what the Obama administration is doing to get the private sector to hire.

Because I see nothing. Health care “reform”, Cap and Trade and Card Check are not measures that are going to persuade employers to hire.

There is nothing Obama (or Congress, for that matter) has done to inspire confidence in employers to hire that I can think of. Can you?

That’s why we will have a 10% unemployment for the next year and why Democrats will be massacred in the 2010 elections.

You thought ’94 was bad.

NoDonkey on November 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

We have won a few good and important victories last night, that’s for sure. Now let’s not get complacent we have a long list of battles to win in the future in order to really win. I feel a sense of relief from what happened last night. We have to keep this momentum going. We cannot stop until all the RINOs are thrown out, solid conservative that will struggle for real results are in, and liberals are sent packing from the beltway. We have 80 years of creeping liberalism and statism to reverse and undo. NOW, LET’S ROLL!

lanesmerge on November 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

notropis and No Donkey, I think what people in VA and elsewhere want is balance, primarily fiscal balance. I’ve read reports of moderates who voted for McDonnell because of a concern that things were out of control fiscally.

I think that’s a message that will resonate.

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 10:46 AM

I can’t stand Corzine. Christie, by all accounts, is a good guy. New Jersey needs a guy like Christie a lot more than a guy like Corzine. I can’t believe it was even this close.

Proud Rino on November 4, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Previous Republican Governors Christie Todd Whitman and Tom Kean won by extremely tight margins. Christie’s 4%, 100K margin is a Republican blowout by New Jersey standards.

Corzine was a wealthy bank CEO who bought a Senate seat, then the Governorship with his own money, then taxed the state into bankruptcy while wallowing in corruption, and even New Jersey voters had had enough.

Chris Christie has won himself a very hard job–cleaning up the cesspool of corruption in New Jersey. Now, for him, comes the hard part–he’ll need cojones of steel, and I wish him well!!!

Steve Z on November 4, 2009 at 10:48 AM

I’ve read reports of moderates who voted for McDonnell because of a concern that things were out of control fiscally.

I think that’s a message that will resonate.

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Don’t tell us, tell the one who really needs to hear it: President Obama. But I don’t think he’s listening.

jwolf on November 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM

It’s my understanding that Scozzafava, whose name was still on the ballot as she had not dropped out until this past weekend when the ballots had already been printed, took five percent of the vote.

This tells me that some people, who had voted early, could not change their vote at this point and that some people, who obviously don’t follow politics, voted for her just because she had an (R) after her name not knowing she had withdrawn. If those five points had gone to Hoffman, he would have won. Remember, he came into the game late and didn’t have the money/support from the local GOP, either.

ARE YOU LISTENING, REPUBLICANS? As Laura Ingraham pointed out this morning, when you have 40% of the country who considers themselves conservative opposed to only 20% who consider themselves liberal, the GOP cannot win elections by becoming “moderate” or “liberal.” You party elites blew it in NY-23; do NOT mistake that you blew it because your tent wasn’t big enough to appeal to moderates. You lost because you went with a DIABLO.

Special K on November 4, 2009 at 10:52 AM

I think that’s a message that will resonate.

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 10:46 AM

100% agreement on that. People (myself included) are increasingly willing to overlook all sorts of differences as long as we’re convinced the immediate goal of the candidate is to put the brakes on the Obama and Democrat Congress’ fiscal insanity.

Bush was fiscally unwise. Obama’s fiscally disastrous.

notropis on November 4, 2009 at 10:53 AM

About a month ago Albuquerque elected a GOP mayor for the first time in over 25 years.

The winds they are a changin’

atheling on November 4, 2009 at 10:54 AM

I don’t know what is wrong with the candidate we have. He almost got elected in spite of several problems he couldn’t correct.
Antagonistic Republican party
Lack of Republican money
Eleventh hour fraudulent false flag attack
Poor access to absentee ballets

burt on November 4, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Poor babies.

We feel their cause their pain.

Del Dolemonte on November 4, 2009 at 9:11 AM

FIFY

1921 C DRUM on November 4, 2009 at 10:57 AM

The reason the dems did so poorly re 2008 is that without a 6.25% Black / 43.75% Arab man on the ballot, African Americans didn’t have a clue who to vote for.

notagool on November 4, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Wasn’t it Valerie Jarrett who said the administration would speak pooph and glower?

burt on November 4, 2009 at 10:59 AM

I guess Pookie never made it off the couch.

1921 C DRUM on November 4, 2009 at 11:00 AM

The emperor has no clothes.

But don’t underestimate Obama’s power over women voters in a general election. So many of the women I know who voted for him essentially backed him because they thought he was cute…a bit like Matthews and Olby do. Apologies to Ms. Malkin, but it seems like a lot of ladies vote with their groins.

doufree on November 4, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Keep your eyes on the prize package.

1921 C DRUM on November 4, 2009 at 11:03 AM

The Trolls have been invading the Hoffman Thread this morning.

kingsjester on November 4, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Poor babies.

We feel their pain.

Del Dolemonte on November 4, 2009 at 9:11 AM

What, the 20 oz. bottle of whoopass was not enough? They need some schoolin’. Like I wrote, they need in their own party a Founding Father or Founding Mother never meant to be, led by a jar.

ProudPalinFan on November 4, 2009 at 11:05 AM

It was nice to see Obama lose in NJ. That was a coup of the first order. NY23 was very close and it is too bad the Republican turned on the party and supported the democrat. That pulled enough votes to Ownes and made the difference IMHO.

kanda on November 4, 2009 at 11:07 AM

That’s why we will have a 10% unemployment for the next year…
NoDonkey on November 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

If we are very lucky it won’t be only a year.

burt on November 4, 2009 at 11:08 AM

ARE YOU LISTENING, REPUBLICANS? As Laura Ingraham pointed out this morning, when you have 40% of the country who considers themselves conservative opposed to only 20% who consider themselves liberal, the GOP cannot win elections by becoming “moderate” or “liberal.” You party elites blew it in NY-23; do NOT mistake that you blew it because your tent wasn’t big enough to appeal to moderates. You lost because you went with a DIABLO.

Special K on November 4, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Thanks, I had that percentage wrong. I’d fight this one like that worthless senator that is a worthless comedian. I’d take it to court. I’d say: REPUBLICANS, ARE YOU LISTENING? THEY CHEATED TO GET IT. GET IT BACK!

ProudPalinFan on November 4, 2009 at 11:08 AM

I don’t like how people are dismissing Hoffman’s defeat out of hand. It’s a significant defeat. The important lesson to take away is that our side cannot win on grass-root enthusiasm alone. Unlike the Democrats, we don’t have a base of idiot voters that we can activate with just a bit of electoral excitement. To be conservative is to be skeptical. Hoffman, I thought, failed to make the case. He has never served in public office and was ignorant of local issues. It’s hard to argue that he’s the best candidate for the people of NY-23. We need to have genuine conservative candidates, that’s true, but we also need candidates with substance.

year_of_the_dingo on November 4, 2009 at 11:15 AM

I don’t like how people are dismissing Hoffman’s defeat out of hand. It’s a significant defeat. The important lesson to take away is that our side cannot win on grass-root enthusiasm alone. Unlike the Democrats, we don’t have a base of idiot voters that we can activate with just a bit of electoral excitement. To be conservative is to be skeptical. Hoffman, I thought, failed to make the case. He has never served in public office and was ignorant of local issues. It’s hard to argue that he’s the best candidate for the people of NY-23. We need to have genuine conservative candidates, that’s true, but we also need candidates with substance.

year_of_the_dingo on November 4, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Hoffman’s defeat is nothing more the the republican candidate dropping out and urging her supporters to vote for the democrat. Hoffman would have won this if she had supported Hoffman after dropping out.

When the democrat pulled out this victory it was only due to that. Hoffman was ahead in all the polls until that happened. It’s still too bad but at least we got rid of one progressive republican in the process. After they redistrict Northern NY, NY 23 will be gone in time for the 2010 elections either way.

kanda on November 4, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Obama for Corzine to crowd on campaign stop: “Don’t break my heart, my achy breaky heart!”

24 hours later, Christie to Corzine: “Move b****, get out the way. Get out the way, b*****, get out the way.”

Obama = one-hit-wonder. Not a Ludicrous thought.

All puns intended.

LEBA on November 4, 2009 at 11:26 AM

To say the Republican party has a crisis in leadership is an understatement of astronomical proportions.

In NY (the race we should have had in the bag) the Democrats got the RINO of their dreams to run against, the President, the VP and the DNC all pulling together.

The GOP got the RINO of the Democrats dreams, the best feckless RNC the DNC could possibly hope for, Newt’s endorsement of their Manchurian and finally at the end, some endorsements for the Conservative candidate the GOP was too ashamed to run, ran ads against and was rewarded with the RINO endorsing the Democrat, her true party.

Conservatives need to re-branded alright, as who we are!

How is this not worse than losing while campaigning for the freedom of limited government and founding principles we actually, supposedly, stand for?

Speakup on November 4, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Obama beat McCain in Virginia by 13 points

Ed, you might want to recheck that one.

MB4 on November 4, 2009 at 11:29 AM

I think that’s a message that will resonate.

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Agree.

Clinton heard the message “it’s the economy stupid”.

Obama’s message is: “Stupid economy, it’s in the way of passing my far left, budget-busting agenda”.

So it is.

Will Obama abandon his agenda? Because there is nothing in his agenda that’s going to get employers to hire. Nothing.

And no amount of media spin will get around that glaring fact.

NoDonkey on November 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Don’t dismiss the social conservatives…

mwdiver on November 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Correct. But to win, the SoCons have GOT to be primarily fiscal and small-government conservatives. A platform of keeping the Social issues at the state level and not meddling in them will get the social conservatives what they truly want.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on November 4, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 10:46 AM

You are correct about moderates and maybe some Dems voting for McDonnell. You all have to remember that we Virginians “knew” McDonnell because he had been our Attorney General. We knew what he thought about social issues. He didn’t have to make a big deal about them because everyone knew he was pro life. He has 5 kids.
His election to Attorney General was a squeaker and his opponent was Creigh Deeds.
Bob McDonnell has been popular in Virginia for some time. We know how he feels about most everything that is important. I would say that he comes close to being pretty normal in all of his views on everything.
What really is the heart of the matter is when others try to slap the freakazoid label to social conservatives. Religion is intensely personal and believe it nor not, quite normal. It is better to believe in something bigger than you because it does keep you moral and relatvely sane and believe it or not, happy!
I would more likely vote for a religions person over an atheist any day for the above reasons. Being able to tell right from wrong is really, really high on my list. Dems don’t seem to live their lives like that. It is obvious in most every one they put up as candidates. They love to interfere in your lives at every turn for their own power. They don’t have a clue as how the power works because they are too busy imposing it on you. God seems to understand much better than we humans here on earth. The Founding Fathers understood that right from the very beginning.
Too bad Obama doesn’t.

BetseyRoss on November 4, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Just saw SGT Wasserman-Schultz on Fox:

“It means nossing!

Except for NY-23 of course, the Republicans are going down because the conservatives are going to force untenable candidates.

JeffWeimer on November 4, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Random Numbers at 11:32, well spoken.

But there are anomalies there, too. Pennsylvania, my home state, has a large number of SoCon Democrats (largely Catholic). A Dem has to downplay social issues to get elected statewide (Fat Eddie Rendell) or be a SoCon (the late Bob Casey, not the current poseur Bob Casey Jr., who is as fraudulent as the day is long).

either orr on November 4, 2009 at 11:46 AM

I don’t like how people are dismissing Hoffman’s defeat out of hand. It’s a significant defeat. The important lesson to take away is that our side cannot win on grass-root enthusiasm alone. Unlike the Democrats, we don’t have a base of idiot voters that we can activate with just a bit of electoral excitement. To be conservative is to be skeptical. Hoffman, I thought, failed to make the case. He has never served in public office and was ignorant of local issues. It’s hard to argue that he’s the best candidate for the people of NY-23. We need to have genuine conservative candidates, that’s true, but we also need candidates with substance.

year_of_the_dingo on November 4, 2009 at 11:15 AM

If you’re Bill Owens and you’ve just won a special election in NY-23 and you’re up for re-election 364 days from now, how do you vote once you get to Washington? Do you vote with the majority of Democrats in the House, or do you side with the Blue Dogs?

How Owens casts his votes in connection with how voters in general are viewing the performance of Congress and Obama will go a long way towards determining whether or not NY-23 flips back to the Republicans in 2010.

jon1979 on November 4, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Don’t dismiss the social conservatives. Gay marriage has lost everywhere it has been voted on by the people. Maine and California are not by, any means, socially conservative states, but gay marriage went down in flames when the people voted on it. That is 30 (31?) to 0 on that issue.

mwdiver on November 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM

–Arizona voters initially rejected a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage but later passed a ban; I don’t know whether the ban that was passed covered only gay marriage or civil unions.

–And remember that a majority of people now favor civil unions, rather than gay marriage.

Jimbo3 on November 4, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Obama: the Cheshire Cat of Politics.

All that will be left is a …smirk.

profitsbeard on November 4, 2009 at 12:07 PM

I guess Pookie never made it off the couch.

1921 C DRUM on November 4, 2009 at 11:00 AM

He waz too busy hitting the crack pipe.

OmahaConservative on November 4, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Part 1 of Waterloo

bluegrass on November 4, 2009 at 12:27 PM

But don’t underestimate Obama’s power over women voters in a general election. So many of the women I know who voted for him essentially backed him because they thought he was cute…a bit like Matthews and Olby do. Apologies to Ms. Malkin, but it seems like a lot of ladies vote with their groins.

doufree on November 4, 2009 at 9:16 AM

You know women who think Obama is cute? Gag! Okay, there is Denzel Washington, who is very handsome, as are several other black men on television, in the media, politics etc. Not Obama.
Obama has big ears, a dopey looking face, and is skinny. And to top it off, he is a liberal democrat! Nothing attractive to me about that!

Susanboo on November 4, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I read the “Update” article earlier today. It was a pretty good read and take on the Obama mystique. I enjoyed it. :)

As to this article, I completely agree. As one blue dog already said before the election (I forget who it was), Republican victories in these areas will give the blue dogs the go-ahead and cohones/backbones to actually follow their constituents instead of their party heads in Congress. Now, to sit back and watch as Obamacare and cap-n-trade (hopefully!) fall apart around Obama/Pelosi/Reid’s ears! :)

Highlar on November 4, 2009 at 12:44 PM

This bears repeating over and over:

Sarah Palin: A Victory for Common Sense and Fiscal Sanity

Congratulations to the new Governors-Elect of Virginia and New Jersey! I’d also like to offer a special word of support to the new Lieutenant Governor-Elect of New Jersey, Kim Guadagno, the first woman to hold that office.

Of course, the real victors in this election are the ordinary men and women who voted for positive change and a return to fiscal sanity. Your voices have been heard.

The race for New York’s 23rd District is not over, just postponed until 2010. The issues of this election have always centered on the economy – on the need for fiscal restraint, smaller government, and policies that encourage jobs. In 2010, these issues will be even more crucial to the electorate. I commend Doug Hoffman and all the other under-dog candidates who have the courage to put themselves out there and run against the odds.

To the tireless grassroots patriots who worked so hard in that race and to future citizen-candidates like Doug, please remember Reagan’s words of encouragement after his defeat in 1976:

“The cause goes on. Don’t get cynical because look at yourselves and what you were willing to do, and recognize that there are millions and millions of Americans out there that want what you want, that want it to be that way, that want it to be a shining city on a hill.

The cause goes on.

- Sarah Palin

Don’t know about anyone else, but when I read those words last night, I felt comforted. Reagan and Palin are right. NY-23 was a tough fought battle. Hoffman went from a dead last unknown to almost winning this thing.

On the other hand Obama got his skinny but destroyed.

People will spin this as a “loss” for Sarah Palin, Teh Fred, Jeri, and others. Sarah posted a couple of FB notes in support, which in turn MADE Hoffman a contender and raised huge amounts of money. Hoffman came within a hair of winning.

With so many votes out there still uncounted, and the possibility of fraud, I still haven’t figured out why he was so quick to concede, but there you go.

On the other hand, Obama all but moved to NJ. NJ is a DEEP blue state. Obama was there what, six times?

The democrat/communists tried every trick in their book. union thugs, ACORN, vote buying, and whatever else they had. They even had robocalls out there supporting Daggett, paid for by democrat/communists. And yet, Corzine and Obama got shellacked! Smoked!

Teh Won literally couldn’t have done more to win this thing and was a miserable failure instead.

Rush said it best a few minutes ago. This was like Castro losing an election in Cuba. If there was any state that should have been a cake walk for Obama, NJ was the one.

gary4205 on November 4, 2009 at 12:50 PM

That’s no surprise — as that magic was a largely substanceless froth whipped up by campaign consultants and compliant big-media cheerleaders.

Fake in Chief

Schadenfreude on November 4, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Seems like the magic was gone once we realized the stimulus bill didn’t stimulate, Afghanistan wasn’t the all important war, the ACORN/Obama love affair is worse than we thought, and on, and on …

MarkBoabaca on November 4, 2009 at 9:49 AM

People got caught up in the idea of change, and never really put much thought into what it meant. Obama’s campaign was brilliant in that respect; it sold Obama as a brand and an idea like he was a new kind of soap – you may not think you need a new soap, but by the time you see all these ads and hear all your cool friends talking about this great new soap you decide you have to have it.

Young people who want to be hip and cool were sold Obama as the hip and cool guy. Independents who were tired of the nasty partisanship in Washington were sold Obama as a “third way” candidate who would rise above all that pettiness. Intellectuals were sold Obama as a writer and thinker. Women were sold Obama as a family man who supported his working-mom wife and loved his girls. Aging hippies and liberal utopians were sold Obama as the new RFK who would fulfill their dreams.

Obama’s campaign was designed to hit the feelings of all these groups of voters and make them feel good by working, donating, and voting for him. Conservatives saw right through it because we don’t vote or do much of anything based on feelings.

And you really can’t govern successfully based on feelings. You have to make hard choices that are going to make some people mad. You are expected to lead with your own ideas and not punt everything to a Congress that has repeatedly proven itself corrupt, divisive, and incompetent. And you can’t make people feel like the economy is better when they know it isn’t.

rockmom on November 4, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Correct. But to win, the SoCons have GOT to be primarily fiscal and small-government conservatives. A platform of keeping the Social issues at the state level and not meddling in them will get the social conservatives what they truly want.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on November 4, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Interesting comment about keeping social issues at the state level. Social issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc.) are often decided by COURTS, whose members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate at the national level, and appointed by Governors at the State level (some judges are elected independently). Social issues can therefore enter into a Presidential election or a Senate (statewide) election, but not in a House race, or a Governor’s race, if the Governor appoints judges.

But in these times, economic issues trump everything else. Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 largely because they overspent (and some voters blamed the spending on the war in Iraq), some were involved in corrupt schemes, and the Bush Administration seemed unresponsive to their concerns.

The Democrats under Obama have quadrupled the deficits, and are now trying to shove two trillion-dollar boondoggles (ObamaCare and Cap and Trade) down the throats of the American people, and beleaguered taxpayers (including social moderates) are totally fed up and revolting en masse. Republican candidates for Congress next year need to stress fiscal responsibility (lower taxes AND spending), then DO WHAT THEY SAY if elected.

Steve Z on November 4, 2009 at 1:30 PM

2010 is going to be like watching a slow motion train wreck. And Barry will be the engineer.

GarandFan on November 4, 2009 at 1:36 PM

The issues of this election have always centered on the economy – on the need for fiscal restraint, smaller government, and policies that encourage jobs. In 2010, these issues will be even more crucial to the electorate. I commend Doug Hoffman and all the other under-dog candidates who have the courage to put themselves out there and run against the odds.

She sticks to this message, and she will definitely continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

notropis on November 4, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Why is everyone from the Washington Post to Gibbsy saying that NY-23 had been Republican since the Civil War? Do they not know they’re wrong or are they lying to create a meme?

Google, people! Google is a wonderful thing! So is Wikipedia!

evergreen on November 4, 2009 at 1:40 PM

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