A Remarkable Night

A year ago today, we were told that the GOP was leaderless and dead. Back then and ever since, folks like myself have tried to explain that, with principles, figureheads are unnecessary. A year ago today, we were told that America was no longer a center-right nation, that Barack Obama had opened minds and conservatism was dwindling from sea to shining sea.

Last night, however, we saw just the opposite. We saw ordinary people pushing back. We saw the conservative promise of lower taxes and less government win the day. A year ago today, television know-it-alls were claiming that Virginia was forever lost to the Democrats, but last night Republican Bob McDonnell blew the doors off Creigh Deeds, his challenger from across the aisle. A year ago today, we heard the same ole’ warnings about New Jersey that after a 16-point win for Barack Obama, prospective Republican candidates might as well move, but tonight we saw Chris Christie vanquish incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine, even with a heavy presidential presence in the Garden State.

There was, of course, an unfortunate result for conservatives in upstate New York as Democrat Bill Owens prevailed over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman for a congressional seat, a result which the mainstream press will undoubtedly beat to death in coming days. In a moment, I’ll explain why this may be a blessing in disguise. First, though, consider the gubernatorial races one-by-one, and then consider what they mean.

New Jersey

Over the past week, President Barack Obama has been doing his best Bruce Springsteen impression, returning to the Garden State to bask in the glory of his sweeping 16-point victory in the 2008 presidential election. Oh yeah, and to help Jon Corzine retain the governor’s seat.

Appearing at five different events on three different days, the president took a large amount of time away from his full-time gig redistributing wealth and destroying every shred of American exceptionalism in order to stump for Corzine. Campaign signs floating around the state actually featured his name next to the incumbent governor’s. Christie wasn’t just fighting Jon Corzine and the Corzine-funded third-party candidate, he was fighting Barack Obama, Jon Corzine, and the Corzine-funded third party candidate.

But it didn’t matter. Obama was unable to work the magic which brought him a 57 to 41 percent victory over Arizona Sen. John McCain a year ago. Even the youth vote, so dedicated to the Illinois Wonder in 2008, were uninspired by Obama’s presence. According to Fox News exit polling data, younger voters comprised only nine percent of those who turned out, and even those voters went 36 percent to Christie. The youth have always been an underperforming demographic – until last year. How reconciling this year’s turnout with last year’s impacts the 2012 election, however, has me a little unsure. On one hand, part of me believes that Obama being Obama and the youth being their typical, naïve selves, they’ll come out for the president anyway; on the other hand, however, I wonder if the bloom is indeed off the rose, if the youth love has been unrequited, and if it simply will not be as “trendy” to cast a vote for The One in three years’ time.

Independents comprised 28 percent of all voters, according to the exit polling data, and despite what the mainstream press will tell you today, Christie received 60 percent of the independent vote to Corzine’s 30 percent. The most prevalent concern in the Garden State was, interestingly enough, “change,” which ranked as the top worry for 39 percent of all voters; those concerned most about “change,” furthermore, went to Christie at 67 percent to Corzine’s 26 percent. Also, blacks comprised 14 percent of all voters in New Jersey, with a whopping 88 percent of the black vote going to Democrat Jon Corzine.

The final tally in the Garden State was Christie winning with 48 percent, Corzine next at 44 percent, and so-called independent Chris Daggett earning five percent. The four-point win means that, in the one year since President Obama was elected, the electorate in New Jersey has shifted by 20 points in the right direction.

Virginia

With the possible exception of the nature of President Barack Obama’s involvement in Virginia (he seemed to be begrudgingly campaigning for Democrat Creigh Deeds, and the feeling seemed mutual from Deeds), and the extent of the victory by Republican Bob McDonnell, the exit polling data from Virginia mirrors that from New Jersey.

To Virginians, the most important issues by far were taxes and the economy, even though 56 percent of those polled said that Barack Obama was not a factor in their vote. I don’t buy it, though. Independents made up 30 percent of all voters, and went to McDonnell by a two-to-one factor. And, almost exactly like we saw in New Jersey, blacks comprised 16 percent of all voters, and went resoundingly–90 percent–to the Democrat.

The final tally in Virginia was a landslide, with McDonnell garnering 58 percent of the vote to Deeds’ 41 percent, a result made even more incredible considering that only four years ago the pair went head-to-head for the attorney general seat and the race was nearly a tie. Considering the margin by which Barack Obama won Virginia, we’ve seen a more than 25 percent swing in the mood of the electorate in that state.

McDonnell … Christie … What Does it Mean?

Last night was an absolutely enormous victory for Republicans and right-thinking Americans from coast to coast, not just those limited to the two states. Especially fantastic was the result in New Jersey, considered untouchable for Republicans by so many.

In terms of what this result means for the mid-term elections in one year and the presidential election three years from now, by far the most telling statistic is the migration of independents. Americans were supposed to be wooed by Barack Obama’s charm, by his effectiveness in bringing people together, in fostering an era of post-partisanship and post-racialism in America. Instead, independents are seeing a president and Congress which has exponentially expanded the size, scope and role of government, and are pushing back. Both Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia ran predominantly on fiscal issues, Christie focusing on taxes and McDonnell focusing on jobs and the economy. Both contests were a victory for conservative and libertarian ideals, for the idea that government has a certain, limited role in our society, and that the current regime on Capitol Hill has overstepped that limit time and time again.

The Democrats should be extremely concerned for the mid-terms next year. And not just the far left Democrats, either. Blue Dogs should seriously consider the possible ramifications if they vote in favor of health care reform or cap-and-trade. After all, Creigh Deeds was hardly a far-left Democrat, but what you saw in Virginia—and to a certain extent in New Jersey as well—was an election which went beyond an individual candidate, which went beyond local issues, and showed a genuine, broad-spectrum discontent manifesting itself where possible.

The one concern for me, considering the exit polling numbers from the two states, is the black vote. Both states saw less African-Americans at the polls, and both saw those who voted go resoundingly for Democrats. I worry that, considering how much work conservatives still have to do in connecting with black voters, Barack Obama will be able to rally African-Americans in 2012 for his re-election bid. But I’m certainly not an expert on such things, so I asked Kevin Jackson, author of The Big Black Lie and founder of The Black Sphere, for a little input. His response came before exit polling data became available.

“It’s tough to predict the fallout [for 2012], since I need to know how many blacks voted” said Jackson, who will appear on the Glenn Beck television program on Friday from his current tea party tour. “If Corzine received Obama 2008 numbers, then there is something to consider. However, if he got much smaller numbers—my prediction—and lost five percent of the black vote, then I believe you are seeing the beginning of ‘black flight’ from the Democratic Party. I would expect this will continue to rise as much as an additional ten percent by 2010, and certainly by 2012 if things continue as they are.

With regard to why so many blacks continue to cast their votes for Democrats, when it is the Democratic Party which has tanked places like Newark and Camden in New Jersey, and the likes of Philadelphia, Cleveland and Detroit to the west, Jackson said that the answer was simple: ignorance.

“Conservatives must be more ‘in your face’ in addressing race,” Jackson told me, saying that he intends to put up billboards in Missouri black communities which blame Democrats for essentially turning St. Louis public schools into San Quentin preparatory schools. “Until Republicans start making blacks think, it will be a slow trickle from the dark side.”

Regardless, last night was a major defeat for the White House and for the Democratic Party, a defeat which will undoubtedly be glossed over by the mainstream press in exchange for more spinnable news. Which brings me to New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

NY-23

If there is any race which can be spun in any direction, it is this one. A seat traditionally in the hands of a moderate Republican is vacated when the president appoints that Republican to a bigger position on Capitol Hill. A Democrat runs, joined by a liberal Republican who ran unopposed through the primary process. Later in the game, an out-of-district conservative candidate joins the fray. Hilarity ensues, and within hours of the election, the liberal Republican drops out, endorses the liberal Democrat, and establishment Republicans finally put half-hearted support behind the conservative.

You couldn’t make this stuff up, folks. And what resulted was a uniquely spinnable race, regardless of result.

As it turns out, the conservative third-party candidate lost to the Democrat. Inevitably, the media will spin this as a life lesson for the GOP, a referendum on whether conservatives and the tea party movement will be able to elect someone, a sign that the tea partiers and conservatives on the right are pushing independents away from the GOP. Clearly, as we’ve seen in both the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, this is not so.

What has happened, my friends, is that we have been given a lesson about the viability of a third-party candidate. Sure, Doug Hoffman doesn’t live in the district. Sure, he wasn’t a seasoned, experienced candidate. But if Dede Scozzafava had been opposed by a conservative in a primary, she would likely not have been on the ballot to begin with yesterday, and a conservative Republican would likely have prevailed, especially considering that adding Scozzafava’s votes to Hoffman’s would have been enough to vanquish Owens, the Democrat.

All in all, though, this was an enormous night for folks like you and like me. It told us that we are certainly not alone. It told us that the expansion of government has its consequences. And with regard to the third party issue, it told us that we shouldn’t toss the baby with the bathwater, that a fire engine racing toward a conflagration should change its flat tire rather than build a new vehicle from scratch.

Last night was a night for lessons. We’ve learned ours. And I can guarantee that the Democrats, sure to go ahead with a House vote on health care reform on Friday, certainly have not learned theirs. In fact, for the sake of 2010, I’m banking on it.

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Comments

  1. PULL LEVER BEFORE TRIGGER says:

    So far a bullet-less revolution, cool.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'd just like to know WHO the over 6000 Republicans(?) that voted for someone that wasn't even running anymore and who had abdicated to the Democrats in an attempt to scuttle Hoffman after squandering Republican $$$ thought they were voting for or what they might accomplish?

    They like Dede,accomplished their goal and gave the election to the Democrats by exercising that insanity. She obviously wasn't any sort of Republican by her own actions. Her intention was only to get elected and when that failed like a school child she did all she could to destroy any real effort by true Republicans. Was she a plant? She surely has no integrity or loyalty to the Republican Party by her own actions.She and her blind followers cost the Republicans this election,it's that simple.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice spin on the NY-23. A democrat wins in a district that has elected only republicans since the 1800s. This is the big story! If a conservative teabagger can't win in this district, it shows how poor the teabaggers' stategy is.
    Great news for us liberals.

    Chuck

  4. Rix says:

    First and foremost, I want to congratulate myself. My state has replaced a thieving, voter-buying, tax-raising weasel with another, less arrogant and greedy, but a weasel nevertheless. Mark my words, Christie is no Corzine but he is no Lonegan, either. He is a typical, prosecutorial minded moderate with very vague ideas of how economy operates. He has no gut, no spine, and no sack to kill affordable housing programs, stop money drain into urban distrincts or take unions down a peg or two. At best, he will slow down the carcinous growth – which, of course, is still much better than what we used to have under Corzine. And make no mistake: the dark hordes of Newark and Camden did not care much for Corzine but come 2012, they will "vote early and vote often".

    As for NY-23, I am not optimistic or delusional enough to spin it positively. This is a defeat of the worst sort, a defeat clearly showing that Tea Party movement is not ready for election game, still unable to compete against seasoned cunning of big parties. The movement lacks financial teeth, communication lines (they are essentially limited to Internet) and across-the-range demographic support. Their best chance is to pressure the GOP into replacing that hip-hop clown Steele for someone more in sync with the principles of conservatism, then merge in, enjoining their grassroots spirit and enthusiasm with the party's organizational power and financial channels. Until then, "don't tread on me" sounds kinda void.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I would like to know why the people voted for someone who dropped out of the race! If all those votes went to the conservative it would be a different outcome. I guess stupidity lost this one.

  6. Jan says:

    Great news in New Jersey and Virginia! The news in NY is first and foremost for the GOP. I am disgusted with their pitiful efforts. Steele needs to go and they need to put someone in who is unafraid to stand firm on conservative issues. Not only to stand firm, but also to be aggressive about getting the information out there. When you tell the truth someone is going to be offended, especially in our society today. Truth is still truth and we need more people out there advocating and sending the message of truth. You can still be 'nice' and tell the truth. Wake up GOP.

  7. whats_up says:

    Jeff,

    Dede didnt have to run in a primary, she was chosen by the local GOP, that is how the State GOP decided to do things in NY. Had there been a primary you might have seen a different outcome.

  8. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    Thanks for a great analysis. I don't think Hoffman's defeat can be totally blamed on the Tea-Party movement – as you spelled out there were many factors & some shenanigans to consider.

    Rix – I agree that Steele should be replaced. He is clearly not up to the task at hand.

    Jeff – Can you get Chuck to quit using that vulgar expression? I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds it offensive. Thanks.

    Susan

  9. Anonymous says:

    To "Jan"-

    The use of "that term", and any other vugarity in public discourse, shows a total lack of class and respect for the audience.

    However, "Chuck" is not the only offender who can't seem to control their tendency to use unnecessary vulgarities to get their point across.

    Old Bob

  10. Gail B says:

    This is an excellent column on the Cloward/Piven Strategy that I found in the American Thinker:

    By Nancy Coppock:
    Using borrowed money for a band-aid bailout of the economy should seem backwards to most people. However, it likely is a planned strategy to promote radical change. Those naively believing that President Obama is simply rewarding his far-left base, and will then move to the political center, must wise up.

    The assumption that Obama will need the nation to prosper in order to protect the 2010 mid-term election incorrectly assumes that he esteems free market capitalism. He does not. Rather than win through superior ideas and policies, the Democrat plan for success in the mid-term elections is to win by destroying political opposition.

    Obama adheres to the Saul Alinksy Rules for Radicals method of politics, which teaches the dark art of destroying political adversaries. However, that text reveals only one front in the radical left's war against America. The Cloward/Piven Strategy is another method employed by the radical Left to create and manage crisis. This strategy explains Rahm Emanuel's ominous statement, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

    The Cloward/Piven Strategy is named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Their goal is to overthrow capitalism by overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands. The created crisis provides the impetus to bring about radical political change.

    According to Discover the Networks.org:

    Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation…

    Making an already weak economy even worse is the intent of the Cloward/Piven Strategy. It is imperative that we view the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan's spending on items like food stamps, jobless benefits, and health care through this end goal. This strategy explains why the Democrat plan to "stimulate" the economy involves massive deficit spending projects. It includes billions for ACORN and its subgroups such as SHOP and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Expanding the S-Chip Program through deficit spending in a supposed effort to "save the children" only makes a faltering economy worse.

    (Continued)

  11. Gail B says:

    If Congress were to allow a robust economy, parents would be able to provide for their children themselves by earning and keeping more of their own money. Democrats, quick to not waste a crisis, would consider that a lost opportunity.

    The Cato Institute reports that the plan will harm a faltering economy, intentionally causing increased job losses leading to increased demands for the aforementioned programs. Even the jobs to be created are set apart to render social justice, not economic revival. Robert Reich believes new infrastructure jobs should not go to white construction workers. Meanwhile, workers at Microsoft, IBM, Texas Instruments, and the retail market find themselves experiencing the life of the welfare poor.

    If highly educated and trained workers continue to lose jobs and business falters as a whole, where will these jobless workers go? Could this be construed as revolutionary social reorganization that puts the underachiever above the achiever? Where is the future economic strength when jobless professionals collect welfare and unemployment while dreaming of a minimum wage job? For whites, there's not even the hope of a good paying construction job.

    Because these programs are financed with deficit spending, the effect of the Cloward/Piven Strategy becomes doubly destructive. Talk about a perfect storm! The Democrat stimulus plan is a mechanism whose goal is the destruction of the traditional American way of life. It is bitter irony that the American taxpayer will actually fund the destruction of his own ability to live according to the values of our Founding Documents. It is not alarmist to identify this situation as a coup d'etat.

    As the flow of money from the top of the economy dries up, job losses and mortgage busts will mount exponentially. The Democrat stimulus plan provides for welfare expansion but not for a robust economy that creates high paying jobs. Is this what Obama means when he warns, "It's going to get worse before it gets better?" If we are not bailing out corporate America so they can regain profitability, we must conclude Obama is working toward another end goal. Recognizing these attack methods reveals the only logical response — an unwavering wall of "No!"

  12. Anonymous says:

    In NY 23 Steel is the loser. The party was wrong for backing dede and even worse for giving her money. The vetting that was used could have been mistaken for the White House model. I agree that Steel should resign now. He is unprincepaled and while I'd love to see him win the governers race in Maryland leading an orginization that need princpals cannot be led by someone who should be looked at scepticism when talking about abortion or candidates that support it. He truly would help the party if he would throw his hat into a race and leave the pilliar hoisting jobs to some others.

  13. Anna Leigh says:

    How many of those votes for DeDe were cast during early voting and with absentee ballots, before she dropped out? Don't blame the voters until we know. Early voting can be a big problem in cases like this.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I fail to see why the GOP losing another seat in Congress, picking up a Governorship in NJ, where the Democratic incumbent was deeply unpopular and a terrible governor, and winning the VA governorship (a state that typically leans conservative) is any sort of bloodless coup or bellweather. It would be like the Yankees declaring victory on the season after they took two from the Twins in the division series. This sample size is miniscule, but if you want to use it to rally round, have at it.

  15. suek says:

    Oopsie? haven't finished reading yet, but ran across this and it stopped me:

    "A year ago today, television know-it-alls were claiming that Virginia was forever lost to the Democrats, but last night Republican Bob McDonnell blew the doors off Creigh Deeds, his challenger from across the aisle."

    Shouldn't that be "lost to the Republicans"?

  16. suek says:

    "A Democrat runs, joined by a liberal Republican who ran unopposed through the primary process."

    I understood that they did not have a primary…that it was a choice of candidate made by local GOP officials.

    If I'm correct, that may have been the first mistake…!

  17. DeDe Scuzzyfavor says:

    You're a loser, DeDe. Thanks for the big ScuzzyFavor you gave the Dems.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who does not see the Christie win as a body blow to Obama is in extreme denial (denial – it ain’t just a river in Egypt!). Obama and Corzine were joined at the hip during the final phases of the campaign and the White House took over Corzine’s failing campaign to no avail. The Fickle Hand of Fate may have a hand in all this as well – Christie was the one that got Hudson County birth certificates invalidated in NJ due to tampering fraud related to immigration. If you need a long form birth certificate and were born in Hudson County you have to apply to Trenton for a special process to be conducted. I hope Christie “throws his weight around” when BS/BO has to produce his long form birth certificate for his re-election bid!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Nuts.

    I just went back and read my comment about vulgarity and noticed that I addressed it to "Jan" when I should have said "Susan".

    My apologies to both of you.

    Old Bob

  20. Anonymous says:

    So THIS is what happens when ACORN doesn't get a chance to stuff the ballot boxes with fraudulent votes?

    Thanks, "pimp and prostitute"!

  21. Jan says:

    Old Bob –
    If that's the biggest mistake you make you are doing mighty good! I double-read my post to make sure that I didn't put anything in there that would be construed as inappropriate. I pray daily from the Psalms: "Guard my mouth and keep watch over the doors of my lips." That goes for whatever I put in writing as well. Thanks for the apology, though unneeded.

  22. Gail B says:

    Old Bob, I emailed Susan this afternoon about it because I couldn't figure out what word y'all were talking about. I think Chuck used the word, because I told her I thought Jeff had pulled it. She emailed back and said that she thought you had her and Jan's names mixed up, but that it was okay.

    She also expressed her thanks to Jeff for the comment not to still be there.

    Anyway, everyone's happy, except Chuck, of course!

  23. Anonymous says:

    O.K., Gail.

    Where are you-all getting those email addresses from? I'm going to have to check with the NSA people about this.

    Old Bob

    P.S. But it's good to hear from you.

  24. Gail B says:

    Old Bob, I have Susan's home address, her home phone number, and her cell phone number. Oh, her hair comes down to her waist, too. If I were a guy, she would turn my head! She is a very nice, Christian lady; and we've become friends. She's in the northern part of the country; I'm down here on the Georgia Ant Hill.

    Ain't gonna tell you how I got her email address, either!

  25. LIKE A FOX, ON THE RUN says:

    Jonathan Allen, Manu Raju – Thu Nov 5, 4:56 am ET

    Election Day losses in Virginia and New Jersey have congressional Democrats focused like never before on jobs — their own.

    While the White House and party leaders are urging calm, Democratic incumbents from red states and Republican-leaning districts are anything but; Tuesday's statehouse defeats have left them acutely aware that their votes on health care reform and other major Obama initiatives could be career-enders in 2010 or beyond.

    “I should be nervous,” said Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Huntsville, Ala.
    Griffith said the Democratic rank and file is “very, very sensitive” to the fact that issues being pushed by party leaders “have the potential to cost some of our front-line members their seats.”

  26. Still a Patriot says:

    Hello Old Bob -
    I'm certainly not offended – it's nice to have a gentleman standing up for common courtesy.

    Jan – I love that scripture – I need to start praying it every morning as well!

    Gail – You flatter me! By the way, the offensive post is still there.

    Susan

  27. Anonymous says:

    You're tough, Gail, but we'll all meet some day at Jeff's campaign headquarters anyway. At least I'm planning on that.

    I thought that we could all put together and get Jeff that new "1911" that he's been pining for as a graduation present, but I don't know how to pull it off. If anyone has any suggestiions, I'm in.

    Old Bob

  28. Gail B says:

    Susan, you have my contact info as well.

    Yeah, I found Chuckie's devisive comment. Guess he's in the same mental category as Keith Idiotmann, huh?

    Well, Chuckie, there are a LOT of things that I would rather be than a liberal Democrat! Call us what you like–"sticks and stones…." But, remember one thing: Being conservative does not make us one of those, okay? But being a progressive Democrat DOES make one a Communist.

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