Let me quote the lyrics of a 1980s Dead or Alive song – "You spin me right round, baby right round like a record." The Democratic Party is trying so hard to spin the results of the 2009 election that it’s enough to make you dizzy.
The losses of two governorships are big, especially New Jersey, the bluest of blue states. In VA, there was a 26 point swing in favor of the GOP candidate over Obama’s win by 8 points (the GOP candidate won by 18). In New Jersey, there was a 19point swing over Obama’s win by 15 points (the GOP candidate won by 4).
Here are some numbers that should make Obama and the Democratic Party worry. In Virginia, Governor-elect Bob McDonnell carried the affluent and immigrant heavy Fairfax County by 21 percent (a county carried by Obama in 2008). Mr. McDonnell also carried nine out of Virginia’s eleven congressional districts, including three districts that went democrat in 2008 with votes of 62 percent, 61 percent, and 55 percent respectively. Exit polls showed that 46 percent of voters in Virginia said the economy was the main concern while only 25 percent said it was health care.
Over in New Jersey, Governor-elect Chris Christie, who was out spent by his opponent, managed to cut outgoing Governor Corzine’s margin in heavily democratic Bergen Country from 16 percent (which Corzine carried in 2005) down to 1 percent in 2009. He also took 7 counties that voted for Obama in 2008 turned them red in 2009.
Obama won’t be able to focus solely on one state in the 2010 elections as he’ll be criss-crossing the country trying to save blue politicians in red states. Blue politicians in red states must now think twice before voting for cap-and-trade and healthcare. In the House alone, there are 84 democrats that come from districts won by either President Bush in 2004 or John McCain in 2008. Election year 2008 was a snippet in time, a one-shot deal never to be repeated.
What the White House can’t overlook is the growing discontent that Americans have for they way they have governed. Americans have begun to pay attention to a government that doesn’t care about trillion dollar deficits, combined 50 percent tax rates in most states, sky rocketing unemployment which is now at 10.2 percent or a radical agenda that if passed will kill jobs.
If anything, the election of a Republican governor in NJ has given hope to Republicans in other blue states like Massachusetts, New York, or New Hampshire whose governors are up for re-election. Last Tuesday’s win lets the Republican Party live to conquer another day. It was just last year the pundits wrote off the GOP for the next election cycle, maybe even the next generation.
The president needs to face the realization that his left of center agenda doesn’t sit will with a right of center nation. By allowing the left coasts of the U.S. to write important legislation, he is exciting the left, enraging the right, and frightening the center. Come 2010, Obama may be the “right” answer to the GOP’s problems.
The White House will tell you that the election was not a referendum on the president and democratic loses had nothing to do with Obama. It now appears that the voters in at least these two states want nothing to do with him.