Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Do Democrats have traction?

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KAINE WINS VA, CORZINE WINS NJ

10.50 PST: Kaine brings it home in VA 52% - 46%, which indicates that most of the polls leading up to the election underestimated his margin of victory. Perhaps undecideds broke for Kaine, or Republican turnout fell sharply... although I'm not sure what could have been the cause. Good news also in California, my home away from home, with parental notification for a minor's abortion being voted down (the state shouldn't legislate to safeguard family rights when there are so many abusive familial pressures potentially placed on a child in that predicament), along with all of the Governator's initiatives. I like Arnie and feel bad because I sincerely believe he's trying to bring about change. Voting for Democrats in the state legislature in California is invariably like voting for Jimmy Hoffa.

5.14 PST: We find out tonight if the Democratic Party has gained traction since 2004. Politics might be local, but local politics has exhibited national trends leaning in the direction of the Republican Party for the past three years. Inspite of Doug Forrester's brutal last minute attack advertisements I believe Jon Corzine will win by at least 5 points in New Jersey. The race in Virginia will be a far more insightful indiciator about what is currently possible for Democrats looking ahead to the 2006 midterms.

You can prejudge tonight's result from two perspectives. Democratic candidate, Tim Kaine is against the death penalty, Virginia is a red State, only second to Texas in the number of executions it has carried out, and Jerry Kilgore, former VA Attorney General should be winning comfortably. By the same token, Tim Kaine is riding the coat tails of popular Democratic Governor, Mark Warner, and his impressive platform has negated the political impact of his personal feelings on the Death Penalty. Kaine: "I'm Catholic - I'm against the Death Penalty and I'm against Abortion."

Having watched their debate a couple of weeks ago on C-Span when Kilgore enjoyed a small lead it was obvious that Kaine had the capacity to close the gap, regardless of changing national trends. To me at least (and I am certainly not a typical Virginian voter) Kaine is smiling, warm, direct and authentic, plus perfectly placed in terms of his experience. Kilgore, by contrast, isn't an impressive candidate.

The White House have gambled that their last minute support of Kilgore will be the final boost his campaign required. Either that or internal tracking polls showed a solid Republican swing that allowed the President to tip his hand. Regardless, because of his decision to get involved this race really will be a measure of where the President currently stands with the American electorate. The key question: Will Republican turnout be strong, the consistent factor in all of their recent, closely fought election victories?

Prediction: Corzine 5%, Kaine 1%.

N.B. Nothing is more important right now to the Democratic Party than winning in 2006.

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20 comments:

Enigma said...

I worry about the person who votes based on recommendations from the W House.

Graham said...

Yeah, me too. It will be interesting to see if it helped though Enigma. If Kilgore loses it will be embarrasing for Bush. Congrats on the C&L link btw, I just saw it today. Very cool :).

Enigma said...

Thanks Graham.

Amanda said...

I'm a Virginian who voted for Kilgore (maybe I have no business reading your blog but I happened across it... :o). I just wanted to say I think it's interesting that our governor race is making such national news. It's truly exciting! All the best. -A

Graham said...

Thanks for the comment Amanda, and I appreciate your POV. Obviously, I hope your vote is for the losing candidate although I'm getting into one of those pessimistic, political moods thinking that Kilgore might win on strong turnout. I guess we'll find out pretty soon. I still think it'll be Kaine... just.

Graham said...

Looking good :) :) :) :) :) :) :)....

63% reporting: Kaine 51% - Kilgore 47%

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

A friend of mine goes to UVA they had some big political goings on there tonight and as I hear it it's a done deal the acceptance speech is made.

Enigma said...

Mmmmm....I smell sweet victory.....a flowery scent....


That corruption smell is fading....a wet cash scent....

M A F said...

Out here in California, Governor Schwarzenegger might have spent all his politcal capital as well with his support of ballot propositions 74,75,76,and 77. And at last check all the propositions he supported appear to have lost. In fact all the ballot propositions appear to have failed

Enigma said...

Bloomberg won....big suprise...rich bastard...

Chris said...

These victories are just a first step. So much more work to do.

Graham said...

Hey everybody, thanks for all your comments. I'm a doofus and didn't realize that enabling "comment moderation" actually required I go moderate the darn things. Me stupido.

Anyways... I agree with MJ. Lots and lots of work to be done ahead of 2006. But, at least we have momentum to build on now.

Graham said...

lol... enigma :)! r u Augustus Enigma? If that question is weird I'm sorry.

+ sorry Alice for making you repost three times. :(

Yeah Mac, I think Arnie is definately in trouble. It's worrisome only because I really think his original cause was a valid one, to really change the political landscape in California. I still hope there's a chance of this. I was very happy about the abortion/parental consent result.

Lisa said...

Congratulations to the Democrats on the expected wins. I'm not sure exactly how much this changes in VA and NJ, although it does flatten Arnold quite a bit in CA. And BTW, if you spend as much as Corzine did on his campaign, and if you are being opposed by a relatively weak candidate, that certainly doesn't hurt your chances of winning.

Graham said...

Ha ha. Virginia was definately cause to be optimistic. Kaine's platform wasn't as Conservative as people are making out today.

As for Corzine, if all aspiring Congressman spent their own money, and not special interest money in their campaigns, I think politics would have a whole lot more integrity. Of course Congress would be full of very rich people, but still.

Forrester was a meanie anyway :P. What's Corzine's ex-wife got to do with anything?

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Onward and upward I say.

Enigma said...

Graham, check out politalk if you get time....click on my name, it'll send ya to what I'm talkin bout. Join & discuss...

M A F said...

Graham,

Arnold got elected spouting movie lines and pretending to be a centrist. He showed his true colors when he spoke at the Repub convention. The propositions he supported were just an extention of his rightward beliefs.

I can support redistricting, just not in the version that was presented. In my area a local antiwar protestor has suggested that redistricting be done based upn population figures and the aid of computer. (Talk about impersonal and unbiased.)

As for 73, 'parental consent' I concur with your sentiments. 73 was the least talked about of all the propositions and the most deceptive. Had it passed the social conservatives would have had an opportunity to challenge every woman's right to have an abortion in the state, and quite possibly provide a avenue to challenge Roe v Wade.

How embarrassing for Arnold, to know that in the end he got his ass kicked by a bunch of Girliemen.

Peace said...

Hi Graham, this is my first visit to yr site. U left a comment on my blog at http://anythingpet.blogspot.com/ and that's how I got here. Thanks a lot for yr time. Glad that I come here. : )

Graham said...

Hey Alice, I hope you're right. It certainly looks that way, I'm currently watching James Dobson lay into Republicans on Hannity and Colmes. They're definately in turmoil.

Enigma, I checked politalk out, and it looks pretty cool. I love the design :). I will register soon.

Hey Mac,

I haven't been keeping up with Californian politics since I left seven months ago, but I have to admit I kinda liked where Arnie was coming from. I don't hold the Republican convention against him, but he's obviously pissed off a lot of people since he's been in power. I totally agree with your feelings about parental consent. All of these state interventions are inevitably designed to be taken to SCOTUS to challenge Roe.

The only thing I would say is that Democrats in California need a bit of a makeover. I honestly don't know if I would have voted for Bustamante at the last governor's election... I was leaning more towards Mary Carey ;).

Thanks Peace :), I appreciate you visiting. You have a cool site.