Now that the dust has pretty well settled (and I’ve gotten a bit of sleep), here are my thoughts concerning Election Day. Overall, it was a sweeping victory for Republicans as the Grand Old Party claimed all three statewide races, a feat last achieved in 1997. Bob McDonnell will be our new Governor. Bill Bolling will remain our Lt. Governor for another four years, and Ken Cuccinelli soon will be our Attorney General. In addition, Republicans made further inroads in the House of Delegates picking up seats in districts 3, 21 (depending on the recount), 23, 32, 34, 51, 67, and 83. Although I would have liked to see a few more pickups, especially in 64 and 100, Republicans as a whole did quite well. Even the party-shunned Catherine Crabill picked up 47.98% of the vote. Now the day was not a complete blowout in favor of the GOP. With all the successes, Republicans did suffer two net losses: in 52 failing to retain retiring Delegate and former RPV chair Jeff Frederick’ seat and in 93 with the loss of the twenty-one year incumbent Phil Hamilton. According to my math, that means a gain of six seats in the hundred-member chamber.
The reason for the Democrats failure was that none of the statewide Democratic candidates succeeded in motivating their base or attracting independents. Creigh Deeds lost by 17 ponts! Moving down the ticket, a 13-point win for Bolling and 15-percentage point win for Cuccinelli further illustrates this point. Although I don’t believe these results are as far reaching as to be used to determine the next presidential race three years from now, they do show a growing dissatisfaction with our current President and Congress, as well as the Democrats failure to market their brand.
Elsewhere, somewhat surprisingly, Chris Christie knocked off veteran Jon Corzine for New Jersey Governor. Then we have Bill Owens victory in New York 23, which was one ray of sunshine for the Democrats in an otherwise poor showing in both Virginia and New Jersey. Personally, I’m very disappointed with that result, but New York politics is a fairly alien concept to us here in Virginia.
Congratulations to Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli. May the three of you, along with the General Assembly, and our other officials govern the affairs of our state wisely.