The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Republican victory in Virginia and New Jersey a message to Obama?
McLaughlin and Associates have released a poll that shows the results of the Governor races in Virginia and New Jersey was at least partially a message to President Obama. The Republican victories there may be a prequel to the 2010 Congressional elections.
You can look at the full results here.
Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: One of the reasons I voted for (Christie/McDonnell) is to send a message to the Obama administration that I am unhappy with the direction they are taking Washington and the country
New Jersey: 68% agree 23% disagree
Virginia: 74% agree 22% disagree
Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on November 7, 2009 | Permalink
That's nice spin, but not very informative. Let's check the facts.
First, people who identify as Republicans who say they voted for a Republican to send a message to Obama that they are unhappy with him are not a trend of any sort. If Democrats don't gain any support from self-identifying Republicans they have lost nothing over what they got in 2008.
Second, the survey tells us that 63% of the people polled who identify as Democrats voted for a Republican at least in part to send a message to Obama that they are unhappy. Ok, but what sliver of the electorate is this? If only 5% of Democrats voted for the Republican candidate and then only 63% of those people were sending a message, you have a grand total of about 3.2% of Democrats who are voting their current displeasure. Furthermore, if only 5% of the people who voted for the Republican candidate are self-identifying Democrats, then the poll results for this level of dissatisfaction are based on what only 40 people said. I'm no statistics guru, but a poll of 40 Democrats might not be enough to give statistically significant information about whether Democrats are looking to switch their votes.
To have any interesting data that could even possibly inform us about the 2010 elections they need to tell us (1) what percentage of Democrats voted for the Democrat and what percentage voted for the Republican and (2) they need to poll a statistically significant number (a lot more than 40) of Democrats who voted republican to see if there is a real message-sending trend among them.
It is entirely possible that there is a trend of Democrats shifting to the Republicans because of dissatisfaction, but there is no evidence of that here. This poll tells us nothing.
Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-11-07 9:11:44 AM
Whistling past the grave yard. Democrats that fail to heed this message do so at their own peril.
Posted by: B | 2009-11-07 9:34:23 AM
So what. What does this have to do with Obama? The Real Question is who would New Jersey and Virginia vote for in a presidential election. This is a question that should be answered by pundits as it really is a no issue. Depends if you get your opinions from MSNBC or FOX. I prefer to make my own opinions, thank you.
Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-11-07 10:34:06 AM
Virginia voted for Obama by 7 points(1st time Democrat presidential candidate won the state since 1964). New Jersey voted for Obama by about 15 points(last time Republican presidential candidate won the state was 1988). The Republican gubernatorial candidate won by 18 points in Virginia. The margin was 5 points(49%-44%). Obama campaigned in most states. He especially paid a lot of visits to New Jersey. The Democrat governor John Corzine attempted to link Obama and himself in many ads. So, Obama did put some of his credibility on the line.
In Virginia, McDonnell ran mostly on economic issues. However, abortion was an issue in the race and McDonnell also emphasized his endorsement by the NRA. McDonnell ran as an unabashed fiscal and social conservative and won 59%-41%. The Republicans easily won the other two statewide offices and made big gains in the state legislature. Interesting fact, 58 of 59 candidates endorsed by NRA(gun owners rights group) in Virginia won election. Also, I read that over 80% of Virginia candidates endorsed by pro-life groups also won.
In New Jersey, the Republican candidate was Chris Christie. Christie won the Republican nomination by defeating Steve Lonegan in the Republican primary. Lonegan is both a fiscal and social conservative. Lonegan called for replacing New Jersey's current income tax system with a 2.1% flat income tax(reduction to 2.9% 1st year, followed by reduction to 2.1% within 4 years). He hs fought Corzine's attempts to increase tolls on the New Jersey turnpike. Also, he led several efforts to defeat bond measures(for public work projects and green spaces) that would have already increased our debt. Lonegan also called for sharp cuts in corporate tax(and school vouchers). On social issues, Lonegan supported the death penalty, a bear hunt(major ongoing public debate about needing a hunt to reduce black bear numbers), a concealed carry law, and the castle doctrine. He opposed abortion and gay marriage. Lonegan's involvement in the primary forced Christie to move to the right. Christie opposed the flat tax but called for large tax cuts. He also called for major cuts in spending(already he has put a hold on any unfunded mandate programs that the state imposes on local governments. His advisors are researching these programs and seeing which can be cut immediately). Christie has called for more charter schools. On his website, Christie calls for allowing the public to decide issues by referendum. On social issues, Christie is mostly conservative. He supports the death penalty, a bear hunt, and opposes abortion(as well as gay marriage). He supports some gun rights measures like the castle doctrine and concealed carry but supports other gun control measures(Corzine got an F rating from NRA).Unlike previous Republican candidates, Christie emphasized his pro-life and traditional marriage positions in some of his phone messages. In fact, Christie's election gives New Jersey its first pro-life governor since abortion was legalized in 1973. Christie 's five point(49%-44%) victory was the largest margin by a Republicn gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey since Tom Kean's reelection in 1985. The previous Republican governor moderate Christie Whitman won both her election campaigns by 1 point(1993, 1997). Interestingly, Tom Kean won his first governor's race in 1981 by also 1 point. Christie's victory margin is large for a Republican by New Jersey standards. Also, while Christie was not as right-wing as Lonegan, Christie ran as the most right-wing Republican gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey in at least the last 50 years. Christie accomplished this in a heavily Democrat state where he was outspend 3 to 1 and Obama made many visits.
The truth is that the bloom is off Obama's rose and the Democrats are in deep crap! Rasmuusen Reports shows that Republicans are favored by the public on the top ten public policy issues(these include traditional Democrat strongholds like education, social security, and healthcare).Obama has hit his high water mark and the Democrats are going to lose a lot of seats in 2010. Oh the joy! I like what I hear from Christie but me and my fellow New Jerseyans will have to stay on his back to make sure that he doesn't stray.
Posted by: Tim | 2009-11-07 6:51:03 PM
Rasmussen also reports that both parties are well to the left of the American people.
You are correct in postulating that Obama has hit the high point of his popularity, but then he's just a sockpuppet, an actor who reads the teleprompter in the order it is scripted for him.
We in Canada have had a similar horrific experience and are just emerging from what was called Trudeaumania in the late 60s.
It's a tough grind here getting Canada back to its former status.
Good luck in 2010 as the will of the people will throw the commies out.
The rights of the individual will win over the rights of the collective and the growth of government is a cancer that eats away at individual freedoms.
European voters have swung away from Big State solutions.
As James Carville said: ‘It's the economy, stupid.'
Push back twice as hard with their own tactics at these control-freaks that temporarily occupy and influence the most powerful office on earth.
Posted by: set you free | 2009-11-07 10:47:11 PM
"So what. What does this have to do with Obama?"
Careful, Hugh, this is a VERY left wing/Marxist website and the readers here don't take kindly to criticism of their hero Obama.
Posted by: Hugh Is A Statist | 2009-11-08 2:09:15 PM
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