Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Tale of Two Gubernatorial Contests

In a night of few surprises, Terry McAuliffe (D) came out on top in his race against VA AG Ken Cuccinelli (R), and NJ Governor Chris Christie (R) easily defended against Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. A lot of ink, virtual and digital, can be spilled over these two contests, but I am going to cover the broad outlines as I see them--

We have one somewhat Democratic win in a state that isn't necessarily that liberal, and a Republican winning re-election in a reliably blue state that just voted to send Cory Booker (D) to Washington. This is only two contests, and neither of them give us enough information to say there's a "trend". Some of the voting/exit polling breakdown fascinates me in VA.

If anything, I think Cuccinelli beat himself because he really is as insulated a conservative as can be found--case in point: the sodomy thing. Seriously? You actually can't get more socially conservative and panty-sniffing than wanting to patrol bedroom behaviors. Astonishingly, in my book, he still did better than 50% in exit polling with white males. (My personal polling experience with white males has always been very pro-sodomy.)  I note that the Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, did pretty well with the young people--probably Republican-identified voters who are more fiscally conservative, but not interested in Old Testament morality. The Cuccinelli campaign blew it, figuratively speaking. The best nod to Libertarian thought his campaign mustered was having Sen. Rand (You Can Say That Again!) Paul talk to the students at Liberty University, although one has to note that "libertarians" is not the plural of "Liberty University student" and that Paul spoke about eugenics and abortion, managing to miss the libertarian note in favor of reinforcing the idea of Cooch as a reductive reproductive regulator.

I don't really have much to say about the New Jersey contest, for a handful of reasons, but most probably because I'm not even especially sure there was one? I will note that although Gov. Christie won handily, the same voters also went for increasing the minimum wage--not one of his policies. In this case, I think personality has a lot to do with it, and Barbara Buono, whatever her merits as a politician, failed to land any telling blows to her opponent, possibly out of concern that she might go "too negative". Christie's recent blow-up at a teacher was too recent to make any dent in his popularity, although it should have reminded of some of his more prickly moments earlier in his term. Surely, more 2016 talk for Christie will come of this win.

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