While the GOP won both the governor’s elections that were being contested yesterday, Democrats did win a traditionally Republican seat in New York.
First, the most predictable race of the night was the Virginia governor’s race, where Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell defeated Democratic State Senator Creigh Deeds by 18 points. While most people expected this to be a large margin for the Republicans, I don’t think many people expected it to be this large.
McDonnell’s victory can be accredited to the fact that he identified with voters and talked to voters about state issues that they understand, instead of bringing national issues into the picture. On the other hand, Deeds was far from the best candidate, and therefore a lost in this race was almost a foregone conclusion for the Democrats.
In New Jersey, Jon Corzine lost reelection to the governorship of The Garden State with a four point loss to Republican Chris Christie. Corzine, with an approval rating in the 30s, was expected to make this race close. Most people predicted that Christie would squeak out a victory at the end with a close win. And that just happened to be the case, even though late polls showed that Corzine had pull very close in the last month of the race.
In New York’s 23rd Congressional District, Democrat Bill Owens took the traditionally Republican seat after defeating Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman by a margin of 49% to 45%..
Everyone pretty much knows the story behind this race. But the fact that Democrats were able to pick up this race shows that the Democrats didn’t have as bad of a night as most political pundits like to say.
We will have more in-depth analysis of these races in the coming days and weeks.