There were four noteworthy elections in 2007 with direct business ramifications:
1. Voters in New Jersey rejected a stem-cell research public spending bill.
2. Voters in Oregon rejected a tax and spend plan for socialized medicine programs.
3. Louisiana voters elected Republican James Donelon to be state insurance commissioner.
4. Mississippi voters elected Republican Mike Chaney to be state insurance commissioner.
Nos. 3 and 4 were easy to predict. When people get *severe* reality checks, and provided they’re not hopeless roboDemocrats, they tend to vote Republican.
No. 2 also was expected. Oregon voters repeatedly have rejected tax and spend referanda over the past decade. Even in “deep-blue” states most adults who actually vote in referendum elections are quite conservative on the issues — especially if their own wallets and pocketbooks directly are at stake. The electorate largely is ignorant but it’s not stupid.
As for No. 1, hell, Gov. Corzine has ticked off pretty much everybody in the Garden State. So, ergo, we could easily view the rejection of his pet project as a personal rebuke. There’s also the reality that conservatives in New Jersey stay home in droves and don’t vote in partisan elections — to “send their messages,” to spite the GOP, etc. — but if you put in front of them an issue-specific referendum generally they’ll participate.