Those in the media are spinning hard in anticipation of Republican wins in some key races today. Many news reports will try to lead you to believe the outcome at the polls should be ignored and the focus should be on Republican divisiveness or that any Republican wins are outliers, with absolutely no significance or relation to the mood of the country as a whole. Don’t believe it.
There are some close races that could go either way, but if Republicans do well today it will be significant and the President and Democrats in Congress know it. It will be very significant for those moderates in the Congress still deciding which way to vote on health care. They are looking at opinion polls and they are sticking their fingers up in the air to figure out which way the political winds are blowing. They should have a good idea when the polls close tonight.
Even if the GOP picks up some wins today, things could go either way in 2010. Obviously the more races won today the better for Republicans looking to next year, but a year is an eternity in politics. If you don’t believe me, just ask President Obama.
Update: I have seen a lot of people quoting Public Policy Polling’s projections on the NY-23 race. I don’t know how accurate they will be, but thought the following quote from Tom Jensen on their blog was of note:
We think tonight will be very good for Republicans. Two of the main reasons for that are superior party unity and pretty overwhelming support from independents.
Ha! What I keep hearing from Democrats today is how Republicans are divisive and driving moderates and independents away in droves. PPP is a Democrat polling firm, but their analysis is very good (even when I don’t agree with it, I find it informative and thoughtful). Evidently Jensen is not following the party line like those in the media are today. Instead Jensen is reading the poll results and they are undeniable.
In NY-23 despite the presence more or less of two Republican candidates on the ballot, Doug Hoffman is winning 71% of the GOP vote to Bill Owens’ 67% of the Democratic vote. Hoffman leads Owens 52-30 with independents.
In New Jersey Chris Christie is getting 82% of the Republican vote while Jon Corzine is at 72% of the Democratic vote. Christie leads 52-29 with independents.
In Maine 77% of Republicans support the overturn of gay marriage while 71% of Democrats are opposed to it. Independents say they’ll vote for it by a 52-46 margin.
In Virginia 94% of Republicans are for Bob McDonnell to 87% of Democrats for Creigh Deeds. McDonnell is up 63-33 with independents.
More than undeniable, for Democrats, the rates of independent support for the GOP candidates is devastating.
Update II: Tom Elia has the 2008 election results from New Jersey, Virginia and New York-23 for those who want to make comparison’s with tonight’s results.