04 Nov 2009

A Good Night For the GOP

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Virginia Governor
McDonnell (Rep) 59, Deeds (Dem) 41

New Jersey Governor
Christie (Rep) 49, Corzine (Dem) 45

New York (23d District)
Owens (Dem) 48, Hoffman (Con) 46

We won the two big governor’s races and, despite the uphill difficulty in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, came close to pulling off a conservative win out of what started as a three-way race.

John Dickerson, at Slate, explains that the independent voters have come back to the Republican Party. Independents are, naturally enough, frightened by the economy and appalled at the deficit.

The Republican candidates killed among independents. In both New Jersey and Virginia, they won by two to one. Independent voters make up their largest share of the electorate since pollsters have been counting them. In 2006 and 2008, these voters backed Congressional Democrats, and in the 2008 presidential race, they went for Obama 51 percent to 47 percent over John McCain. They’ve been souring on his presidency, though, and now more disapprove of his performance than approve. In Virginia, Obama won 48 percent of independents. The Republican Bob McDonnell won 68 percent of those voters this time around. In New Jersey, Christie carried independents 58 percent to 31 percent, which helped him overcome the fact that there are 700,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in that state.

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