Status Quo 6, Reform 0

At least among the six campaigns I paid any attention to yesterday – the Governor’s races in NJ and Virginia, the Mayor’s races in NY City and Detroit, and the referendum packages in California and Ohio – if there’s any lesson to be drawn from yesterday’s votes, it’s one that conflicts with the apparent public mood: the voters chose the status quo and rejected calls for reform:
1. Incumbents and incumbent parties won. Virginia and NJ stayed in the same party hands. Incumbents were re-elected in NYC and Detroit.
2. Packages of reform-minded referenda, anchored by anti-gerrymandering efforts, were defeated in Ohio and California.
3. Longstanding concerns about corruption in the state-level New Jersey and California Democratic parties, the state-level Ohio GOP and the local government in Detroit were brushed aside by the voters. No wake-up calls were sent, except perhaps to the Virginia GOP to offer a choice, not an echo.

5 thoughts on “Status Quo 6, Reform 0”

  1. Admit it Crank! Bush is political kryptonite right now. Is there anyone in this world who would benefit right now from Bush’s endorsement?
    As a Democrat, this terrifies me because public approval runs in cycles and the voters memory usually runs about 3 months.
    If Karl Rove had looked at his calander on the day after Bush’s re-election and selected a month for the President to bottom out, he would have selected sometime this Fall.
    It’s still a long way to the mid-terms. These dismal approval ratings and all the bad press could be a distant memory come next November.
    So I’ll agree the Bush may not be a political pariahh for too long if you agree he is clearly one right now.

  2. I think everyone is misreading the election results as pro-blue, anti-red. I think the voters who bothered to show up didn’t care much for you affiliation, but for your ability.
    Bloomberg is an incredibly competent mayor. He’s hurt me financially in several ways, but the pundits who think the NY Democratic party is in ruins fail to see that the voters really never care what your party is, only if you can do the job. Dinkins got his shot, and was as bad as Beame. That’s why Rudy finally got in. Turns out he could actually administer things well, as can Bloomberg.
    Corzine won in part because, while he did some negative campaigning, I don’t really consider it so when you are slinging mud at someone’s stem cell stance–that’s disagreeing with someone on an issue you try to make a major one. Dragging out someone’s ex-wife was dumb, terminally so. And deservedly so I might add.
    Voters who show up in off year elections are generally more well informed than the ones who can’t be bothered to show up–one day people running will realize that , and actually tailor campaings strictly for that. Bush Kerry involved tremendous passions, yet the turnout, which should have been 75-85% was as dismal as many others.
    Go read Isaac Asimov’s great story Franchise, and see where polling will take us.

  3. I suppose thhat’s a pretty fair way for you to view the results, Crank. But when you view it in terms of what has been the trend over the last few elections, this isn’t encouraging for your party.
    Especially in Virginia.

  4. I think the defeats in California, especially, were a function of the off-year. Most of the people who showed up to vote on the referendums there did so because they would be directly affected by the outcome (teachers, gv’t employees). I think the “Bush is political kryptonite” stuff is a little premature. There were no real defeats for the GOP except for perhaps the Ohio/California measures. The other outcomes were pretty much expected, even if disappointing.

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