Tuesday, December 11, 2007

GOP adds big wins in VA, OH

Two off-year congressional elections were held today, one in Virginia and one in Ohio. Due to the national mood, the supposed anti-Republican mood in Ohio and the Democratic trend in Virginia, Democrats had confidence they could contest and win both these seats, and they poured in thousands of dollars and plenty of resources. Many of the pundits predicted doom for the GOP--Stuart Rothenburg stated that the Ohio contest would be the Democratic upset of the century (in a seat that has been held by the Republicans since the 1930s), citing the "toxic environment" for the GOP and the "spending advantage of the Democrats.

Well the results are in and they're not even close. Both Republicans won landslide victories. Despite having popular Dem. Gov. Kaine and former Governor Warner stump for him, Democratic candidate Phillip Forgit couldn't pull out a win. Republican Rob Wittman won with 61% of the vote in Virginia's 1st house district and Republican Bob Latta won in Ohio's 5th house district with a resounding 57% of the vote.

The voters are clearly in an anti-government mood. They are clearly unhappy with Bush but they are also unhappy with the Democratic congress. This bodes well for Nick Jordan and and the 2nd District Republican nominee who hope to take on KS' only Dem. incumbents.

Summing up the year, the Republicans gained the governorship in Louisiana (Jindal avoided a runoff by winning a historic 54% of the vote in the first round), they came within 5 percent of winning an open Massachusetts house seat, lost the governorship of Kentucky, and barely lost control of the Virginia state senate (by just 3 seats) while retaining control of the Virginia state assembly. Overall, a positive year for the GOP and net gain. Republicans have shown that they can successfully compete across the country, even in the bluest of blue states, while Democrats still have much work to do in the midwest and south.

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