There are some interesting races going on today in the off-year. Not the Virginia race, of course, which is a foregone conclusion. There is an interesting Washington Post story -- disputed by legendary conservative Democrat operative "Mudcat" Sanders -- blaming Deeds for not listening to the Obama machine (who won the state in 2008). Whatever the case, the Virginia statehouse was like the diamond of the Democrat Party. The fact that they lost it -- or didn't rally around it strongly enough -- will, no doubt, be examined at Wagnerian length tonight by the talking heads.
The New Jersey race, in particular, should be interesting. From Politico:
"There are about 730,000 more registered Democrats than there are Republicans in the Garden State. And last fall, thanks to President Obama, the number of new voters surged on Election Day. But polls indicate Corzine is having trouble rousing his own party this year.
"'It’s a very different election than last year,' said Rep. Bill Pascrell, a veteran New Jersey Democrat. 'Last year, people came out. They didn’t have to be pushed. This year, they’re a little reluctant. Times are bad, the economy is not doing very well.'
"Both campaigns and independent observers expect turnout statewide to be about 48 percent to 49 percent. That means at or just above 2.3 million votes.
"If it’s less than that, Corzine could be in trouble as it will most likely mean unhappy, or just plain uninterested, Democrats are staying home.
"'If turnout dips below 47 percent, it’s minorities not showing up,' said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray.
"To win, Corzine also needs to push the percentage of the electorate that is made up of minority groups above 20 percent.
"It almost surely won’t reach the 27 percent that Obama enjoyed last year, but if it’s even a few percentage points above 20 percent, Corzine has got a strong chance to win."
Who would want to be Governor anyway (aside from those looking to launch a Presidential or Vice Presidential campaign). Most statehouses are broke. An incoming Governor will have to pull whole economies with vanishing manufacturing sectors out of the red. In a sense I cannot think of another situatuion that would recommend such a perennial candidate like Jerry Brown -- perhaps the only man with the experience to save California and navigate their labyrinthine politics.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a mystery to me. His various party switches are completely unpredictable. he has been, in due course, a Democrat, republican and Independent. He has spent $100 million-plus for an urban mayroalty. Granted, NYC mayor is not just a Mayoralty, but still. Bloomberg had a clear shot at New york's Governor -- a better vantage point to view the Whitte House. But he didn't take it. I have no idea what this man wants.
Another race to watch is NY's 23rd district. Dede Scozzafava, who was the Republican nominee, was vilified by the right wingnuts -- Sarah Palin campaigned for her Conservative party opponent -- and literally had to drop out. Since then, she has endorsed the Democrat. According to Politico, the White House and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee coordinated efforts to get Scozzafava's endorsement. Congressman Steve Israel, according to the story, had a face-to-face meeting with Scozzafava in her upstate New York district after she suspended her campaign. Scozzafava, having faced a contentious race against the wingnuts of the right who decided that the Republican party nominee was too liberal, was amenable to the request from the Democratic party.