Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Decision 2009: Lessons Learned

A level-headed attempt to make sense of what Nov. 3rd really means

1. MAYOR O'NEAL MOJO -- Jim O'Neal was able to accomplish what his predecessor could not -- convincing enough Springfield city voters to approve a sales tax hike during a difficult economic period. O'Neal, along with other top city officials, worked every civic group tirelessly over the past several months. And as a result he not only won, he achieved what could be viewed as a mandate for the future. Supporters swung 3,043 votes their way in a 9-month period. That's the power of persuasion. City skeptics beware, there's a new Sheriff in town.

2. SPRINGFIELD AIN'T AS CONSERVATIVE AS YOU MIGHT THINK -- For years Republicans have worried about the trend. They no longer can pile up the big margins in Springfield like they used to inside city limits. It's not that the demographics changed that much since February when the tax failed. But it shows that voters here are less tied to staunch ideology when a convincing case is made. A 10-point tax hike win is something to be said for amid a backlash against bailouts and the sustained effects of a recession. WATCH KY3 NEWS @ 10 COVERAGE HERE.

3. TEABAG MOVEMENT OVERBLOWN -- After all the hub bub about a revolution brewing in District 23 in New York, the Democrat prevailed. Sure, it was messy and complicated. But a loss surely can't be viewed as a start of a movement. All the top GOPers got involved, threw their marker down. Sarah Palin was a hero. The D.C./New York establishment was mocked for picking the wrong candidate. This isn't to say, their forces won't emerge in another state in 2010. But Doug Hoffman turned out to be a loser.

4. A WARNING SHOT -- GOP Governor wins in Virginia and New Jersey can not and should not be understated. New Jersey, in particular, is a huge win for Republicans. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's close race for another term was also notable. There's an anti-incumbency, anti-big money wave out there. But neither Chris Christie nor Bob McDonnell ran as part of the tea party movement. They were Republicans who fit their state, ran mostly positive campaigns and seized the moment. Virginia traditionally goes to the party opposite of the White House and Corzine had trouble long before there was even a teabag movement. Still, the Republican wins are a warning shot for overconfident Obama-ites who may be a little more skeptical about all that "change they can believe in."

5. IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT OBAMA -- The results on Tuesday are neither a repudiation or an endorsement of the president. Missouri Republicans would have you think that Obama couldn't win re-election tomorrow: "Obama’s coattails have all but disappeared, and tonight’s election results should put Democrats on notice. Supporting the liberal Obama-Pelosi agenda is dangerous, even in states that voted overwhelmingly for Democrats just one year ago," said Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder in a statement. "Today Americans overwhelmingly rejected President Obama and Speaker Pelosi’s radical agenda," said 7th District candidate Billy Long. "Tonight's election results show that Americans are fed up with the extreme liberal agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama," said 4th District candidate Bill Stouffer. But voters told exit pollsters that Obama did not factor much into their voting. Put up your best national Republican against Obama in the Garden State tomorrow, and does the GOP think it would achieve a mirror result? Nonsense. It's a lesson that the conservative movement is alive and kicking but that individual races are sometimes more about binary choices than overarching national themes.

6. KRIS BAREFIELD = KING PUNDIT -- In our Decision 2009 pundit challenge, Kris Barefield picked the police and fire pension tax result within .2%. Barefield said the pension tax would pass 54.3% to 45.7%. The final result: 54.5% YES, 45.4% NO. Barefield was closest of all our participants and gets mega props from The Notebook. He's King pudit, at least for a day. If we think of a reasonable, responsible prize, we'll let ya know.


Paul Seale said...

Level headed attempt? Dont make me laugh.

While you are partially correct in how the VA and NJ campaigns ran (on specifics) you are equally, if not more so wrong in that they both ran campaigns on strong limited government.

Similarly, you can pretend and really want SW Missouri to take a bend to the left, but just like your biased analysis of national races in which you leave out important facts; you fail to mention important elements of a single vote.

Sorry Dave, but if you are claiming that this area is tilting to the left because of a single ballot issue which involves supporting our local public servants who risk life and limb day in and day out on a narrowly worded ballot iniative, you got another thing coming.

I also wonder aloud if the news director or station manager understands what you are calling those people who label them selves as the "tea party" movement.

When I worked at KY3 we removed television commercials with less offensive language.

Not only is your bias showing quite loud and proud in this post, but your analysis is plain wrong.

bk said...

Great analysis, Dave.

Kris said...

Particulary good analysis under point #6.