Thursday, November 10, 2005Everybody is ecstatic over the election results yesterday (except here in NYC). Yes it's great that the Democrats retained the NJ and Va governorships, that the Governator was repudiated, that Bush's intervention in Virginia ended up hurting him and Kilgore, and that traditional Republican tactics failed.
These results really don't mean a whole lot. I don't mean this in the right wing talking point "the status quo remains" sense. I mean in the "Democrats have the wind at their back in 2006" sense. We all need to calm down. Governor's races are very different from congressional races. Governors run as chief executives, where management and specific local issues are very important. In congressional races, national issues are the salient items for voters. So the fact that Dems can win in Fairfax county for goveror says nothing about our ability to win a House seat there.
We still haven't proven that Democrats can win in these areas on national issues. It certainly doesn't mean that we can unseat a bunch of entrenched Republican incumbents. November 8's results don't mean that we can't, of course. Bush's low approval rating, Republican recruitment problems, and the generic Democratic congressional advantage give me hope. But I'm not going to start celebrating yet.