Not directly research-related, but worth noting to both sky-is-falling Democrats and gleeful Republicans alike:
Much is being made of the fact that since Barack Obama was elected, Democrats have lost races for governor in both Virginia and New Jersey, and of course, have now lost the Massachusetts US Senate seat held by Democrats since JFK won it in 1952. This is, depending on your personal beliefs, either a harbinger of doom or a reason to rejoice, but it seems to me it’s really just a repeat of recent electoral history. Newly elected Presidents of the previously out-of-power party lose their first off-year contests.
Check it out:
- November 1992: Bill Clinton (D) elected President after 12 years of Republican rule.
- November 1993: Christie Todd Whitman (R) elected NJ Governor, replacing Jim Florio (D)
- November 1993: George Allen (R) elected VA Governor, replacing Doug Wilder (D).
- June 1994: Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) elected US Senator from Texas, replacing Lloyd Bentsen (D).
Clinton, as you may recall, went on to serve two terms as President. Then, of course:
- November 2000: George W. Bush (R) elected President after 8 years of Democratic rule.
- November 2001: Jim McGreevey (D) elected NJ Governor, replacing Christie Todd Whitman (R). (technically, McGreevey was immediately preceded by a series of acting governors after Whitman resigned to join the Bush administration)
- November 2001: Mark Warner (D) elected VA Governor, replacing Jim Gilmore (R).
Bush, so soundly thrashed here in his first elections as titular head of his party, served two terms as well.
November 2008: Barack Obama (D) elected President after 8 years of Republican rule.
- November 2009: Chris Christie (R) elected NJ governor, replacing Jon Corzine (D).
- November 2009: Bob McDonnell (R) elected VA governor, replacing Tim Kaine (D).
- January 2010: Scott Brown (R) elected US Senator from Massachusetts, replacing Ted Kennedy (D).
I’m not saying progressives shouldn’t be concerned and that conservatives shouldn’t be happy — I’m saying this is in no way indicative of a game-changing turn of events. That’s all.