multiple updates below
(Post originally logged @ 8:38 pm)
Earthquake in New Jersey, according to Fox News and CNN. On top of the independent voter news, this is huge. But in NY-23, the tea party activist candidate Hoffman is on his way to a loss, with the Dem possibly winning in a district we haven’t won in 200 years, though final tallies won’t be ready until tomorrow. Tea party activists came close, but maybe not enough. Though not long ago a Hoffman supporter said, “it’s over.” To tea party activists it will be a disappointment, but it won’t matter. It was about more than winning for them. It was about backing people they want in office, no matter the costs, even if they lose. Message sent. For Republicans, the civil war continues.
Health care freezes now. Blue Dogs and other Dems won’t budge on big legislation. All this with the Republican brand in tatters.
In Virginia, where 30 percent of voters identify themselves as independent; 65 percent cast their ballots for CNN’s projected winner, Republican Bob McDonnell. That’s according to early CNN Exit Poll data. Democrat Creigh Deeds earned the votes of 34 percent of independents.
In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie took 58 percent of the independent vote while incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, got only 31 percent. Independent candidate Chris Daggett got just 9 percent of the independent vote. Independents made up 28 percent of the voters in New Jersey race.
Christie leading huge in early returns.
Polls over the last couple of months have revealed a trend away from Democrats. It now seems to have manifested. We shall see as the night deepens.
Six in 10 New Jersey voters said Tuesday that President Obama had no effect on their vote in this off-year gubernatorial election, according to early CNN Exit Poll data. – CNN
Except on Fox, where Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove said the opposite. I know, you’re shocked.
As for Creigh Deeds, standing for nothing has consequences, as does running as a Blue Dog in a state that likes strong. Deeds saying he would “opt-out” of the public option was the end for Democrats. See conversation with my friend Mash (a Virginian) @ Facebook.
What’s on voters’ minds? Via CBS:
A majority of voters in both states said they are worried about the direction of the nation’s economy over the next year. 85 percent of Virginia voters said they are worried, as are 90 percent of voters in New Jersey. These percentages were similar on Election Day in 2008.
In both states the economy topped the list of issues that mattered most to voters in their choice for governor – in Virginia health care was second, while in New Jersey the second choice was property taxes.
… Still, majorities of voters in both states (55 percent in Virginia and 60 percent in New Jersey) said President Obama was not a factor in their vote today. Those who said Mr. Obama was a factor in New Jersey divided as to whether their vote was a vote for the president (19 percent) or against him (20 percent). In Virginia, slightly fewer voters said their vote was for Mr. Obama (18 percent) than against him (24 percent).
…and I want to take you back to the National Journal’s new media poll from last week. What are the two big issues for 2010? I said economy, but also added my own category to include GOTV. Tonight I’ve been proved correct on both. From ABC:
Vast economic discontent marked the mood of Tuesday’s off-year voters, portending potential trouble for incumbents generally and Democrats in particular in 2010. …
Yep, it’s still “the economy, stupid.”