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Readers debate election damage

Our Readers Who Comment are engaging in partisan political analysis this morning. Those who sound like Democrats say the Republican sweep of gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey was because their party had bad candidates; those who sound like Republicans say this is the beginning of the end of the Obama presidency.

But as political analyst Dan Balz writes, "Neither gubernatorial election amounted to a referendum on the president, but the changing shape of the electorates in both states and the shifts among key constituencies revealed cracks in the Obama 2008 coalition and demonstrated that, at this point, Republicans have the more energized constituency heading into next year's midterm elections."

In many ways the readers echo the comments they made during the last presidential campaign. There's mud-slinging and name calling from each side, updated with references to health care and other current issues. There is also an entertaining sidebar conversation about the Democratic victory in the fascinating upstate New York congressional district that had been Republican forever.

We'll start with comments from each side:

WJStephens wrote, "A resounding rebuke of Obamacare, Obama spending and Obama socialism in VA and NJ."

And Carl_Goss said, "All this election shows is that bad candidates and small turnouts at the state level can embarrass the party in power in Washington DC..."

douglaslbarber wrote, "Hmmm. Last time a Republican was elected governor of Virginia: 8 years. Last time a Republican was elected governor of Joisey: 12 years. Last time New York's 23'rd Congressional District sent a Democrat to congress: over a century ago."

BarbWald said, "...The Democrat in Virginia ran a bad race and the Democrat in New Jersey was very unpopular. Tip O'Neill said that "All politics is local."
The Republicans who won ran as moderates (whether they are or not remains to be seen). The Republican who lost in New York State ran all the way to the right."

maxpower99 wrote, "Oh I think Dan Balz is just being silly. Nothing to worry about here dems. Certainly not a referendum against Obama, or the health care bill, or cap and trade, or TARP, or the stimulus bill. Just keep doing what your doing..."

B2O2 said, "So, the party out of the White House hasn't won the governorship since 1977, and - wait for it - it happens again! (And against such a stellar Democratic candidate no less.) Tell us oh wise media, what does this MEAN about Obama's efforts to dig the country out of its long-neglected messes?.."

dkp01 wrote, "I see this is more of a referendum on the GOP than on Obama or the Democrats as a whole. The VA and NJ races were won by candidates who rejected help from the likes of Sarah Palin and Dick Armey; meanwhile, the GOP, with Armey's help, tried to force a conservative candidate on the NY-23 race, and lost a race that they should have won handily..."

nanda1 said, "This is much worse for Obama than 2 state losses. This is a statement that many people do not believe he won the Presidency honestly. Everyone is watching their Polling places & their electronic votes. Everyone is concerned about the endless illegal absentee ballots & ACORN. We're watching every step of the way..."

JohnAdams1 wrote, "Democrats are changing to Independent as well.
This WAS a referendum on Obama and more elections will mean more democrat losses.
Independents should consider running in all House elections in 2010..."

kstack said, "Only the Post could think McDonnell was "centrist." Actually, the warning for Democrats is this: scorn your base and try to embrace the opposition's and your base will stay home and theirs will vote for the other guy."

Realist20 wrote, "Obama is now put in his place as another Jimmy Carter and the House Blue Dogs and Senate Dem Moderates know - vote for a public option and/or the Cap and tax bill and you lose your seat - the GOP IS BACK!"

dryrunfarm1 said, "For those of you who consider NY's 23 district win for the Dems significant, you need to recall that the nominal Republican candidate (in a childish fit of spite) asked the voters who were committed to her election to vote, instead, for the Democrat. At the 11th hour, no less, when the Conservative Party candidate didn't have the time or money to effectively respond. The defecting Republican, of course, had all microphones she needed to get HER message across, free of charge, courtesy of the liberal media..."

But Honest_Abe wrote, "You loser conservatives thought you could ram your wacko hardcore wingnut candidate through in NY23. Couldn't even win in a district that has been Republican since the Civil War. HA!"

Realist20 said, "This is the beginning of the end of Obama and his socialist agenda - to lose New Jersey, a Democratic stronghold, with enormous Union presence is the death knell to the Dems and Obama personally. He has become a cancer to his party quicker than Jimmy Carter did, and will be the main cause of disasterous election results for the Dems in 2010 and 2012..."

We'll close with novaobserver, who wrote, "...Off years and mid-terms are all about turn out. The only thing that this year's Virginia elections tell us is that Republicans can't win races unless they look like Democrats and hide the things they really care about -- abortion, guns, religion, and forcing their will on the rest of us. Democrats that take the results any other way are doomed to make the same mistakes they always do in these circumstances -- stop acting in the best interest of the country and the American people and start acting like Republicans."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 4, 2009; 6:17 AM ET
Categories:  Democrats , Republicans  | Tags: Democrats, New Jersey, Republicans, Virginia  
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Next: Readers spin Tuesday's elections



He put down his doughnut and answered the cell.

Cheney: Hello?
Bush: That you,Dick?
C: Mr. President. Good Morning, sir.
B: Hey, Dickie-boy. Whatcha doin'?
C: Mr. President, I was just dunking a doughnut into my coffee. How are you, sir?
B: Fine, Dick, fine. Is that what we're callin' them now, doughnuts? Heh, heh, heh.
C: No sir, no waterboarding going on here, but maybe if we had called them that, nobody would have caught on.
B: Right, Dick, right. But, let me tell ya' why I called.
C: Yes, sir.
B: Dick, since I retired, I've been trying to think things through more carefully, ya know, Laura always around and she gets so pissed at me, and then, there was that Iraqi thing...
C: Yes, Mr. President, I remember.
B: Well, last weekend this Daylight Time Savings came up and I know we're supposed to set the clocks back and all, and that went OK.
C: Yes, sir?
B: But, Dick, what about the alarm...I mean, I want to keep gettin' up at the same time and I don't want to wake Laura at the wrong time and , well, do you set the alarm back an hour, or do you move it forward?
C: Mr. President, have you changed the alarm, sir?
B: No, Dick, I wanted to talk with you first.
C: Good, sir, that's very good. So why don't I just take this on and get back to you on it? I know some people to call and I'll make sure you have an answer that's right. Say I call you next week?
B: That'd be good, still have my number, right...I mean so many people have said they didn't and ...
C: Sir, I have your number...43 isn't it?
B: Gosh, Dick, you say all the right things.
C: Yes, sir, I do.
B: Bye now.
C: Good bye, sir.

Closes cell and returns to dunking.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | November 4, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"It's the economy, stupid" was a phrase in American politics widely used during Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign against George H.W. Bush. ... sounds like what's old is new again...

Posted by: robof4 | November 4, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Do I care whats happening in New Jersey or Virginia? No, the only thing I care about is if I can drive through those States with my short-gun in the trunk!!

Posted by: sirrhinorocks | November 4, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

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