Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections

  1. #1 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    Michu

    Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections

    Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    By ROBERT TANNER, AP

    (Nov. 9) - Democrats cleaned up big in off-year elections from New Jersey to California, sinking the candidate who embraced President Bush in the final days of the Virginia governor's campaign. They also turned back all four of GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to reshape state government.

    Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine easily won the New Jersey governor's seat after an expensive, mudslinging campaign, trouncing Republican Doug Forrester by 10 percentage points. Polls in the last week had forecast a much closer race.

    Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine won a solid victory in GOP-leaning Virginia, beating Republican Jerry Kilgore by more than 5 percentage points. Democrats crowed that Bush's election-eve rally for the former state attorney general only spurred more Kaine supporters to the polls.

    In California, Schwarzenegger failed in his push to rein in the Democrat-controlled Assembly. All four of his ballot measures flopped: Capping spending, removing legislators' redistricting powers, making teachers work five years instead of two to pass probation, and restricting political spending by public employee unions.

    Elsewhere, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage, Maine voted to preserve the state's new gay-rights law, and GOP Mayor Michael Bloomberg easily clinched a second term in heavily Democratic New York.

    Democrats said the results were the first steps toward bigger victories next year -- when control of Congress and 36 governors seats are at stake -- and for the 2008 presidential race.

    "I believe national Republican politics ... really had an effect in Virginia and California," said Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean. Voters "don't like the abuse of power, they don't like the culture of corruption. They want the nation to go in a different way."
    Republicans warned against reading too much into two governorships that started the day in Democratic hands and ended that way. Virginia Gov. Mark Warner was barred by law from seeking a second term, and New Jersey acting Gov. Richard J. Codey opted not to run.

    "It's not some type of trend," said GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, noting that both seats were won by Democrats in 2001 when Bush's popularity was high. Still, he acknowledged the defeats -- and said they could help rally the GOP base next year. "I don't think anybody will be complacent now."

    Both governors' races were marked by record-breaking spending and vicious personal attacks.

    In Virginia, Kilgore's campaign ran an ad claiming Kaine, a death penalty opponent, would have refused to execute Adolf Hitler, while Forrester quoted Corzine's ex-wife as saying he had let down his family and he would let down New Jersey.

    In his concession speech, Forrester urged Corzine to bring the state together. Corzine acknowledged that the campaign had been painful.
    "Sometimes, innocent bystanders are hurt in politics. ... Some seen, some unseen. And I hope we can push beyond this," he said, appearing with his three grown children.

    Warner -- who had campaigned hard for Kaine -- declared: "Tonight, Virginians from one end of our commonwealth to the other said no to negative campaigning." Kaine's victory was likely to boost Warner's profile as a possible 2008 presidential candidate.

    Corzine and Forrester, both multimillionaires, spent upward of $70 million to succeed Codey, who assumed the office last year when Democratic incumbent Jim McGreevey resigned over a homosexual affair.
    A voter survey in New Jersey found women favored Corzine by more than 20 points while men narrowly preferred Forrester. Two-thirds of Hispanics and nearly all blacks favored the U.S. senator, while whites and wealthier people split their votes between the candidates. Self-described independents favored Corzine narrowly over Forrester.

    Most voters said President Bush was not a factor in their choices Tuesday, according to the survey conducted Tuesday by the AP and its polling partner, Ipsos. The survey was based on interviews with 1,280 adults throughout New Jersey who said they voted in the governor's election.
    Survey results were weighted to age, race, sex, education, region and 2004 vote. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

    Corzine, as governor, will have the power to choose a successor to fill his unexpired Senate term. The seat will be up for election in a year, but whoever Corzine appoints will likely have a big advantage in that election.
    In California, where Schwarzenegger faces re-election next year, the special election was seen as a referendum on his leadership. His prospects for a second term darkened as all four of his ballot measures failed.

    In other races:
    • Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick overcame a scandal-plagued first term to fend off a challenge from Freman Hendrix, a deputy mayor under Kilpatrick's predecessor.
    • San Diego surf-shop owner Donna Frye, a maverick Democratic councilwoman who nearly won the mayor's race in a write-in bid last year, lost to Republican Jerry Sanders, a former police chief backed by the city's business establishment.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051109/pl_nm/election_usa_newyork_dc

    http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/arti...08031709990005

    Greetings
    Michael

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  3. #2 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    MaraC
    Eh? Where are the big wins? I am counting two - Virginia, New Jersey.
    "Virginia Gov. Mark Warner was barred by law from seeking a second term, and New Jersey acting Gov. Richard J. Codey opted not to run"
    I think the title is a bit misleading..? Most won't read the whole thing, and therefore get a bit of a distorted idea of this "groundbreaking" and "immense" occurence.

  4. #3 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    Caesar_MG
    Elsewhere, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage,
    Now, THAT'S the part that I was glad to see!

    I don't really see any "huge" Democrat wins, either.

    I knew the Propositions in Kalifornia wouldn't pass. The people there are WAY too liberal, and just the fact that a Republican Governer was pushing them is reason enough (for them) to vote against.

    @MaraC:
    You once mentioned the strength of Teacher's Unions. Did you know that one of the Propositions in Kalifornia was to extend the probationary period for new teachers from 2 years to five years? I can't see why this WOULDN'T pass...it would make sense, since it would be in the best interests of the children...or am I missing somehting here?

    @Michu:

    MAN, the AP is FLAMING Liberal! For example:

    • San Diego surf-shop owner Donna Frye, a maverick Democratic councilwoman who nearly won the mayor's race in a write-in bid last year, lost to Republican Jerry Sanders, a former police chief backed by the city's business establishment.
    Sorry, but to me, that sounds a little slanted...They praise her for being a "Democratic maverick", and mention that he is a Republican and imply that he is a tool of "the city's business establishment."

    You have to admit...the reporting in that article is VERY slanted...even the title! I noticed the same thing as MaraC... what kind of title is THAT? Where are the "big gains"?

  5. #4 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    Michu
    So we take "Reuters":

    Democrat wins signal trouble for Bush By John Whitesides
    Wed Nov 9, 2:54 PM ET

    Democrats on Wednesday celebrated hard-fought wins in governors' races in Virginia and New Jersey that underlined the political troubles of President George W. Bush and Republicans heading into next year's congressional elections.

    Democrats retained governor's offices in conservative Virginia and Democratic-leaning New Jersey on Tuesday after sometimes nasty campaigns. They also dealt California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger an across-the-board defeat on four ballot initiatives he had championed.

    The loss in Virginia was a personal setback for Bush, who put his declining political capital on the line with an election-eve visit on behalf of Republican former attorney general Jerry Kilgore -- only to see him soundly defeated by Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine.

    With Bush's popularity at the lowest level of his presidency, the results helped giddy Democrats claim momentum one year before elections to decide control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress and 36 governorships.

    "Yesterday the election was a shot across the bow to George Bush," said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, head of the Democratic Senate campaign committee, who called the results "a clear repudiation of Bush" and the Republican agenda.

    Republicans cautioned against reading too much into the results, saying the elections produced no signs of widespread anti-incumbent sentiment. Redistricting initiatives that could have hurt incumbents in Ohio and California went down to defeat and no governors' offices changed parties.

    ELECTORAL SNAPSHOT?

    "There is not a big anti-incumbent movement building out there," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the House Republican campaign committee. "This is a snapshot in time that doesn't mean a lot."

    Historically, the governors' races in Virginia and New Jersey have been particularly bad indicators of future party performance, said Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman.

    Republicans won the Virginia and New Jersey governors' races in 1997 only to lose seats in both chambers of Congress the next year. In 2001, Democrats won the two governors' races and lost seats in Congress in 2002.

    "The elections were decided on local and state issues and the candidates and their agendas," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "I do not think you can conclude it represents any larger trend whatsoever."

    But Democrats were heartened on several fronts. In addition to the hit in prestige suffered by one-time rising Republican star Schwarzenegger a year before he seeks re-election in California, social conservatives lost several key votes.

    In Dover, Pennsylvania, where a court battle rages over the teaching of an "intelligent design" alternative to evolution, voters ousted eight of the nine incumbents on the local school board who supported that curriculum.

    Voters in Maine approved the state's law protecting homosexuals from discrimination, although Texas backed a ban on gay marriage.

    In St. Paul, Minnesota, incumbent Democratic Mayor Randy Kelly was ousted by voters a year after endorsing Bush, with polls showing the endorsement was a big factor in the loss.

    REPUBLICAN BASE

    Kaine, the Virginia Democrat, won the rapidly growing outer suburban areas of Washington, D.C., where Republicans earned solid majorities in 2004. Kilgore's poor showing could give pause to Republicans considering calling on the president for help in the 2006 elections.

    "I think it would have been closer if the president hadn't gone in there," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told reporters.

    "It really is a disaster for Bush," said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, who called the results "the logical consequence of Bush's growing unpopularity."

    "Virginia is Southern and conservative and that's the Republican base," Sabato said. "If they start losing their base, it's easy to imagine both houses of Congress going Democratic."

    The Virginia result also was a boost to the presidential prospects of Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, who was barred by law from seeking a second term but actively campaigned for his deputy Kaine, who promised voters he would continue Warner's policies.

    "May I just say I'm looking forward to standing with you at your next victory party," Kaine told Warner at the Tuesday night victory celebration.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051109/...lection_usa_dc

    If you open the newspapers today, you will see all the same storys. It's only fact

    Greetings
    Michael

  6. #5 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    Caesar_MG
    California Prop 73 – Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy Initiative Constitutional Amendment
    So let me get this straight: We don't allow a minor to drink or vote, or enter into a legally binding contract before the age of 18, yet we want to allow them to make the decision to get an abortion without Parental advice or notification?

    Don't worry, Libs...it failed.

  7. #6 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    Michu
    Texas voters approve constitutional ban on gay marriage; Maine preserves gay-rights law

    By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer (AP) - NEW YORK-Voters in Texas and Maine rendered a split verdict on gay rights, while partial victory was the best California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger could hope for in his power struggle with public-employee unions and Democratic legislators.

    Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, making their state the 19th to take that step. In Maine, however, voters rejected a conservative-backed proposal to repeal the state's new gay-rights law.

    In California, voters rejected two measures promoted by the hard-campaigning Schwarzenegger. The proposals would have capped state spending and stripped lawmakers of their redistricting powers.

    A third Schwarzenegger-backed measure was trailing with about 45 percent of precincts reporting; it would make teachers work five years instead of two to pass probation. The only one of the governor's four proposals with a lead - by a slim margin - would require public-employee unions to get members' permission before their dues could be used for political purposes.

    The same-sex marriage contest in Texas was lopsided; near-complete returns showed the gay-marriage ban supported by about 76 percent of voters. Like every other state except Massachusetts, Texas didn't permit same-sex marriages previously, but the constitutional amendment was touted as an extra safeguard against future court rulings.

    "Texans know that marriage is between a man and a woman, and children deserve both a mom and a dad. They don't need a Ph.D. or a degree in anything else to teach them that," said Kelly Shackelford, a leader of Texans For Marriage, which favored the ban.

    Gay-rights leaders were dismayed by the outcome, but vowed to continue a state-by-state battle for recognition of same-sex unions.

    "The fight for fairness isn't over, and we won't give up," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "These amendments are part of a long-standing effort by the extreme right to eliminate any legal recognition for gay people and our families."

    In a local Texas election, voters in White Settlement, named 160 years ago after white settlers moved into a mostly Indian area, emphatically rejected a proposal to change the town's name to West Settlement. Some civic leaders felt the traditional name should be changed to lure business investment; nearly 92 percent of voters disagreed.

    In Maine, voters spurned a measure placed on the ballot by a church-backed conservative coalition that would have repealed a gay-rights law approved by lawmakers earlier this year. The lawmakers expanded the state's human rights act to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, a step already taken by the five other New England states.

    In near-complete returns, about 55 percent of voters were opposing repeal of the new law, which is broadly worded to protect transsexuals and transvestites as well as gays and lesbians.

    "This is such a much-needed victory for our national community, because we've experienced so many losses," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We've got to press forward on nondiscrimination protection, and not let marriage continue to swamp the movement."

    California voters, in addition to voting on Schwarzenegger's measures, also were deciding whether to require doctors to give a parent or guardian written notice before performing an abortion on a minor. More than 30 states have laws requiring parental notice or consent; the contest was neck-and-neck with 45 percent of precincts reporting.

    In Washington state, voters approved a measure expanding the state's ban on indoor smoking to include bars, restaurants and non-tribal casinos.

    New Jersey voters approved a proposal to have an elected lieutenant governor who would take over if a sitting governor leaves office early. The measure was a response to the gay sex scandal that drove former Gov. James McGreevey from office and installed Senate President Richard Codey as acting governor even as he retained his Senate duties. New Jersey has been one of eight states with no lieutenant governor.

    In Republican-governed Ohio, where the 2004 presidential election was marked by complaints of unfair election practices, four election-overhaul measures backed by Democratic-leaning groups were on the ballot, but all were defeated. One of the failed items would have taken redistricting powers away from legislators.

    http://news.findlaw.com/ap/p/56/11-0...8ac3a3f00.html

    Greetings
    Michael

  8. #7 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    Caesar_MG
    @Michu:

    I'm not at all worried..so the Dems picked up two Governer's Seats...

    All I am saying is this: the media gets real "Doom and Gloom" when they mention Republicans, and "Triumphant and Chipper" when they mention Democrats...I don't think you could argue that there ISN'T a huge left-wing slant in the mainstream media.

    The one issue I was most concerned with was the Anti-Gay marriage issue. I think Texas solidified it's status as a "Red State" with that one.

    Also, Governer Seats don't really mean a whole lot...New Mexico has a Dem Governer...Bill Richardson...and Dubya won the state in 2004. Janet Napolitano (D), governer of Arizona...yep, Red State. Tom Vilsack, Governer of Iowa, is a Democrat...guess who won the state in 2004? Kathleen Sebelius (D) is the governer of Kansas...yep, it went red in 2004. Horrible Kathleen B. Blanco (D) of Louisiana is a Democrat...and the state went to the Bush in 2004. Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming all have Democratic Governers...and they all went to President Bush in 2004.

    I fail to see how this is a disaster for President Bush, or how it
    underlined the political troubles of President George W. Bush and Republicans heading into next year's congressional elections.

  9. #8 Democrats Win Big in Off-Year Elections
    Caesar_MG
    Zitat Zitat von Michu
    The same-sex marriage contest in Texas was lopsided; near-complete returns showed the gay-marriage ban supported by about 76 percent of voters. Like every other state except Massachusetts, Texas didn't permit same-sex marriages previously, but the constitutional amendment was touted as an extra safeguard against future court rulings.

    "Texans know that marriage is between a man and a woman, and children deserve both a mom and a dad. They don't need a Ph.D. or a degree in anything else to teach them that," said Kelly Shackelford, a leader of Texans For Marriage, which favored the ban.

    Gay-rights leaders were dismayed by the outcome, but vowed to continue a state-by-state battle for recognition of same-sex unions.

    "The fight for fairness isn't over, and we won't give up," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "These amendments are part of a long-standing effort by the extreme right to eliminate any legal recognition for gay people and our families."

    Wanna make a bet? I'll bet that 76% of the voters...the same 76% that voted against the Gay Marriage Bill...aren't all Republican. I wish that advocates of Gay Marriage would see this rejection not as a political issue, but as an assertion that gay marriage is just plain WRONG.

    Amen.

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