US elections

There were three elections today in the US, that people deemed of national significance. Elections for the Governors of New Jersey and Virginia and a fascinating congressional stoush.

In New Jersey, the Republican Chris Christie won 49% to 44%, beating the incumbent Governor. Now New Jersey is normally a strong blue state. No republican president candidate has won it since 1988, no republican has won state office since 1997, and no republican has won a Senate seat since 1972.

The last set of polls had it close – on average Christie led by just 0.5%, so a win of 13% is huge.

In Virginia, the margin was 59% to 41% for republican Bob McDonnell. He was not facing an incumbent as they have term limits. The last two Governors have been Democrats.

The congressional contest is in New York’s 23rd district. It has been held for many years by the Republicans with the margin in 2008 being 65% to 35%. The incumbent resigned to become Secretary of the Army.

The official GOP candidate was seen as too liberal, and Doug Hoffman campaigning on the conservative party ticket actually started to beat her in the polls after he received high profile endorsements from Sarah Palin etc. The GOP candidate then pulled out (but her name is on the ballot) and endorsed the Democratic candidate.

Currently it looks like the Democrats will pick up the seat with 49%, Hoffman is on 45% and the GOP candidate on 5%.

If Hoffman had won, it would be a major victory for the right of the party. Instead they have lost a safe seat, but I suspect the fact they even managed to turn it into a two way race will embolden them.

So overall not good for the Democrats, but their best hope may be infighting within the Republicans over their future direction.

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