Lessons from tonight’s election results

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from The Gray Area:

The nation was fixed on three major election results tonight; Governor of Virginia, Mayor of New York City and Governor of New Jersey. While not representing a large geographic or population swath of the country, they were the most entertaining contests to watch in an off year election.

The hopes of both parties from these three elections was to get some indication of the mood of the country in anticipation of the 2014 elections and an early look at frontrunners for the 2016 Presidential election. The results turned out to be as expected in each case.


In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe will eke out a win over a tea party Republican Attorney General and a Libertarian who captured 7% of the vote. In a close election, whichever party splits its vote with a third party candidate will lose the election. Ross Perot took out George Bush. Ralph Nader and the Green Party did it twice to Democrats. Tea Party protest “non-votes” in 2012 hurt Romney. And, Robert Sardis, did it in Virginia’s Governor race today. But that is not the total story in these results.

Virginia is an interesting state. Votes from the DC suburbs, Richmond and Norfolk will go to Democrats the way most every major metropolitan area in the nation goes for Democrats. The rest of the state will be clearly Republican. The size of the DC suburbs and its 300,000 federal employees makes winning by a Republican extremely difficult. The difference in voting preference between Northern, Central, Western and Eastern Virginia is so clear, that there are regular attempts by the citizens to separate Northern Virginia from the rest of the state. In every statewide election in Virginia, a Republican must strip off some votes from the Northern Virginia suburbs and the cities of Richmond and Norfolk to win. This time, with a third party candidate who got on the ballot thanks to a wealthy Texas Democrat, that could not happen.

And just like national elections, this campaign was decidedly negative. Issues were not front and center as much as personal attacks from each side. Sadly, all of the people in the Old Dominion will suffer the consequences of the actions of the 3 urban areas. Why are the urban and rural voting preferences so clearly different?

New York City:

An unabashedly liberal Democrat, Bill DeBlasio, won the New York City Mayor’s race after 12 years of Michael Bloomberg, a political party chameleon. The message from this will be how liberal ideology is still winning after Obama. And, appears to be doing so in other urban centers around the country.

If this is supposed to be a new lesson then someone is not paying attention. In each of the last 6 presidential elections, Democrats have won the largest 13 major cities. Al Gore in 2000, with his popular vote victory, was the president of 13 cities, but not the nation. It is not news that a Democrat would win an election in New York City. Its news when Rudy Giuliani wins.

What we need to learn from this is why urban centers vote consistently Democrat and rural areas vote Republican? Using the language of the exit poll interviews, the winners had something to offer the residents of the city that they believed they wanted. In NYC that was gay marriage, repeal of “stop and frisk” laws, and promising to increase taxes on the rich. What an obvious use of the giveaway strategy, “chicken in every pot“.

With the specter of Detroit hanging freshly over the country, you have to ask yourself why anyone, with the well being of the city in mind, would want to reduce crime fighting and further alienate their tax base. NYC has been driving the wealthy and business owners out of town for 30 years with exorbitant taxes, high prices and union labor. To say they are going to tax them more is just going to accelerate the exit of the remaining. And then where will NYC be when they cannot collect enough taxes from the remaining citizens who depend on money from the successful. I fear that NYC and others will quickly falter. The only good news is that when the rest of the wealthy people leave these cities, they will take their success to other areas; Texas, North Dakota, Florida, Tennessee, etc., and the growth there will balance out the collapse of these once great cities. Beware of the frustration of the good citizens who remain turning violent as promises made by politicians are not fulfilled and they lose more and more ground to the average American. This is when you will need that dependable police force.

New Jersey:

In New Jersey, Chris Christie will win big, currently receiving 60% of the vote. The right and the left will now position, with good reason, that Governor Christie is a leader for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. The left will highlight his “bipartisan” campaigning and how he separated himself from the “tea party”. Both parties will highlight the diversity of his support; men and women, white and minorities. The right will say that conservative principles, presented in a genuine fashion, from a person who exudes honesty and trust, can win and win big anywhere.

The big point to be received from Christie’s win though, is that of the appeal of common sense government. In a state dominated by Democrats and with cities like Newark and Trenton, this victory is proof that there is “more that unites us than divides us“. When you actually discuss issues and solutions without candidate demonetization, consensus appears. Both parties supporters should be heartened by that lesson.