2008 and 2009 Elections Compared

It seems appropriate to take a look at what happened one year ago. Based on all previous trends in elections, McCain should have won in a landslide 310 to 228 electoral votes. Obviously, that is not happened and the question is why? From a distance of one year after the fact, the answer is now clear. Historically minorities and the under 30 age groups have a very poor record of turning out to vote assuming they are even registered to vote in the first place. It was clear that black voters were going to turn out in record numbers to vote for a black candidate. There was no reason to assume that Hispanics would do that or that young people would bother to vote. However they did do just that and that made a crucial difference in the battleground states. Thus the Democrat turnout (always heavily supported by minorities) reached record proportions.

Still that might have not made the difference in states like North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana if it were not for the Republicans turning out lower than normal. Likewise, many Republicans actually voted for Obama in the interests of proving that America's abysmal racial record was a thing of the past. In this they were disappointed because the matter of race is now more of an issue than it has been since the days of Martin Luther King. Finally a lot of Republicans stayed home because McCain was too liberal or too conservative depending upon the state the voter resided in.

At this point, this is all ancient history so why care? The question is whether the 2008 election was a total upheaval or merely a one time anomaly. The elections on Tuesday provide us with an answer to this crucial question. It was a one time anomaly since the partisan turnout on Tuesday returned to historical norms. The minorities and the young folks went back to not caring much any more about who wins elections. The result was not only Virginia voted Republican but even New Jersey did which it seldom does. This was caused by the independents switching from going 2 to 1 for Obama to going 2 to 1 for Republicans.

What does this mean for 2010? In Virginia, the Republicans carried 9 out of 11 congressional districts on Tuesday. Right now there are six Democrat congressman from Virginia and only five Republicans. Unless things change, there will be 9 Republican congressman and only 2 Democrats from Virginia after the 2010 election. It seems safe to predict that the Democrats will lose virtually all of the seats they gained in the 2006 and 2008 elections. If that happens, the Republicans will regain control of the House of Representatives.
See Charles Krauthammer's article, Myth of '08, Demolished, coming to the same conclusion.

Comments :

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