Two Trends on Election Night

By: Inoljt,

Last night's election exhibited two trends: one positive for the country as a whole, and one more ominous for Democrats. Firstly, Americans rejected negative campaigning and extremism - whether it be in Virginia, New Jersey, NY-23. Secondly, the electorate as a whole shifted quite profoundly to the right. This post will focus on the first aspect.

Negative Campaigning and Extremism

In the most-watched races, voters chose the side that espoused moderation and ran a positive message. The Democratic candidates in both Virginia and New Jersey focused on the negative: state congressman Creigh Deeds of Virginia spent most of his time attacking Attorney General Bob McDonnell's college thesis, while Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey launched a barrage of negative ads. Both candidates lost.

There tends to be a myth, commonly repeated by the media, that negative campaigning works. They point to former President George W. Bush, whose Swiftboat ads ensured a 2% victory over Senator John Kerry. The truth, as recent elections show, is more complicated: Senator John McCain, Mr. Deeds, and Mr. Corzine all pinned their hopes on tearing down their opponent and all lost.

The other race featured the victory of moderate politics over extremism. In NY-23,  a Republican-represented district since the Civil War, conservatives sabotaged the moderate Republican candidate in favor of hard-line Doug Hoffman. Fortunately, voters in upstate New York rejected the Glenn Beck nominee and instead chose Democrat Bill Owens, an independent turned Democrat.

Thus the election results enforced a positive trend in politics - one of moderation and positive campaigning focused on the issues, rather than divisive personal attacks. For Democrats like myself, however, the other trend - a rightward shift - is more worrisome. Hopefully it more reflects right-wing anger than the true national mood.

Tags: election '09, extremism, moderation, negative campaigning, new jersey, Politics, Republicans, Special Election, teabaggers, trends, Virginia (all tags)



Re: Two Trends on Election Night

Corzine couldn't run a positive campaign; he had no accomplishments except broken promises and corruption arrests. It's amazing he got any votes.

Deeds ran to the right, away from Obama and his policies. Is it any surprise that Obama voters wouldn't turn out for him? Once he got behind his only option was to go negative. Had Moran, or even McCauliffe, won the primary the campaign would have been positive and Obama-centric. (Also more money!)They may not have won but it wouldn't have been a total wipeout for all the state offices and 6 seats in the House of Delegates.

by STUBALL 2009-11-04 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Two Trends on Election Night

Every 5 minutes there was an ad on my TV about how Jon Corzine didn't pay any state income tax last year (turns out he voluntarily declined his salary as governor, cause he doesn't need the money).

The idea that Christie ran a positive campaign is a sad joke and I have no clue why you would say such a thing.

by Steve M 2009-11-05 03:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Two Trends on Election Night

Corzine should also have repudiated Goldman-Sachs.

by demjim 2009-11-05 05:58AM | 0 recs


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