With right wing candidates winning both Virginia and New Jersey’s gubernatorial elections, the Far Right is gleefully portraying these victories as a national repudiation of President Obama – and a foreshadowing of crushing defeats for progressives in 2010.
But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that’s nonsense.
Go back eight years, to when George W. Bush was in his first year of office like Obama is today. In November of 2001, Democratic gubernatorial candidates in both Virginia and New Jersey handily won their elections, shifting party control of the governor’s mansion in both states. What did this tell us about GOP weakness in the next year’s midterms?
The same month that Democrats won in Virginia and New Jersey, Bush was at the height of his popularity, scoring approval ratings in the mid-to-high 80s. And in the 2002 midterms, he parlayed that popularity into stunning successes for the Republicans in both the Senate and the House.
So what do the results of this year’s races tell us about 2010?