Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Congratulations to Tim Kaine & Co.

To the surprise of no one, the Democrats have eked out a majority in the Virginia Senate. Congratulations to those who worked so hard for this. WaPo has excellent coverage of the races. Although WaPo is strangely fixated on illegal immigration in a front-page piece declaring that the results prove that the voters don't care about that issue, or at least don't care about it enough to vote for republicans. Amy Gardner expands on her thesis to make broad conclusions about the state of the republican party in the Commonwealth:

The returns provided the sharpest evidence yet that Democratic gains in recent state elections represented more than a temporary dip in Republicans' popularity. Yesterday's initial results showed that a more long-term structural realignment may be occurring and that voters are increasingly drawn by Democrats' promises to improve schools and ease traffic and away from Republican conservatism on such issues as taxes and social policy, particularly in fast-growing Northern Virginia.

Ms. Gardner may be right. Or it may be that voters are upset about the republican candidates' stands on core republican issues like taxation and unhappy with some of their candidates for other reasons (see below). Or it may be that demographics are catching up with the GOP in VA. Though I have no data to back it up, doesn't it seem to be the case that as areas of the country become more urban, they trend towards the Democrats? (Think New York City.) And it is certainly the case that both the DC suburbs in Northern Virginia, as well as the Hampton Roads area around Virginia Beach are becoming more urban (or at least more densely populated). It may be that the republicans in Virginia need to rethink how they approach the electorate (think Rudy Giuliani). (So am I supporting Ms. Gardner's point or am I disuputing it -- no clear answers!)

And although I have mostly ignored them, there were also elections in Maryland yesterday.

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