It is early, but Republicans are looking to start their comeback in 2009. There are two gubernatorial elections later this year that will be the first test if the GOP is going to start making a comeback. The two states of particular interest are Virginia and New Jersey. The Virginia seat is open, but it had been recently held by Democrats since 2002: Tim Kaine and Mark Warner before him. Virginia had been a red state, particularly in Presidential elections the past 20 years. However, in recent years, the state has been turning blue mainly due to a large population growth in the DC area. Democrat Jim Webb upended incumbent Republican George Allen for his Senate seat in 2006. President Obama handily defeated Republican John McCain by 6 points in 2008. Just 6 months after Obama won the state; Republican Bob McDonnell is holding a 6 point lead over the leading Democrat Terry McAuliffe for the gubernatorial seat.
The other state of particular interest will be New Jersey. New Jersey has not elected a Republican Governor since Christine Todd Whitman in 1997. New Jersey has been a solid blue state and has not had a Republican Senator since 1982 and they had not voted for a Republican Presidential Candidate since Reagan. Obama won New Jersey easily by 15 points in 2008. New Jersey residents have suffered the wrath of liberal policies for nearly two decades and have one of the highest tax rates and unemployment rates in the country. New Jersey residents may finally be ready to oust Democrats from power. Republican challenger Christopher Christie leads incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine by 6 to 8 points in the polls for his gubernatorial seat. Like I said, it is early, but if this holds up, all that talk about the GOP being dead is a fallacy.
If Republicans win Virginia and New Jersey governor races this fall, the GOP can build on this momentum and try to win back seats when the 2010 mid term elections are held. GOP surge, maybe, but time will tell. As long as Obama remains popular, it will make it that much more difficult for the GOP to surge and pick up any gubernatorial or congressional seats. It just depends on how fast Obama’s popularity and novelty begin to diminish. This will happen once the American public starts to hold him accountable for his actions and stop blaming Bush for all of our nation’s problems. Obama’s aggressive agenda will either be a boom or bust for him. One good sign for Republicans is the recent California special election where Californians overwhelmingly voted against more taxes. Thus, the people of this liberal state have stepped up and said no more. California is probably suffering from the recession more than any other state. This may be a wake up call to all Americans to put their foot down and take a stand against liberal spending and higher taxes. I know all the Tea Party participants were called “radicals” and “extremist”, but the message is getting out if such a liberal state as California is saying no to higher taxes and increased spending.
My blog: http://patrickbohan.blogtownhall.com/ (The Theory of Mediocirty)
My book: Is America Dying? (Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com)