SOME FAVORABLE POLITICAL NEWS - AT 7:02 P.M. ET: Virginia elects a new governor next weeks, and the winds favor the Republican candidate. The race may - and may is always the operative word - have significant political meaning, as the Washington Post points out:
The latest Washington Post poll of the Virginia gubernatorial race represents more than bad news for Democratic nominee R. Creigh Deeds. The findings paint a portrait of the electorate that, if replicated elsewhere, stands as a warning sign for President Obama and Democrats who will be running in next year's midterm elections.
Oh, make it true, make it true.
The new poll shows a lack of enthusiasm among many of the voters who propelled Obama and his party to victory last November, raising troubling questions for the Democrats: Were many of Obama's 2008 energetic supporters one-time participants in the political process who care little about other races? Is Obama's current agenda turning off some voters who backed him last year but now may be looking elsewhere?
Four findings in the poll speak to potentially critical shifts among Obama's coalition jump out of the new poll.
First, just half of the people who say they voted for Obama last November in Virginia say they are certain to vote in the gubernatorial election. That compares with two-thirds of those who say they backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Second, there is a lack of energy in the African American community...
...Third is an even sharper falloff in interest among younger voters.
There is a traditional rule of thumb in electoral politics: Never depend on young voters. Screaming and yelling rarely translates into votes:
Fourth, the intensity gap between Democrats and Republicans has done a complete reversal.
Republicans are now more enthusiastic. At least the voters are. Sometimes we have to wake up the leaders.
...all Democrats have a stake in trying to show that the electorate that put Obama in the White House was more than a one-time phenomenon built around his personality. How much Obama can help to reenergize that electorate is a question that is likely to linger well past the results in Virginia next month.
COMMENT: The start of the GOP comeback will likely be seen in "purple" states like Virginia, rather than the traditional "blue" states, the Dem states. Republicans thought they had a shot at the governorship of New Jersey, but miserably unpopular incumbent, Democrat Jon Corzine, has surged recently, and may squeak by to reelection. New Jersey is always one of those states that arouses GOP hopes, but almost inevitably stays with the Dems.
Remember, the 2010 midterms, the most critical midterms in recent political history, are only 13 months away. Not too early to register and send checks. Major combat coming up.
October 8, 2009