A Different Way Of Analyzing Tuesday’s Election Results

While the Republicans are celebrating their gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday, if one looks at special elections in House districts since the election of 2008, things look quite differently.

Not only did the Democrats win NY 23 for the first time since the Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant in the 1870s, but also they have won a vacancy in a California seat, and also earlier in Louisiana, Mississippi and Illinois, since Barack Obama became President.

The fact that they won open seats in New York and California on Tuesday allowed their margin of victory on the health care legislation last night to be 220-215, rather than 218-217, the absolutely bare margin needed for passage.

In the long run, winning the House vacancies is more significant for national politics than the losing of governorships in states that have recently demonstrated that they have gone for the party out of the White House a year after the presidential election for 20 straight years in both states, and actually 32 straight years in Virginia.

The difficult economy is bound to affect governors of both parties, as higher unemployment and greater numbers of foreclosures, leading to budget cuts in public services, naturally creates a political nightmare for governors, who bear the brunt of the blame for the downturn.

So while the Republicans celebrate their triumphs, the Democrats also have a lot to celebrate–five Democratic wins in the past year in special House elections!

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