Wednesday | November 06, 2002
Amidst the doom and gloom, Democrats everywhere have resorted to some soul searching. That is good and necessary. But now, let's take a look at what went right.
Governors (electoral votes in parenthesis)
In addition, both parties won races in states hostile to the new governor's party. What's important is that Democrats, despite their muddled message and supposed weakness, were still able to pick up seats in conservative bastions like Oklahoma, Wyoming and Kansas. A weak national party should've been unable to make such pickups.
The Democrats took the following from the GOP:
ArizonaRepublican pickups from Dems:
AlaskaGranted, the GOP did better than expected (and they also took MN from the Independence Party), but the only large state in the bunch is Georgia, and the only swing state is New Hampshire. Given the option, I would easily take the Dems 11 seats, including three of the biggest, to the GOP's anemic performance.
And, despite this supposed GOP tsunami, "endangered" Dems in Iowa, Montana, and New Jersey coasted to easy victories, while the Dems were able to score a victory in Arkansas. But think about it, a shift of only 100,000 votes (out of millions cast) could've given us Majority Leader Daschle. So yeah, things were bad, but they could've been either a lot worse, or a lot better.
Given that 100,000 votes gave us last night's outcome, I would be careful about straying from the old CW that the nation was divided 50-50. It seems clear to me that nothing has changed. The GOP ran better races, and ran a better GOTV effort, so they deserve the victory. But I won't proclaim the ushering of a new GOP dynasty. This is a fragile majority for the GOP, and with a honed message and better candidates, the Dems can easily reverse it in 2004.Posted November 06, 2002 05:33 PM | Comments (95)