In one of the busiest voting days of the year, 8 states held primary elections yesterday. The only busier voting day before the general elections on November 2nd will be September 14th, when 8 states and the District of Columbia go to the polls. With so many elections being held, is there a message that can be drawn to make a prediction for what will happen in November.
The only message that can be drawn from yesterday’s elections is that there is no single overarching narrative for the 2010 elections.
In some cases, anti-establishment insurgent candidates won. In other cases, long established incumbents won. In some cases, candidates who spent more on their campaigns won. In other cases, candidates who spent very little on their campaigns won. In some cases, personal scandals made a difference. In others, they did not. What is clear is that strong candidates and savvy campaigns make a difference.
This is not to say that Republicans will not make major gains in the fall. The political geography and national mood clearly favor them. It is becoming clearer, though, that a nationalized “throw the bums out” election a la 2008, 2006 and 1994 is not in the works.
Many recent Republican campaign strategies were premised on the notion that such a dynamic was in place. They attempted to link individual Democrats with national figures such as Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. These attacks seem to be ineffective, and Republicans would be wise to abandon this attack and focus more on local personalities and issues that affect voters on a day-to-day basis.
Results from individual races will be posted soon.