Tuesday, October 04, 2011

WV Governors Race - Will the 2012 Special Elections Be a Repeat of 2010? The Rebranding of American Politics

In 2010, the first salvo’s fired from the voters came with the election in Virginia of Republican Robert McDonnell followed by the shock of John Corzine’s, a New Jersey Democrat Icon, loss to Republican newcomer, Chris Christie. The final nail in the proverbial coffin came with the special election in Massachusetts, of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate, in a 5 point lead over Martha Coakley, which in terms of Massachusetts and the ability of the dead to vote, was a screaming referendum on the Democrat Party. The three together herald the historic gains of Republican’s in the House in 2010.

2012, so far, indicates a similar political landscape, perhaps even more telling than Christie’s win in New Jersey, the win in New York’s 9th District which saw Republican, Bob Turner, with no previous government experience, elected to the office held by Democrats since the 1920’s. Today, West Virginia will go to the polls in yet another special election. Two weeks ago, polls tightened in the W.V. race, with Republican, Bill Maloney, in a statistical tie with current Democrat Govenor, Earl Ray Tomblin, whose had desperate misleading campaign adspulled from the air. Maloney, a businessman, is also not a seasoned politico and one has to take into account that West Virginia, was the home of Robert Byrd the longest serving Democrat in the history of the Senate. With clear skis forcast for the “Mountain State”, a win by Maloney will be akin to an earthquake. Not for nothing, but on January 19, 2009, the weather was fair in the Bay State.

A win today for Maloney, just like the previous two special congressional elections (Mark Amodei, Republican, in Nevada and the New York 9th) will be a referendum, not only on Obama, as many in the press indicate,, but on the Democrat Brand, and in total, the “Washington as usual” brand. This leaves room for speculation on the 2012 race in total, and the dismay of those elite in Washington and both coasts, in both major political parties, who are fearful of a win by candidates who resonate with “the people” such as Herman Cain, or the yet to announce, Sarah Palin.
The fact that “Washington” and the “elites” who run both major political parties, as well as the conventional press, no longer hold sway with the electorate, will make this 2012 election cycle one of the most interesting in memory. Moreover, this portends the historical election of the individual, rather than the “political party”. That would herald a return to the vision of those who authored the Constitution and held political parties in abhorrence, which may be why those Tea Party Candidates, whether running as a Republican or a Democrat (that is not a typo), are replacing those with long ties to political organizations or are career politicians.

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