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Posted by on Nov 8, 2005 in At TMV | 0 comments

What’s At Stake In Today’s Elections

It’s election day today and, even though it isn’t the mid-term elections, a lot is at stake.

For instance, today could be the day when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s clout is terminated by California voters if the bulk of or all of his ballot measures go down the tubes. If you look at polls and talk to Californians at random you realize: you don’t need actor Warren Beatty to tell you Arnold may be in trouble.

And, elsewhere, there are some highly significant races, too, as The Christian Science Monitor points out:

Every four years, Virginia and New Jersey play an outsized role on the national political stage by electing their governors in “off-off” years.

And, every four years, pundits overanalyze the outcomes and ask the question: Do these two races provide clues to the following year’s nationwide congressional elections? Usually, the answer is no.

But sometimes they do. See 1993, when Republican Christine Todd Whitman squeaked into the governor’s chair of her solidly Democratic state. A year later, Republicans swept Democrats out of power in Congress.

Tuesday, all eyes are on Virginia – a Republican state that may be on the verge of electing its second Democratic governor in a row. Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine seems likely to win the New Jersey race, but Virginia is too close to call. President Bush’s election-eve rally on behalf of Republican Jerry Kilgore in the state capital Monday night puts the prestige of the president himself on the line.

“If the Republicans pull it off and win, it will be gold for Bush, given his low poll standings and all the talk about him not having political capital,” says Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University in Virginia.

“Perhaps the more likely scenario is that Bush makes this last-minute appeal and [Mr. Kilgore] loses. The Democrats are absolutely elated Bush is here. As far as they’re concerned, let’s put his name on the ballot, too, and have a referendum.”

The Washington Post has this roundup of what’s at stake in today’s elections.

What’s really at stake in this election is what Bush’s father called “Big Mo,” which does not refer to a fat lady working in a bar.

It’s Big Momentum. Right now Bush is grappling with a series of crises and falling poll numbers. If there are any political silver linings, it’ll be perceived as meaning that either he has halted the political bleeding or his support is not further decreasing. If the Demmies score big and GOPers take a battering it’s going to be seen as a sign that the downward trend is continuing — making a political comeback all the more difficult, since clout is needed in a comeback.