What Tuesday's Elections Really Mean

News & Politics

While the mainstream media yammer relentlessly about what last night's election results say about President Barack Obama, the real question is what they say about the power of the organized right wing of the Republican Party.

Yes, Obama campaigned vigorously for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who lost narrowly to Republican Chris Christe, and less so for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, who lost by double digits to Republican Bob McDonnell. But those races turned on local issues more than anything on the Obama agenda.

In New Jersey, mounting property taxes -- a circumstance over which a governor has little control -- combined with high unemployment figures to put the electorate in a sour mood toward the incumbent. Add to that a major corruption scandal in North Jersey that didn't involve Corzine, but emcompassed a prominent member of his administration, added to the ill will.

Virginia's Deeds lost to McDonnell on what should have been a Democratic issue: transportation. Unemployment figures for Virginia are far below those of New Jersey, but in the home state of Thomas Jefferson, just getting to your job can be a source of misery.

But more than anything, the results of these races, taken together with the peculiar special election in the 23rd congressional district of New York State and the vote against same-sex marriage in Maine, offer one resounding warning: the right is getting its act together, organizing up a storm.

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