A Shadow of Elections Yet to Come

Last night provided a preview of the 2014 and 2016 elections.

By + More

The song says "I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps." Well, I want to wake up in a country that proves being too far to the right, labeling yourself a "tea party" member and attacking Obamacare is not the American way.

Oh wait, I did wake up to that, as the victories of Democrat Bill de Blasio in the New York City mayoral race; Democratic Gov.-elect Terry Mcauliffe in Virginia; moderate, pragmatic anti-tea party Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey and the more liberal of the two Democratic candidates, former union leader Martin Walsh, in Boston, all show.

Exit polls also show that the youth vote in Virginia was 3 percent higher than it was in 2009 and 6 percent more in favor of the Democratic candidate, McAuliffe. Republicans lost youth support by 13 percent since 2009. CBS News reported via exit polls that in both New Jersey and Virginia, voters cared much more about the economy than they did about Benghazi or Obamacare.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

Unfortunately, I also woke up to claims by those on the right that McAuliffe won by a surprisingly small percentage; that he won because he had more money and bought the election; or that if there had not been a third party candidate, those votes would have gone to Cuccinelli.

But I beg to differ. The third party candidate, Robert Sarvis, a true civil libertarian (not a tea party member pretending to be one), is much more of a social liberal than Cuccinelli, and so are his supporters. Perhaps Cuccinelli would have received some of Sarvis' anti-government votes, but the percentage is so small that if Sarvis were not in the race, the amount of those who would throw their support to each of the candidates and those who would stay home would not have changed the outcome of this race.

These wins are a foreshadowing of things to come in the upcoming elections. The races will be expensive, the battles will be mostly ideological. Last night began to set the course for the elections of 2014 and 2016.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

These results should make Republicans take a good hard look at themselves and their party. Is a strong conservative candidate the best choice for the GOP? And can such a candidate win on a national level? The answer is no. But, I fear for Republicans and hope for Democrats, that the GOP will not get the message. 

Cuccinelli tried to use the dissatisfaction over Obamacare to win; his efforts were unsuccessful. But the Republican desire to be right on Benghazi and Obamacare is more important to them than winning elections. Unlike the GOP of the 60's, they are not tuned in to the mood of the American voter. And that will mean more victories in the upcoming elections for the Democrats. 

  • Read Brad Bannon: Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli Show the Tea Party's Weakness
  • Read Peter Fenn: Christie and Cuccinelli Prove It’s Time for the GOP to Do Some Soul-Searching
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad