Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bucking the trends

Tim Craig points out a couple trends that Democratic gubernatorial candidates need to overcome. Since 1976, in partisan terms, the winner of the gubernatorial race returns to the party opposite of the newly elected President. Given the election of Pres. Obama, if history repeats, Virginia will vote for a Republican Governor (Bob McDonnell). And, for Moran and Deeds, since 1957, no candidate has won the nomination for Governor as a state delegate or state senator, without first seeking another higher office.

I generally approach these types of trends with curiosity and amusement. It's always a cool trend until it's not. For example, we only elect white dudes for President until we don't. Virginians (and North Carolinians) always vote for the Republican Presidential nominee until we don't. Americans and Virginians are not beholden to historical patterns and precedent.


Anonymous said...

Since 1792 this country has not had an African-American President (trend busted) - Since 1840 every President that was elected on the "0" year has died in office, or in the case of Ronald Reagan shot but survived (trend busted with George W. Bush)- Virginia and North Carolina will never be blue states in a Presidential election (busted)
No one will be able to unseat Virgil Goode from being Congressman from VA-5 (by over 700 votes, busted)

Trends are made to be shattered. If the Democratic Candidates go in defeated and looking at the trends they will die by their own fear. We should move on and buck this trend just like Tom Perriello and the other trend busters did so masterfully.

Drew said...

Exactly. Well said.

aznew said...

Sorry -- I diasagree. Trends happen for a reason. It is only once they are understood that they can be overcome.

I interviewed Sen. Deeds about this very issue a little over a year ago (this trend has been well known for some time). He theorized that it occurred because the difficulty of turning campaign rhetoric into action tended to be magnified in Virginia both because of our election schedule and our proximity to the nation's capital. As a result, he proposed, voters might just be more willing to turn away from the presidential ideology.

Sen. Deeds may be right, or he may be wrong. But to simply dismiss something like this merely as an oddity, a meaningless statistical anamoly in the overall scheme things, I think, rund the risk of missing something important that can help the Democratic candidate, whomever it is, win.

Drew said...

aznew, another example of why i consider you one of the best bloggers in the state.

You are convincing, but I am not entirely sure I buy Deeds theory. I guess without any endeavor to explain these trends, but to just throw them out there, like Craig and so many commentators during the presidential election, is annoying - like our votes are servants to some historical pattern. That amuses me.