District 23

It’s just one year on from his landslide election victory, but Obama’s political obituary is already being written by right-wing pundits, on the back of Republican gains in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. I’m not sure how far it is possible to generalize these results to the national level, since elections for State positions tend to heavily swayed by local issues, though clearly the Democrats have some work to do ahead of the mid-term elections in 2010.

Also interesting was the news from New York’s Twenty-Third Congressional District. The official GOP candidate dropped out of the race after a mauling in the conservative media (who labelled her a RINO for her social liberalism), and national Republican figures like our old friend Sarah Palin endorsed the third-party Conservative candidate, who ticked the right boxes on issues like abortion and gay marriage. The Democrats won what had been a safe Republican seat.

Worryingly, some Republicans seem to be drawing the sensible conclusion from this – that in times like these sticking to a fiscally conservative message will win more votes than preaching a socially conservative line. Reassuringly, others seem to think that the problem was that the Republican party is not socially conservative enough. We can only hope that the latter camp emerges victorious in the run up to 2012, so that we can look forward to four more years of a Democratic Presidency, during which, if we’re lucky, Obama might even start doing some of this crazy socialist stuff we’re always hearing about (though probably not).

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