Today Virginia and New Jersey are choosing governors, voters in upstate New York and northern California are deciding who should fill two vacant congressional seats, and New York City and Atlanta are picking mayors. Maine will vote on whether to permit gay marriage while Ohio will choose whether to allow casinos.
The political ‘experts’ are saying this handful of elections will give hints about this country’s state of mind, provide lessons for both Republicans and Democrats, and shed light on answers to a few important questions a year before pivotal 2010 midterm contests.
- Did President Barack Obama’s campaigning in Virginia and New Jersey persuade the diverse voting coalition that lifted him to victory in 2008 to turn out for Democratic candidates in 2009?
- Did fickle independents stick with the Democratic Party?
- Did the out-of-power GOP overcome fissures within its ranks to find a winning strategy?
Here’s what I predict — those and other very important questions will be asked and answered by political pundits and there will be at least as many answers as there are pundits asked to share their opinions.