Election Day 2013 is finally here, fellow political junkies!
Tuesday may be an off-year election, but that doesn't mean those whose job it is to explain the implications of elections won't attempt to wring every last bit of plausible and implausible meaning from it.
Since polls have indicated for months that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would in his re-election bid likely trounce his sacrificial lamb of a Democratic opponent, Barbara Buono, the question has instead been just how much will Christie win by?
The larger Christie's vote margin as a Republican governor in a traditionally blue state, the stronger his argument that he is just the kind of crossover politician who can return the White House to Republican control.
Meanwhile, the results of Virginia's governor's race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli will be examined by pundits, like ancients perusing animal entrails, for any messages about voter attitudes toward President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, or the government shutdown and Tea Party.
Heading into Election Day, McAuliffe had a lead averaging nearly 7 points over his GOP rival in a race featuring two candidates whose careers make it easier for many citizens to vote against them than to vote for them. A libertarian, Robert Sarvis, and turnout are the wildcards in the Virginia race.
With that wind up, here are some other items of political news or analysis that caught my eye this morning.
- Obamacare's problems are cutting into Hispanic support for the legislation they had once backed at twice the levels of non-Hispanic whites and Republicans see an opportunity to attract some of those disaffected Hispanics, reports the National Journal's Beth Reinhard.
- The young invincibles, specifically people in their 20s and 30s, are living up to that description by not buying health insurance under the Obamacare, report The Wall Street Journal's Christopher Weaver and Timothy Martin. If the trend continues, premiums could go up for nearly everyone since insurers will have to get the money to pay the claims of older, sicker Americans from somewhere.
- With Christie's re-election as New Jersey governor a given, Democrats' more achievable goal has been to maintain control of the state legislature in Trenton. Democrats have spent big money in New Jersey to prevent Republican legislative candidates from getting much of a coattail effect from a Christie blowout, reports Matt Friedman of reports.
- New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, who holds a huge lead in the polls against Republican Joseph Lhota, tried to increase voter turnout, by telling voters that the larger his victory, the better chance he'll have of implementing his liberal agenda, report Javier Hernandez and David Chen of the New York Times.
- Legislation that would ban the workplace discrimination against workers due to their sexual orientation or gender identity passed a crucial Senate vote Monday. That set up a vote for final Senate passage later in the week. Speaker John Boehner and many in the House Republican Conference oppose the bill, however, diminishing its chances in that chamber, reports The Advocate's Sunnavie Brydum.
- Not surprisingly, Republican and Democratic pollsters who periodically conduct a joint Battleground Poll survey found something to like in their recent research. Eleanor Clift reports for the Daily Beast that Democratic pollster Celinda Lake saw signs of a potential wave election in November that could return House control to Democrats. Meanwhile, Republican Ed Goeas saw indicators that Obama had "lost the ability to lead this country."
- Politics is increasingly a battle of the titans, otherwise known as billionaires, with Democrats lining superrich supporters to tap in an effort to counter the billionaires firmly in the Republican camp, reports Noreen Malone in New Republic who acknowledges Politico's earlier piece on this.
- Project Vote Smart provides a handy compilation of all the ballot measures being voted on in the states this Election Day.