Election 2009 Results Recap

New York: In NY-23, we lost, apparently because the conservatives won, because in their brave new world winning no longer means earning more votes than the other candidates, but rather defeating the candidate that will vote with you most of the time in order to pave the way for the candidate who would theoretically vote with you all the time but has no chance of getting elected in your swing district. I quake in fear of next November, when conservatives will enjoy the mightiest of all glorious historic victories, with the crushing general election losses of Marco Rubio, Chuck DeVore, Rand Paul, Ovide Lamontagne, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Peter Schiff, Chuck Purgason, Ken Buck, and Patrick Hughes, thus purifying the soil for decades to come.

Uh, more specifically, in NY-23, Bill Owens (D) defeated Doug Hoffman (C) and Dede Scozzafava (R), 49-45-6, with about a 6,000 vote margin (out of 131,000) separating Owens and Hoffman.

Elsewhere in New York, two powerful incumbents got scares. New York City’s I/R mayor Michael Bloomberg beat Democratic comptroller William Thompson by a much narrower-than-expected margin: 51-46. And Democratic Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi is barely leading Republican Ed Mangano, 48-48 (with a 237-vote margin, which may change as absentees are counted). Republicans picked up two open New York City council seats in Queens (including the one vacated by new comptroller John Liu), bringing the Democrats’ control of that body down to a perilous 46-5.

New Jersey: Republican former US Attorney Chris Christie defeated Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine in the Republicans’ big score of the night, beating Corzine and independent Chris Daggett 49-44-6. The big story here may be the unexpected collapse in Daggett’s numbers (he had been polling near 20% several weeks ago); I’d guess that a swath of moderate but fervently anti-Corzine voters realized that they were planning to waste their votes on a spoiler (Daggett) and in the end held their noses and voted for Christie. The other big story: the robo-pollsters (PPP, SurveyUSA) not only getting the result right but coming close on the spread, while some of the more traditional pollsters saw a Corzine victory. Christie’s amply-cut jacket didn’t have much in the way of coattails, though: Republicans picked up a total of only one seat in the Assembly, with Domenick DiCicco poised to pick up an open seat in Gloucester County in Philly’s suburbs, leaving Dems in control of the chamber, 47-33.

Virginia: Here’s where the Democrats really stunk it up, although the handwriting on the wall could be clearly seen from months away. In the gubernatorial race, Republican Bob McDonnell defeated Creigh Deeds by a substantial margin, 59-41. Further down the ticket, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling was re-elected over Jody Wagner, 56-44, and Republican Ken Cuccinelli won the AG’s race over Steve Shannon, 58-42. Democrats also took some damage in the House of Delegates, although they seemed to stave off total wipeout: Republicans netted five seats, to move the total from 53 (and 2 GOP-caucusing indies)-45 (with 2 formerly Dem vacancies) to 58 (plus the 2 indies)-39 (with one Dem incumbent-held seat, the 21st, going to recount).

Maine: In what seemed to be the night’s biggest heartbreak for many in the netroots, Question 1, a vote to repeal gay marriage, passed by a 53-47 margin. Nevertheless, Mainers defeated an anti-tax initiative (Question 4, 40-60) and expanded medical marijuana access (Question 5, 59-41).

Washington: In the nation’s other corner, Referendum 71, a vote to approve legislation creating “marriage in all but name” expanded domestic partnerships, is passing 51-49. (Assuming it passes, this would be, by my reckoning, the first time gay rights have been expanded through statewide vote; since King County has reported disproportionately few of the state’s ballots, that margin is likely to grow.) Washington also rejected anti-tax I-1033, 44-56, and King County elected Dow Constantine as County Executive by a comfortable 57-43 over Susan Hutchison (in the first time this has been run as a nonpartisan race — unfortunately for Hutchison, somewhere in the last few weeks her Republican cover got blown). The Seattle mayor’s race will probably be the last race in the country to get resolved: with less than half reporting, anti-establishment progressive Mike McGinn leads establishment progressive Joe Mallahan 50-49.

California: In the night’s other House election, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi defeated Republican attorney David Harmer in CA-10, 53-43 (with the balance going to Green and Peace & Freedom candidates). That’s a bit underwhelming in a district where Barack Obama won 65-33, but in a low-turnout special, it’s not remarkable.

North Carolina: Charlotte got only its second African-American mayor and its first Democratic mayor in 22 years, as 38-year-old Anthony Foxx beat the polls en route to a 51-49 over Republican Andy Lassiter. Democrats also now have an 8-3 edge on the city council. College town Chapel Hill now has an openly gay mayor: Mark Kleinschmidt, who narrowly defeated conservative Matt Czajkowski, 49-47.

Ohio: Somehow I can’t see Cleveland becoming the next Las Vegas (maybe $pringfield, Ohio will), but Ohio voters just opted to legalize casino gambling in Issue 3, 53-47.

Pennsylvania: Republicans picked up a seat on the state Supreme Court; Jane Orie Melvin defeated Democrat Jack Panella 53-47. The GOP now controls the court 4-3, which has bad implications for state legislative redistricting next year.

Michigan: Another Dem screw-up that may bury the prospect of a pro-Democratic gerrymander in Michigan next year is a loss in the one hotly contested state Senate seat anywhere last night. In SD-19, Republican Mike Nofs won 61-34, picking up a seat formerly held by Democratic now-Rep. Mark Schauer. Republicans now control the Senate 22-16 (all seats are up in 2010, meaning Dems now need to flip four for control — of course, they’d also need to hold the gubernatorial race, which may not happen either). In Detroit, incumbent Dave Bing held on to win the mayor’s race, 58-42.

Georgia: We’re headed to a runoff in Atlanta, where city councilor Mary Norwood and state Senator Kasim Reed finished 1 and 2, with 46% and 36% respectively. Reed may be able to pull it out, though, if he consolidates African-American votes in the general (the 3rd place finisher, Lisa Borders with 14%, is also African-American). The most interesting legislative race seems to be the previously Dem-held HD-141, where it’s unclear whether Dem Darrell Black or GOPer Angela Gheesling-McCommon (each of whom got 23%, although Black has a 16-vote edge) will face off against independent Rusty Kidd (who got 44%) in the runoff.

Got any other races you want to share results from, or want to talk about? Let us know in the comments!

31 thoughts on “Election 2009 Results Recap”

  1. Went from a 14-11 Democratic majority to a 18-7 Republican majority in the County Legislature. And worst of all, they did it by intimidating and discriminating against certain voters.

  2. from the Columbian – http://columbian.com/article/2

    With an estimated 7,000 Vancouver ballots yet to be counted, Leavitt was leading with 12,644 votes (53.5 percent) to 10,894 (46.1 percent) for Pollard. Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said that lead would be hard for Pollard to overcome.

    Bigger leads have been overcome. The race was over tolls on the proposed $4.2 billion I-5 bridge over the Columbia R.

    The Leavitt campaign and the Portland news media portrayed the race as largely a referendum on tolling, though the mayor of Vancouver ultimately will have little or no influence on whether Clark County commuters pay tolls to use a new Interstate 5 bridge.

    But there are many of us in metro Portland (mostly on this side of the river) who suggest that the $4.2 billion could be better spent on other things like light rail. Nevertheless, Portland Mayor Sam Adams still supports the bridge.

  3. GOP picked up a super-majority, 6-3, in Greensboro, North Carolina’s third largest city, defeating the incumbent mayor and picking up an open at-large seat.  Guilford County went 59% for Obama and 62% for Hagan (her home) last year.

  4. There are still close to 10,000 absentee and provisional ballots outstanding which won’t be looked at or opened for at least 10 days. A 237 Suozzi lead is nothing. Absentee votes in NY tend to lean towards the GOP while the smaller amount of provisional ballots tend to lean Dem.

  5. There’s a runoff though.  Black guy got second place, establishment white guy got third, religious conservative got fourth.  Not bad.  Hopefully the runoff is clean.

  6. The 2 seats the Republicans picked up in the New York City Council in Quees are notable because New York will now have it’s first Pagan elected official! One of the new GOP City Councilmen Dan Halloran is a Theodist the other will be the 1st Republican City Councilman of Asian decent. Peter Koo will take over John Liu’s council seat.

    The GOP now have 5 members of the 51 member City Council.

    Of course a better question is why NYC needs such a large 51 member City Council but that is a topic for another day.

  7. This was Minneapolis’ first election using instant-runoff voting.  And last night St. Paul voters approved using IRV for its local elections in 2011.

    The two largest cities in Minnesota will have IRV, could we soon see the whole state. (I say soon, but no doubt that’s still a long way off)

  8. Your numbers are off by 1; the pre-election composition was 53R, 2I, 45D (two Dem seats were vacant). It’s now 58R, 2I, 39D, with the 21st (Dem incumbent) going to a recount. I doubt any of the other races will be recounted, and even if they do, they won’t change the difference. The next closest races were decided by margins of about 200 votes, and as we saw in the AG recount four years ago, a margin of about that size is pretty much insurmountable at a statewide level, much less at 1/100 of the number of voters.

    As for outstanding absentees, the SBoE says there were 121,000 absentee ballots approved and 99,000 received as of Monday, so about 22,000 left. Even if every outstanding ballot were returned in time, that would only amount to roughly 200 or so votes per House district, not enough to swing any of the other races.  

  9. 1. Crisitunity

    Hopefully, you are fully recovered.

    2. Chris Dodd

    Nothing more to add. Most of you know what I think of him.

    He has the ability to do considerable damage at state and local levels as well.

    3. Priortizing:

    I do not like Colin Powell much. However, he gave Obama some very important advice. Do not spread yourself thin.

    Economy, healthcare, climate, gay rights – these are all important and worthy causes. But is moving on all fronts the right strategy? I have not seen much discussion on prioritizing the tasks.

    4. Overconfidence

    Plenty of examples here. I wanted to consolidate the victories. That did not happen. One or two talked about winning all three – VA gov, NJ gov and NY-23. Just thank God that Bill Owens was handpicked.

  10. We can’t get the district painted blue map!? I know we lost Virginia and New Jersey, but those had it coming.. Besides, I love seeing a district painted blue!

  11. Politico is reporting that Sen. John Coryn says the NRSC is not going to raise or spend money for Crist until he wins the primary. Same for the other primary races.


  12. I just want to thank you for that great summary and thank everyone else for all the great comments in this thread. I learned a lot tonight.

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