Archive for the ‘2010 elections’ Category

At this rate, runoffs might not pay off

Around lunchtime Tuesday, I checked a couple of voting precincts to see whether turnout in the runoff election was as bad as I feared. It was worse.

By 1 p.m. — halfway through the 12-hour voting period — the precinct at a Sandy Springs church had seen 62 voters. Down the road at North Springs High School, there had been a paltry 16, or three for each of the five poll workers present.

Yes, the weather was awful Tuesday. Thinking that people simply might not want to get out in the rain, I stopped by a Target store. It took 20 minutes for as many people to enter the store as had voted at those two nearby precincts in six hours.

Their vote totals roughly doubled over the second half of the day. But in the end, just one of every 15 people who voted at those two precincts just four weeks earlier bothered to show up at the polls.

A similar story played out elsewhere in Fulton County — where a couple of precincts reported just one voter, and one in downtown Atlanta actually had zero …

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On David Nahmias, and one more ballot left to cast

The turkey’s been eaten and the Christmas shopping begun. But there’s one seasonal obligation to finish before the calendar flips to December: voting.

Just two statewide races remain in play for Tuesday’s runoff, both for judicial posts. One is for the Court of Appeals, and I’ll be voting (again) for the highly experienced, well-qualified Chris McFadden.

The other is for the Supreme Court, and the matchup here was hard to fathom just four weeks ago. Somehow, a very good incumbent justice, David Nahmias, was forced into a runoff against an opponent who didn’t even campaign.

When I say Tammy Lynn Adkins didn’t even campaign, I mean she didn’t spend one red cent beyond the $5,016.29 qualifying fee she paid in July from her own pocket, according to campaign-finance disclosures.

Yet Adkins, a family-law attorney in Gwinnett County, still managed to garner an astonishing 35 percent of the vote on Nov. 2. She won more than twice as many votes as a third candidate who spent some …

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The Georgia GOP dominates, but a word of caution

“Shellacking,” the word President Barack Obama applied to his party’s losses Tuesday, doesn’t begin to describe the election for Georgia Democrats.

After all, it implies there’s still something left to beat.

You’ve heard about the Republicans’ clean sweep of statewide offices. You might not know that the highest vote total for any Democrat (Ken Hodges in the attorney general’s race) was the party’s lowest since 1998, when the state had 1.9 million fewer voters.

Think about that: It’s as if every new voter in Georgia over the past 12 years decided to vote Republican.

It gets worse. Of the General Assembly’s 79 contested races — and let’s stipulate that that number is way too small — Democrats won just 19. That’s one out of every four. In all races above the county level, from Congress to the state’s executive and legislative branches, Democrats unseated exactly one Republican (state Rep. Jill Chambers of DeKalb County).

Twenty years ago, Democrats in Georgia were so dominant …

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Obama sparks largest electoral backlash since Watergate

We already knew the GOP’s net gain of 60-plus U.S. House seats was the largest pickup for either party since the 1940s. Now, National Journal is reporting that Republicans also eclipsed the Democrats’ modern record for most statehouse seats taken over:

Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures — the most in the modern era. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 GOP wave, Republicans picked up 472 seats. The previous record was in the post-Watergate election of 1974, when Democrats picked up 628 seats.

The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control — meaning both chambers — of 26 state legislatures.

Such a thorough changing of the guard suggests the (soon-to-be former) majority party’s brand suffered monumental damage. President Obama wasn’t solely responsible for that — Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid gave it their best, too — but his comments at his press …

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A ‘regional’ GOP swamps the Democrats across heartland

The national maps of Tuesday’s election results have a pattern reminiscent of the Bush years: a huge swatch of red within a thin blue frame.

But there is one big difference. Back then, Democrats actually won beyond the coasts.

Two years ago, liberals told Republicans to move to the left or risk becoming a regional party for Southerners.

Today, that’s as laughable as President Obama’s promise to heal the planet and stop the ocean’s rise. Or that line about the stimulus keeping unemployment under 8 percent. Or the one where his health reform would prove popular. Or — well, you get the idea.

Speak no more of a “permanent majority” for either side, but it’s clear that the Republican tsunami of 2010 came ashore along the Great Lakes. That, along with changes due from redistricting, could mean the waves will keep crashing years from now.

The GOP did strengthen its grip across the South: Alabama’s statehouse is Republican for the first time since the 1870s. Democrats bled hard-won …

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National election: How big is big?

(Note: This thread is for discussing the national results. Discuss state results here.)

UPDATE at 2:20 a.m.: While Democrats will continue to control the Senate, as most people expected, it looks like Republicans will be right around 240 seats in the House — which would be a net increase of more than 60. It would be the first time since the House expanded to 435 members that the GOP won at least 60 new seats and became the majority party (in 1914 and 1938, they won more than 60 but remained a minority; in 1920 they won more than 60 after already holding a majority).

The Democrats have pulled off that winning combination twice: in 1932 and 1948, which was the last time we saw a swing of 60-plus seats in either party’s favor.

UPDATE at 8:55 p.m.: No sooner did I write that it’s too early to see any big moves in the House, than ABC called a very significant win in Virginia’s ninth district: Morgan Griffith over 14-term Democrat Rick Boucher. According to the prognostications of …

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Georgia election: To be (in a runoff), or not to be?

(Note: This thread is for discussing the state results. Discuss the national results here.)

UPDATE at 1 a.m.: By now, you’ve probably read elsewhere on about the GOP sweep of the statewide races. In the Legislature, the Republicans were set to reach a new high of 108 seats, a net gain of three. They picked up seats in Southwest Georgia, in Middle Georgia — the Dublin seat that House Minority Leader DuBose Porter gave up to run for governor this year — and in Gwinnett and Cobb counties. One of the four was offset by Jill Chambers’ loss in DeKalb County.

The additions to the GOP caucus will probably help to strengthen David Ralston’s hold on the speaker’s gavel. Here’s what he told me about the results:

“We had to make some tough choices” in the last legislative session, Ralston said. “That’s what leadership is about, that’s what governing is about. … We focused on doing a few things and doing them right, as opposed to a large volume of laws. …

“I think the people of …

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PSA: Live election-night blogging right here

I’ll be live-blogging the election returns tonight, focusing mostly on state and national races, but keeping an eye on some local races of note, too. Please join me!

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Election Day: Upsets, and hoping not to end up upset

It’s Election Day. We’ve said and heard all there is to say and hear — at least until we know who won and who lost.

Well, just about everything. I’m asking each of you for two things:

1. an election result that you think will happen even though other people aren’t expecting it — an upset; and

2. an election result that must happen for you to be pleased with the day’s outcome — something to keep you from being upset.

I’ll start:

1. I would say that John Monds gets less of the vote than most opinion polls show — less than 4 percent — and Nathan Deal wins outright. But that isn’t going out on much of a limb. So, I’ll also say that Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina sweep in California. (Two — no, three — no, four — upsets for the price of one!)

2. This one’s pretty obvious: a Republican majority in the U.S. House. They’ll still have to prove themselves worthy of the voters’ decision. But for now, simply standing athwart history and yelling “Stop!” — not to mention taking the speaker’s …

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Why the suburbs are still central

Where did President Obama and the Democrats lose their way? In the suburbs, argues demographer Joel Kotkin:

Ideologues may set the tone for the national debate, but geography and demography determine elections.

In America, the dominant geography continues to be suburbia — home to at least 60 percent of the population and probably more than that portion of the electorate. Roughly 220 congressional districts, or more than half the nation’s 435, are predominately suburban, according to a 2005 Congressional Quarterly study. This is likely to only increase in the next decade, as Millennials begin en masse to enter their 30s and move to the periphery. [Note from Kyle: Keep this line about the Millennials -- Americans who are in their teens and 20s -- in mind for later.]

Now the earth is shaking under suburban topsoil — in ways that could be harmful to Democratic prospects. “The GOP path to success,” according to a recent Princeton Survey Research Associates study of suburban …

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