**There were a number of hyperlinks to sources that, unfortunately, did not make it when I posted this... I'll try to fix it.**
To some, this line of questioning may seem naive. I am a political rookie, I confess. I'm just (and maybe I shouldn't be?) surprised by the election results and I wanted to open this up for (civilized, please) discussion if anyone's game.
The president is a Democrat. Congress has a Democratic majority.
Albuquerque had the same Democrat for mayor for three terms, two of which were consecutive... During the W. years, no less.
And yet, we find ourselves today with a Republican mayor (Richard Berry) and a Republican majority for our City Council.
What happened to the wave of support for the Democrats during the 2008 presidential election? Is Obama's current performance undermining local Democrats' popularity, or did they dig their own graves? Was it simply a case of split voting for Democrats when Republicans had a single candidate they could rally behind? Supposedly the independents swinging right may have had a strong hand in the results. Or, perhaps, were Republicans merely more organized for this local election? According to John Wertheim, former NM Democratic Party Chairman:
Republican voters are more reliable when it comes to voting and easier to turn out. Dems need to be prodded and you need money to prod them... (see Joe Monahan's blog today for more).
What are the implications of this election, both locally and nationally?
A qualification from the Chair of the NM Democratic Party:
(from another AbqJournal.com article)
Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairman Javier Gonzales issued a statement late Tuesday -- even as the Republican Berry appeared headed for a victory -- that looked like some counterclockwise (and possibly pre-emptive) spin.
"Albuquerque voters today voted overwhelmingly for a Democrat to represent them as their mayor," Gonzales said in a statement published in The New Mexico Independent. "Marty Chavez and Richard Romero have received more than 55 percent of the vote."
More food for thought: In Northern Virginia, a typically 'dark blue' region, a Democrat narrowly won an election by 1%. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112970455
Maybe this happens all the time with local elections, but AP released an article on our elections that's been picked up all across the web.
I wonder if we'll see more elections like this throughout the country and I'm not the only one.