democrats kicked ass this year. they swept almost every significant race, with only a few losses. for example, there were two governors' races, and dems (re)won them both. both states previously had democrat governors, but the incumbent was not running in either case:
Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine (news, bio, voting record) easily won the New Jersey governor's seat after an expensive, mudslinging campaign, trouncing Republican Doug Forrester by 10 percentage points. Polls in the last week had forecast a much closer race.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine won a solid victory in GOP-leaning Virginia, beating Republican Jerry Kilgore by more than 5 percentage points. Democrats crowed that Bush's election-eve rally for the former state attorney general only spurred more Kaine supporters to the polls.
kaine won in VA despite his opponent using some very dirty tricks (the NJ race wasn't exactly clean either). but kilgore went negative, running an ad that said kaine would "defend hitler". i guess the voters didn't like that. it probably didn't help that kilgore was endorsed by bush, either. people everywhere hate bush these days.
schwarzenegger is the special election governor. he was elected in a special election and whenever he can't get something done (which is often), he holds another special election—at great expense to california taxpayers—to beg voters to approve his ballot initiatives. arnie lost big: every initiative on the ballot lost.
but not all the news from california is good: san diego will be on its fourth mayor in as many months (i blogged abou the story here), and for some reason donna frye still didn't win:
San Diego surf-shop owner Donna Frye, a maverick Democratic councilwoman who nearly won the mayor's race in a write-in bid last year, lost to Republican Jerry Sanders, a former police chief backed by the city's business establishment.
in dover PA, intelligent design is on its way out:
Local TV here in Pennsyl-bama (central PA) just annonced that in the race for Dover PA school board (where incumbants have been fighting for intelligent design to be taught in public schools) EVERY Democratic, anti-intelligent design challenger has won, with 100 percent of precints reporting. 6 seats (4-4 year terms, 2-2 year terms) are now controlled by anti-intelligent design Dems.
this is ironic because kansas has humiliated itself for the second time over the issue of evolution:
The Kansas Board of Education voted Tuesday that students will be expected to study doubts about evolution, a move that defied the nation's scientific establishment even as it gave voice to religious conservatives and others who question modern Darwinian theory.
The board, in a 6-4 vote, recommended that schools teach the "considerable scientific and public controversy" surrounding the origin of life -- a dispute most scientists contend exists only among creationists.
The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.
In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.
wow! i guess that's the answer for those ID proponents (like the indystar's cartoonist gary varvel) who just can't grasp that ID is not science: redefine science! i am truly in awe.
in maine, voters rejected an initiative that would have repealed a recent law that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. but at the same time, texas voters approved a ban on gay marriage. though that's not really a surprise.
finally, in ohio, voters rejected the "RON" amendments... it took me awhile to find someone who would actually explain wtf those amendments were:
In Ohio, voters soundly rejected a package of election revision measures pushed by Democrats after President Bush's narrow and disputed re-election victory in the state last year.
The four failed measures, backed by labor unions, government reform organizations and the Internet-fueled activist group MoveOn.org, would have stripped the secretary of state's office of the authority to conduct elections and made it much easier to vote absentee up to a month before Election Day. The package also included strict new limits on campaign contributions and the creation of an independent panel to redraw legislative districts.
overall, it was a ridiculously good day for democrats. dems only lost 3-4 battles in the whole country, it seems.
update: oops, almost forgot about the mayor's race in st paul:
The St. Paul race was overshadowed by partisan fury over Kelly's decision to endorse President Bush for reelection in 2004. A number of polls showed Kelly fighting a backlash in the largely DFL town over the endorsement. A Star Tribune Minnesota Poll showed that nearly two-thirds of likely voters said Kelly's decision to campaign for Bush influenced their choice of candidate.
kelly was a democrat who foolishly endorsed bush. coleman is from the DFL. if you don't know what that is (i didn't), it's the democratic farmer labor party.
second update: check out this dkos thread about democrats' huge wins in local elections nationwide: small-town mayors, town councils, school boards, you name it. nationwide, dems won big (though apparently not so much in texas), which shows how ridiculous the post-election gop talking points are.¶