Suddenly being Republican is a whole lot more satisfying than it has been for a long time. On Tuesday, the Grand Old Party won gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, largely with the help of the very Independent voters who gave President Barack Obama his historic victory in 2008.
“The Republican renaissance has begun. It has begun in earnest, in which we put our faith in the hopes and dreams of the American people to rebuild our economy from the bottom up, not the big deficit spending plans and policies of the politicians in Washington or our state capitals,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
Obama, according to exit polls in both states, maintains a level of popularity that clearly didn’t extend itself to the Democratic candidates. Steele said their defeats are not a referendum on the president, but are definitely a rejection of his policies.
“Certainly, the president has put forth policies that are–are different, controversial, but I think out of the mainstream of where America is. America doesn’t want the federal government running its health care. America doesn’t want the federal government buying its cars for it and telling them what cars to drive. America doesn’t want the federal government running its banks,” said Steele.
Jim McLaughlin, COO and partner in the Republican polling and consulting firm McLaughlin & Associates, says the election results were most definitely a referendum on not just the president but also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., California) and Washington politics in general. He asserts that candidate Obama presented himself as a moderate who would cut deficits, reject earmarks and would not raise taxes. Voters are feeling as though he and Pelosi have betrayed those principles.