Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Monday, November 09, 2009


A round-up of the most recent stories over the past week or so reveals a heavy emphasis on the performance of independent voters in the Gov races in NJ and PA and a striking omission of the election of the first independent mayor of New York City on the Independence Party line. Clearly organized independents, such as the NYC IP, are a danger to the status quo, so much so that almost all the media, including the blogosphere, is ignoring them.

  • Serious as a Heart Attack: The Independent’s Story (By Jackie Salit (new deal 2.0, A Project of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute)
  • Sucking Sound - Tuesday’s groundswells were less about a GOP renaissance than the return of the Perotistas. (By John Heilemann, New York Magazine/Intelligencer) Yes, that’s right, the Perot voter is back with a vengeance... “If there’s a trend, it’s that independents are anti-incumbent; all sitting leadership officials are polling poorly with independents,” says Daily Kos’s Markos Moulitsas.
  • Both parties feel independents' wrath (By DAVE HELLING, The Kansas City Star) “Independents want more direct participation in the policymaking process,” Salit said. “They want leadership that makes decisions based on what’s good for a community, a city, a state, a country.”
  • Obama transformative? Or Clinton-Lite? (JOHN BRUMMETT, Pahrump Valley Times, Nye County NV) Today's independents tend to be results-oriented, impatient and disdainful. So the nation hangs on to a seesaw they control.
  • Obama's So Speedy, It Looks Like He's Hardly Moved. (Tim Fernholz, American Prospect/Tapped) David Brooks has a column on the independents in the wake of Tuesday's election, deploying his usual technique of communing with them via stereotypes -- "They’re looking for a safe pair of hands." NOTE: While I don't share the political perspective of this article or the American Prospect (far from it), I do appreciate Tim Fernholz calling David Brooks out on relating to independents as some Idealized Form (in DB's mind?) rather than as the real people they are...
  • Is David Brooks Punking Me? (Noam Scheiber, The New Republic) So yesterday I posted an item complaining about the line of argument that attributes Tuesday's election results to the fact that Democrats had strayed too far from the center, had done too much to quickly, were expanding government too far, etc., etc. I argued that it was much more plausible that voters--particularly the independent voters who decide elections--were just pissed off about the economy. To believe the former, you'd have to believe that these voters have well worked-out views about the proper size of government, and that they're supremely self-aware about where they stand on the ideological spectrum, and where politicians stand relative to them at any given moment, which strikes me as a bit implausible.
  • We cannot tolerate intolerance, but how do we avoid the trap of Liberalism? (GBH, Cannibal Planet - Where the Rich Eat the Poor) I've been standing out in Left field for a long time. Watching the game. The infield dominated by the Dems and Repubs. Watching them throw the ball back and forth. The Dems just are trying to keep the game alive while the Repubs just want to keep the ball. Me? Sitting here with the Outfield - Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, and Lenora Fulani among others.
  • Like the British in 1775: Empire before citizens (LETTER: Free Lance Star - Fredericksburg VA) As for me, frankly, I'm just plain tired of the partisanship and hypocrisy of both parties.
  • Independent Voters and Empty Explanations (by Nate Silver, Independent voters are treated as a cause, when all that they really are is a symptom. 


  • Obama cedes the center (By Michael Gerson, Washington Post) Obama won just under half of Virginia independent voters last year. On Tuesday, McDonnell carried 66 percent.
  • Dems see lessons in defeat of Deeds (By: Jonathan Martin, Politico) Kaine was also an advocate for not watering down the message. “I don’t think there’s a problem with just [saying], ‘Hey, gosh I’m a Democrat, and I’m proud of it, and let me tell you why,’” he said. “I don’t think you need to back away from it at all.” But, seeing swing voters flee the Democratic Party, that’s not what Deeds did.

  • New York City Independence Party Breaks Records (Donklephant)
  • Tuesday’s results on top and down ballot: The closer you look, the worse it was for Democrats (Posted by Brad Smith, RedState) They even gained a couple seats on the New York City Council (in addition to the re-election of their sort-of Republican Mayor Bloomberg). NOTE: Mike Bloomberg is a registered nonpartisan (independent) and ran on the Independence Party line, where he got 26% of his vote.
  • This ‘change’ wasn’t what many expected (Douglas Turner, Buffalo News) Disillusioned independents voted overwhelmingly for Republicans Bob McDonnell in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey, and nudged Bloomberg across the line for the third and last time. 
  • Incumbents bear brunt of voter anger (By IRENE JAY LIU, Capitol bureau, Albany Times Union) In New York City, Bloomberg received the lowest five-borough vote total of any mayoral winner in a generation, with an estimated 25 percent voter turnout.
  • The New Power Generation-Bloomberg may have squeaked back in as king—but now he has two ambitious princes to contend with. (By Chris Smith, New York Magazine) Bloomberg will also face, for the first time in eight years, a sustained challenge from the other two citywide officeholders, De Blasio and John Liu, the comptroller-elect
  • For Judges Standing By, a Quiet Election Day (Corey Kilgannon, The New York Times/City Room) Featuring Ed Brady at the BoE...


  • Kasim Reed has been endorsed by Georgia Independent Voters and is now in a runoff against Mary Norwood

  • Former top judge to lead Working Families Party probe-The labor-backed political organization hires former New York state Court of Appeals Judge Judith Kaye to review its operations after critics charged it skirted certain laws. (By Daniel Massey, Crains New York)

  • Anatomy of an upset-B.J. Murphy's victory Tuesday night still surprising observers (Bryan C. Hanks, ENC Today) Following the DOJ’s controversial decision to keep Kinston’s municipal elections partisan in August, Cousins easily defeated political newcomer Ronnie Isler in September’s Democratic primary and moved on to Tuesday’s election.  NOTE: Murphy supported nonpartisan elections and spoke out during the campaign against the DoJ decision
  • Power to the party--ELECTION '09: Democrats and Republicans in Kinston, N.C., plan their next move against a federal veto of nonpartisan elections (Jamie Dean, World Magazine - Today's News Christian Views) In the small town of Kinston, N.C., B.J. Murphy did something extraordinary on Election Day: The 29-year-old sales director for a local real estate company became the first Republican elected 

  • Failing the Midterms -- Press overplays election results (FAIR - Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) Republican candidates won gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday; meanwhile, Democratic candidates won two special elections for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York and California. But it was very clear which set of elections corporate media wanted to portray as sending an important message about national politics--that voters were discontented with the White House and wanted Democrats to move to the right.

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