Thoughts on the 2015 Election Results
Not a huge number of results, but some results were huge in this off-year election day.
The “hugest” could be considered the election of a Republican Tea Partier as governor of Kentucky.
Matt Bevin, a Republican political novice, wealthy Louisville businessman and Tea Party favorite, was elected Kentucky’s next governor on Tuesday and swept fellow Republicans into statewide office with him. The stunning victory heralds a new era in a state where Democrats have held the governor’s mansion for all but four of the last 44 years.
In beating his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway, by almost nine percentage points, Mr. Bevin, 48, shocked people in his own party, who believed that the climate in Kentucky was ripe for a Republican but feared that Mr. Bevin, a charismatic conservative with a go-it-alone style, was too far out of the mainstream and too inexperienced to win.
A few things about this. First, I have noted before that when Democrats get to run places like the big cities of Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore for decades, with few to no Republicans in that time, and when we see these cities crumbling when they have this free hand, it’s hard to understand why the voters in those cities keep electing folks from the same party over and over. It’s like they think that the same guys who got them into this hole can now dig them out of it using the same shovels. I’m hoping that this signals a change in the voters of Kentucky; that they’ve finally said, “Enough is enough.”
Bevin, as noted above in the NY Times article, was a Tea-Party-type. The Republican establishment was concerned that he was too conservative, or “too far out of the mainstream” to win. It appears that perhaps the “mainstream” isn’t necessarily where those pundits think it is. It may be running more to the political Right.
How far to the Right? This is one of the major issues Bevin ran on:
Mr. Obama’s health care law was an especially contentious issue in the race, and some see the Bevin victory as a rebuke to Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, who expanded Medicaid under the measure. An estimated 420,000 Kentuckians, nearly 10 percent of the state’s population, now have coverage as a result. Mr. Bevin, a fierce opponent of the health care law, at first said he would reverse it, but has since softened his position and said he would stop enrolling new people but would not take coverage from those who had it.
And this position even won over some reliable Democratic voters.
Michelle Zimmerman, a 43-year-old nurse, said she voted Democratic in the last two governor’s races but had voted for Mr. Bevin this time; she found his views more in keeping with her values. “I’m pretty conservative,” she said. One factor in her decision: She and her husband say they can no longer afford their health insurance because the premiums have gone up since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
Broken promises tend to do that. ObamaCare is not really an issue Democrats can afford to run on.
And this is another reason I’m always very leery of polls, in spite of the statistical analysis that they can back up their numbers with. In this case, Bevin was behind in every poll right up until the end. And then he won by 8 percentage points. Keep that in mind as you see the endless stream of polling data for the 2016 Presidential election.
One more thing about the Kentucky election is that Bevin’s lieutenant governor running-mate, Jenean Hampton, is now the first African American elected to statewide office ever in the state’s history. And she’s a Republican. Just sayin’.
In other results, the Sheriff of San Francisco, Ross Mirkarimi, was defeated. This news report shows that his defeat probably came as the result of a number of incidents of incompetence, not the least of which was this:
Mirkarimi was the subject of national criticism after Mexican illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s waterfront July 1. Sanchez had been released from Mirkarimi’s jail in March even though federal immigration officials had requested he be detained for possible deportation.
For the 6th time. It may not have been the “sanctuary city” issue that removed him, but at least he won’t be there to continue the lawlessness. Ignoring federal law is not on any city sheriff’s list of duties.
In Ohio, voters shot down a proposal to legalize medical and recreational marijuana 65% to 35%. This had two strikes against it, in my mind. By including recreational use, it got more No votes. I’m betting that Ohioans understand the need for medial marijuana, but don’t want to swell the ranks of the pot-heads. In Georgia, our legislature passed a medical marijuana bill last session that had wide support. Also, there was this.
Failure of the proposed state constitutional amendment followed an expensive campaign, a legal fight over its ballot wording, an investigation into petition signatures — and, predominantly, a counter campaign against a network of 10 exclusive growing sites it would have created.
A state-created oligopoly is generally not a good thing. I think that if you get rid of those two things, it, too, passes by a wide margin.
In Houston, a measure was defeated (quite soundly; two-to-one) that would … well, I’ll let Erick Erickson describe it.
In Houston, TX, perverts and the mentally ill worked together with the gay rights lobby to let men use women’s bathrooms. They called anyone who disagreed with them “bigots.” They harassed preachers. The Mayor of Houston, an aggressive gay rights activist, demanded preachers’ hand over their sermons.
Tonight, the people of Houston fought back and rejected the attempt to allow perverts, the mentally ill, liars, and others who want to get in to opposite sex bathrooms.
Christians and common sense won. Perverts, the mentally ill, and the gay rights mob lost.
It was billed by its supporters to be more about equal rights, but opponents, by zeroing in on one of the results of this measure, showed that what is considered a “right” by liberals has expanded to the absurd. Houston recognized that.
In Virginia, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and the state’s governor got something of a slap in the face.
Republicans held onto the Virginia Senate in fiercely contested elections Tuesday, leaving Gov. Terry McAuliffe without legislative leverage or political momentum as he works to deliver Virginia for his friend and ally Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.
The outcome was a blunt rebuke to McAuliffe (D), who had barnstormed the state with 24 events over the past four days and who portrayed the elections as a make-or-break moment for his progressive agenda.
And some moderate Republicans were replaced by more conservative ones, as well.
Overall, a good night for Republicans and conservatives. Erick Erickson summed it up this way.
Across the country last night, voters rejected not just Barack Obama’s party, but also his party’s ideology. The voters rejected candidates who advocated for gun-control, they rejected candidates who sought the expansion of Obamacare, they rejected the Democrats’ environmental policies, and they rejected the secularist, gay-rights agenda. The Republican Party, at one time, was allegedly a party that could not win in New England. Now, Republicans control 68 of 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the United States, 33 of 50 Governor’s Mansions, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate.
But he also finds that the Republican party still doesn’t seem to get the lesson.
The only thing more amazing than the sweeping scope of Republican wins and the rejection of the left’s agenda is that Republicans in Congress continue to cave to Barack Obama and refuse to use their constitutional powers to restrain him.
Conservatives should be feeling good about this. I think it may show, however, that the national establishment Republican party isn’t really all that conservative. It needs to be if it is to properly reflect it’s constituents, and indeed most of the country.
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!