Is the GOP now on top? Are we riding the first wave of the next Reagan Revolution? National Review Online consulted some expert strategists to interpret the results of Tuesday’s vote.
DAN CASEY Tuesday’s massive GOP sweep in Virginia means Democrats may need to rewrite their statewide Virginia playbook. Their standard tactic of using the social-issues wedge to drive up Democratic margins in northern Virginia appears to have fallen far short of their expectations. Based on my own experience as a Virginia voter (with, sadly, a listed phone number), I think Democratic efforts in the past week were focused almost entirely on going negative on Republican attorney-general nominee Ken Cuccinelli, using this tactic. The pro-Deeds calls were MIA. To the Garden State:With an enormous budget crisis ($8 billion deficit), gargantuan state-pension-funds shortfalls ($24 billion unfunded and counting), and no hope that The Sopranoswill come back on HBO, Governor Christie will have his hands full come January. New Jersey is reaching the point of ungovernability.But even amidst the financial gloom, Christie will have a chance to shine over the next four years when he will have the opportunity to appoint at least four new members to the seven-person state supreme court. Candidate Christie has repeatedly promised to make changes to the liberal-activist court — declaring that his nominees would “interpret laws and the Constitution, not legislate from the bench.” Governor Christie should be held to his promise. – Dan Casey is a public-affairs consultant and Republican strategist.
MARJORIE DANNENFELSER To dismiss the narrow defeat of Conservativeparty candidate Doug Hoffman as a lesson in the playing out of the “conservative spoiler” in a three-way race would be to miss the real lesson completely. Conservative efforts on the ground finally gave a voice to the thousands of voters in the district who believe that life, marriage, and fiscal responsibility all matter. Without these people, no GOP candidate can win, in New York or elsewhere. To be frank, this is a win for motivated conservative activists who are driven by issues and not party. Dede Scozzafava’s advocacy of the extreme Obama agenda would have been a great loss for the GOP and all those who care about the values enshrined in its platform. The road to a GOP majority is not paved with taxpayer-funded abortion, same-sex marriage, and government-run healthcare. The resounding Democratic defeats in Virginia and New Jersey came as the result of a unified effort, and a candidate who heartily embraced conservative values won the largest margin. Such success should serve as a cautionary tale to Congress and the White House, whose overreach on health care could cause them to meet a similar demise. – Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List.