Election 02 Flash Gop Gains in Dixie
Among the good news for Republicans last night was that the party’s favorable trend in the south seems to have returned after some reversals in 1998 and 2000. Not only did Perry win election in Texas and Bush win reelection in Florida, the first Republican governor to do so in the Sunshine State, but Republican candidates took over Democratic governor’s offices in South Carolina and, in a stunning upset, Georgia. Only in Tennessee did a Republican gubernatorial seat go to a Democrat, but that was actually a codifying of the conservative trend in some ways because the outgoing GOP governor had proposed a tax hike that even the incoming Democratic governor was against. I’ll do more counting later, but it also looks like Republicans gained seats in several Southern legislatures, though not enough to take any chambers away from the Dems. Finally, there is a real nail-biter down in Alabama, with both incumbent Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman and Republican challenger Bob Riley claiming victory in what promises to be a Florida-like imbroglio (a good summary of the controversy can be found here).