As I was busy with papers and classes for the past few days, I didn’t much time to look at (much less comment on) Tuesday’s election returns until today. While I am disappointed that the Governor’s reform agenda was defeated in California, my current “home state,” I am pleased that Republicans made gains in Virginia (my immediate past “home state”).
Four years ago, when President Bush was at his highest level in public opinion polls, Democrats won two of the three constitutional offices in the Old Dominion, losing only the Attorney General’s race. This year, Republicans held onto the Attorney General’s office and picked up the Lieutenant Governor’s seat as well, losing only the race for Governor. Not bad considering the Republican president is currently at his lowest level in opinion polls. Guess the president’s drop in popularity didn’t have much bearing on the Virginia elections.
And there’s some irony in the Virginia elections. Jerry Kilgore, the only Republican to win a statewide race in 2001, defeating Democrat A. D. McEachin for Attorney General, is the only Republican to fall short in statewide balloting this year, losing to Democrat Tim Kaine by just under 6 points, a margin nearly identical to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Earley’s loss four years ago to Democrat Mark Warner.
With the election of Bill Bolling as Lieutenant Governor and Bob McDonnell at Attorney General, Republicans can be pleased that they did a bit better in the Old Dominion than four years ago. Still, it would have been nice to have won the Governor’s chair as well. Oh, well, you can’t have everything.