Jumping the gun for 2010

You may not know it— which would be completely understandable — but election day was last week. As a point of reference, if last year’s election was the World Series, this year’s was a drunken Saturday afternoon pickup game. There were only a handful of consequential local and state elections in the Northeast. Cleverly referencing the P. Diddy slogan, The Daily Show dubbed the situation “Vote or Keep Going About Your Day.”But, of course, America has a few Dakotas’ worth of people who make their living super-analyzing this kind of stuff. Like the ancient oracles who divined the future through animal entrails — and roughly as accurate — these pundits cracked open the juicy insides of each election in search of America’s political trajectory.  Take New York’s 23rd Congressional District. In a special election, Republican Dede Scozzafava ran against Democrat Bill Owens. However, Scozzafava’s socially liberal positions put her out of the good graces of prominent conservatives like the lovely Mrs. Sarah Palin. Instead, the ex-vice-presidential candidate  backed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. Scozzafava eventually backed out and threw her weight behind Owens — the eventual winner.All of a sudden, 650,000 upstate New Yorkers became the barometer of the Republican Party’s tolerance of moderates. You may be thinking, “That’s a little bit of a leap.” And you’d be right. But, then again, your salary isn’t contingent on reading the minds of voters hundreds of miles away.Ironically, Bill Owens already has less than a year to go before his next election. He squeaked out with a win, and could potentially hold the seat for no longer than a year — Robert Byrd has spent more time in the congressional bathroom. Now take a look at Virginia. This pick-up for the dems in 2008 saw republicans sweep into prominent state positions. Governor-elect Bob McDonnell won by double digits. In almost symphonic unison, conservatives heralded the election as a repudiation of Barack Obama’s policies, while liberals pointed out that McDonnell ran to the center. Pundits have expertly taken out whatever message suits them. Go figure.Lastly, let’s look at the New Jersey governor’s race. Republican Chris Christie beat out incumbent Jon Corzine. Obama helped campaign for Corzine, ipso facto Corzine’s loss is a referendum on Obama and his policies.Maybe, possibly, definitely conceivably. Unless New Jersey’s residents are more concerned with local issues, like, I don’t know, their almost 10 percent unemployment rate.And what if young people and minorities once again vote in droves? Or health care flops? Or the economy recovers? Or it rains on election day?Or, get this, what if the media stops overanalyzing every bit of demographic-electoral fodder that comes its way?