Sixty percent of independents preferred New Jersey Gov.-elect Chris Christie (R), compared to 30 percent for Gov. Jon Corzine (D), and they picked Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell (R) 66-33 over Democrat Creigh Deeds.
Both states saw the independent vote go narrowly for President Barack Obama in 2008.
Another interesting number is the percentage of voters who voted that are between the ages of 45 and 64.
Both states saw the under-30 vote fall by about half, to around 10 percent. That drop-off isn’t quite as concerning for Democrats, since it isn’t as reliable a vote for their party. But it could play in several key House districts, particularly those with large college populations.
John Delicath, who studies vote patterns for Women’s Voice Women Vote, noted that nearly half — 47 percent — of the electorate in both New Jersey and Virginia was between the ages of 45 and 64.
“That’s huge,” Delicath said. “That’s voters late in their career worried about their income and retirement. Indeed, the economy and jobs was the No. 1 issue in both states.”
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told POLITICO that "We got walloped."
Did the White House or Democrats learn anything from those two key losses? Seem the answer is no as they wave it away as "it is just local elections."
Given the facts, one would think the Democrats would have learned a valuable lesson from Tuesday's elections.
Following Obama off a cliff could very well be political suicide.
Related issues that could determine the amount of seats the Republicans win in 2010.
Reuters Blogs, via James Pethokoukis:
And it wasn’t just the bad economy. Yes, exit polls showed great voter anxiety about high unemployment. But also notice huge Republican margins among New Jersey and Virginia independents, voters traditionally suspicious of government spending and budget deficits. These are the sorts of folks who left the GOP in 1992 to vote for Ross Perot and parted ways again in 2006 and 2008 because they felt Republicans had morphed again into big spenders.
(And the unemployment rate isn’t even that terrible in Virginia: 6.7 percent versus 9.8 nationally.)
Voter revulsion at trillion-dollar deficits and impatience about unemployment is creating a toxic environment for the Obama White House and congressional Democrats. Major legislative items like healthcare, energy and financial reform are already slipping into next year.
Yesterday ABC came out with a piece saying "Senior Congressional Democrats Now Say Reform Before End of Year is Highly Unlikely," and CBS headlines with "Reid Suggests Health Care Reform May Not Come This Year."
The Politico shows that even Democratic politicians that are seemingly safe in next year's elections, which handicappers predict the GOP will take double digit gains in the House, are saying they too are "at risk."
Make no mistake, if a final vote on Obamacare moves into next year, election year for many of the House Democrats, the moderates, in conservative districts who are already worried about the scope, the cost ($1.2 trillion), the taxes and the language, will be less likely to support a bill that will undoubtedly cost them their seats.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters nationwide say that passing no health care reform bill this year would be better than passing the plan currently working its way through Congress.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% disagree and say the current effort is better than doing nothing.
With all that said, the lessons should be simply for moderates and Democrats alike.
Lesson one: Think before you spend any more of taxpayers money, they are paying attention.
Lesson two: While health reform is needed, the majority does not want the government in charge of their health care needs.
Lesson three: The president's popularity is dwindling and it will get harder and harder to hide behind his coattails, you will be held accountable for your votes in your next election.
Lesson four and perhaps the most important lesson of all.
You can be replaced.
Will they heed these lessons?
According to Wapo, it looks like some are at least thinking about.
But moderate and conservative Democrats took a clear signal from Tuesday's voting, warning that the results prove that independent voters are wary of Obama's far-reaching proposals and mounting spending, as well as the growing federal debt. Liberal lawmakers, meanwhile, said the party's shortcoming came in moving too slowly on health-care reform and other items that would satisfy a base becoming disenchanted with the failure to deliver rapid change in government.
Voters in both states cited the economy as by far their top concern, and many lawmakers said the outcomes were a blunt wake-up call to put the issue front and center.
"The question is, do people think we're tending to the things they care about?" said Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) as he left a meeting of Senate leaders. He said there was palpable concern among his colleagues Wednesday that the main agenda items Democrats are pursuing -- health care and climate change -- resonate very little with voters focused on finding or keeping jobs.
The question now is, will they act accordingly or continue to follow Obama off that cliff?