Today is Election Day. Here in Virginia, in one of the contests of national interest, I voted. (No, I’m not going to tell you who I voted for!) Here are some of the elections worth watching:
Heading into Tuesday's elections, Democrat gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds was trailing Republican Bob McDonnell in polls by double digits in Virginia. In a three-way race in New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine was in a close race with Republican Chris Christie and independent Chris Daggett. And in the race to fill the vacant 23rd Congressional District seat in New York, Democrat Bill Owens was in a tight fight with conservative Doug Hoffman after the GOP's hand-picked candidate bowed out over the weekend.
Elsewhere, California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi is expected to maintain the Democratic Party's hold on the open 10th Congressional District seat near San Francisco, while New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to cruise to a third term. Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh also will elect mayors, while voters in Maine and Washington weigh in on same-sex unions and voters in Ohio decide whether to allow casinos.
One question the Virginia election might resolve: Is early involvement in the Christian right the kiss of death for a candidate? The Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds uncovered his Republican opponent Bob McDonnell’s master’s thesis that he wrote when he attended Regent University years ago. It contained politically incorrect ideas opposing abortion, critiquing feminism, and taking other socially conservative positions. Deeds thought he had found a silver bullet that would kill McDonnell’s candidacy. McDonnell disavowed some of what he said back then, though not his pro-life convictions. Apparently, Virginians don’t recoil from such ideas as Deeds expected them to, since McDonnell has a double-digit lead going into today’s election. (Still, I must tell my students: Be careful what you write in a term paper, lest it come back to haunt you.)
Meanwhile, in the New York election, the Republicans had nominated a liberal, pro-abortion candidate. Party leaders were aghast that conservatives, including conservative Republicans like Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, campaigned for the Conservative Party candidate instead. Where is your party loyalty? But the Conservative Party candidate surged in the polls, causing the Republican to drop out of the race. Whereupon she endorsed the Democrat! Where is your party loyalty?
At any rate, if you have elections where you are, if only for local officials–who are much neglected but are very signficant– do remember to vote! It’s a duty of your vocation as a citizen!