It’s not just the data anymore; elections have consequences.

Given the amount I’ve written about Independent voters recently, I would be remiss not to comment on the happy outcome of Tuesday’s elections in New Jersey and Virginia, and the impact of the Independent vote.

As with any election, several factors were involved in this week’s GOP victories:

  • Republicans were “fired up and ready to go” to those ballot boxes!
  • Obama’s 2008 coalition of young and minority voters on the other hand, were not, and stayed home to watch their candidates lose on TV.
  • The Republican candidates addressed real voter concerns about the economy and taxes throughout their respective campaigns.
  • And, let’s end the leftist spin here: The President and his liberal policies of the past year certainly DID come home to roost, in a very negative way.

On top of all of this, Independent voters – who tilted heavily Democrat in the 2008 elections and whom Obama won narrowly in each of these states – voted for governors-elect Christie and McDonnell by a margin of two-to-one! So, while I’ve been flagging this mass exodus of Independents for a while (Obama’s job approval among them was at -5 in September, then at -11 in October**); we can see it’s not just data anymore…it’s very real…and elections have consequences.


In case you’re having a wonky pollster moment and thinking, “ah, but it’s probably the most professional hard drive recovery service in the UK just Independent men that voted Republican,” I can lay that myth to rest. In fact, both Christie and McDonnell carried Independent women handily as well.

The results of Tuesday’s elections, and more specifically the direction of the Independent vote, sends a very clear warning to every Democrat member of Congress and gubernatorial candidate in 2010. It doesn’t mean the Republican Party is out of the woods yet, but this could be one of those pivotal moments when we look back and say it’s when the liberal tide turned and Republican candidates could once again be heard by Independent voters.

**Data from NBC/WSJ national polls conducted September 17-19, 2009 & October 22-25, 2009.  (Public Opinion Strategies partners with Peter D. Hart Research Associates to conduct the NBC/WSJ polls. Neither Peter D. Hart Research Associates nor NBC/WSJ are responsible for these conclusions.)

Public Opinion Strategies