Top Three Takeaways – November 2nd, 2021
- What to watch for today. Today’s Election Day for six South Florida municipalities – Hialeah, Highland Beach, Homestead, Miami, Miami Beach and Sunny Isles. It’s also a Primary Day for voters in South Florida’s 20th Congressional District. Of course, it’s also Election Day in New Jersey and Virginia. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some South Floridians aren’t more aware of the governor’s races in New Jersey and especially Virginia than they are of what’s happening at home in their own elections. As you’ll often hear me say, every election has consequences, though most commonly it’s those which happen closest to you that often have the biggest impact on your daily life (though the Biden administration is greatly testing that usual truism). So, about those governors' races. The two numbers I’m watching are 19% in New Jersey and 23% in Virginia. What do those numbers represent? It’s the difference between what Barrack Obama won those states with in 2008 and what Republicans won those races with in 2009. Two blue states which experienced huge twenty-point swings from one year to the next in what were the first clear signs that the Tea Party movement was a political force to be reckoned with and the precursor to the record setting gains in the 2010 midterms in which Republicans gained a total of 69 Congressional seats (6 in the Senate and 63 in the House) reclaiming control of both bodies of Congress. It’s an oversimplification to compare the two cycles as there are significant differences between the presidential candidates in 2008 and in 2020 as well as the gubernatorial candidates in 2009 and in 2021. The point is twofold though. Will history repeat itself? How does the current movement to reclaim control of our classrooms by concerned parents measure up against the Tea Party movement at this stage in the cycle? Education is the top issue in Virginia in particular. If the current movement closely resembles the strength of what we saw twelve years ago...
- Youngkin will win Virginia and Ciattarelli has a chance to win New Jersey. In every meaningful political movement, there are elections won which take most people by surprise. By now Youngkin is leading in the polls in Virginia and even the betting odds are in his favor. It won’t come as a great surprise should Republicans flip Virginia tonight. Instead, it would be the realization that this movement is real and is bigger than what’s seen at school board meetings alone. As for surprises... In 2009,the race that was the shot heard around the political world which came as one of the biggest political surprises on record, was Scott Brown’s win in the Special Election to replace the late Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. This year the New Jersey governor's race would have that effect. Very little conversation is taking place about New Jersey’s competitiveness. I think that’s a product of Republicans not wanting to build up expectations that aren’t realized should the incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy win, as he’s heavily favored, and Democrats that are perhaps a little nervous about the race and choosing not to draw additional attention to it. But make no mistake, the race is likely to be close, decided by mid-single digits and if the current movement is similar in scale to the budding Tea Party of 2009, New Jersey could be in-play.
- How bad is Biden? Already a majority of Democrats don’t want him. According to new NPR polling only 36% of Democrats want Joe Biden to run in 2024. That’s only 36% of DEMOCRATS. What needs to be said when you’re not even ten months into your presidency and only 36% of the voters in your own party want you? That’s how bad Biden is.