The big news, from my perspective, is that Democrat Tim Kaine beat Republican Jerry Kilgore by a comfortable 52-46 margin in the Virginia Governor's race. Just a year ago Bush beat Kerry here by a 54-46 margin.
This is great news. It's great partly because Democrats generally do a better job of governing than Republicans do. But it's also great because of the campaigns the two candidates ran. Kaine's was almost entirely positive, and even his few negative ads were not especially vicious. Kilgore, by contrast, took a page straight out of the usual Republican playbook. Every one of his ads that I am aware of were negative, and most were thoroughly obnoxious or vicious. Some were dishonest as well.
This shows that even in a generally Republican state such tactics do not always get rewarded. It should also be pointed out that Kilgore based his campaign almost entirely on social issues like the death penalty and abortion. Kaine stressed economic issues and education.
How bad was it for the Republicans? They lost in Lynchburg. That's Jerry Falwell country.
Bush campaigned for Kilgore in Richmond the day before the election. In that spirit I would point out that Kaine received 38,357 votes in Richmond, versus 11,383 votes for Kilgore. The full results by county and by city are available here. Surely it's obvious to all but the most hackish Republicans that for now at least Bush is a liability.
There is an interesting subtext to this election. Virginia's current popular Democratic governor, Mark Warner, is widely being touted as a possible Democratic Presidential candidate in 2008. Kaine was his chosen successor. On the Repulican side, Virginia senator George Allen is viewed as a likely presidential candidate, and Kilgore was a protege of his. By Kaine winning so convincingly, Warner has effectively won the first round in that race.
The other big election news comes from Dover, Pennsylvania, where all eight of the pro-ID school board members were voted out of office and replaced with anti-ID candidates. (Anti-ID in science classes anyway). The York Daily Record has the full story. This is great news, of course.
More good news from New Jersey, where Democrat Jon Corzine easily won the governor's race. Arnold Schwarzeneggar lost all four of his ballot initiatives in California. I don't know anything about California politics and can't comment on whether these were good initiatives or not. But I'm happy they went down. On general principles I don't like the idea of being able to recall the governor one year after the election, simply because of general dissatisfaction with the guy. And I definitely don't like B level movie stars thinking they know anything about running a state.
Oh, did Kansas do something dumb? So what else is new.