There were no upsets in the three big races last night — Bill de Blasio will be the next mayor of New York, Chris Christie will stay governor of New Jersey, and Terry McAuliffe will soon be governor of Virginia. But still, the elections must mean something. Luckily, plenty of commentators have the answers.
What Virginia Means
Virginia came a lot closer than previously expected — McAuliffe eked out the win 48 percent to 45 percent. What does this mean? First of all, it means the public hates Obamacare. The Washington Post's conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin explains, "Cuccinelli finally made the pivot to [the Obamacare] issue and it paid off. Had any plain-wrap Republican been on the ballot, there is little doubt he could have ridden the anti-Obamacare wave to victory." So in 2014, "when the Democrats who pushed through Obamacare will be on the ballot, there will likely be no more effective issue for Republicans." But Rubin's colleague isn't buying it:
So the anti-Obamacare candidate lost the race, but the outcome is somehow vindication for the anti-Obamacare position?— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) November 6, 2013
McAuliffe's win also means that the Democrats won't win back the House in 2014. The New Republic's Nate Cohn puts in bluntly: the Virginia election "doesn't bode well for Democrats in 2014. ... McAuliffe did as bad as President Obama in coal country and western Virginia, the exact sort of places where Democrats need to rebound to retake the House."
MSNBC's Morning Joe hosts are still figuring out what the word "win" means:
And according to one GOP consultant, Gov. McAuliffe means the end of America as we know it.
What New Jersey Means
Christie sailed to another victory with 60 percent of the vote. This means that he will be the Republican nominee for President. Or it means that he definitely won't be. Jonathan Chait at New York outlines four problems with Christie 2016: he's too liberal, he's friends with Obama, he lacks tact, and he may have done some shady deals in the past. National Review editor Rich Lowry dismisses Christie altogether:
Is the country really look in to New Jersey? Please— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) November 6, 2013
Kevin Brennan thinks Christie's win with Democrats leaves him open for attack during a 2016 primary: "The same attributes that make him a strong general election candidate could hurt him during the GOP's nominating fight." Like his record on gun control, gay marriage, and immigration.
Sen. Rand Paul (who wants to be president himself) suggested to Wolf Blitzer on CNN last night that Christie may be too moderate to win in 2016. "I think it will be more difficult — states like Iowa are very conservative," he noted. "South Carolina is very conservative. New Hampshire, I think, is conservative with a little bit of a libertarian bent." Hm, sounds like someone we know. But Paul did say, "I think the Republican Party is a big party, and we need moderates like Chris Christie who can win in New Jersey." So New Jersey's election means that 2016 campaigning has officially begun.
What New York City Means
Communist takeover, obviously.