7 Lessons From Election 2013

It was a bad night for Tea Party, good one for Chris Christie

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 6, 2013 7:57 AM CST

(Newser) – The 2013 election is in the books, and while there weren't many surprises in this off-year affair, there's plenty to digest. Here are some bulleted thoughts to help your brain do just that:

  • Some polls had Terry McAuliffe ahead of Ken Cuccinelli by double digits, so his 3-point win is something of a stunner, Politico points out. Cuccinelli's assessment: "This race came down to the wire because of ObamaCare." Exit polls seem to agree with him, CNN reports; 53% opposed ObamaCare.

  • McAuliffe also outspent Cuccinelli by $15 million. Given the small margin of victory, expect some recriminations from the RNC, which spent just $3 million on the race, compared to $9 million in 2009.
  • Do Republicans still have problems with women? McAuliffe won women by the same 9-point margin that Barack Obama did, and Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post points out that he won unmarried women by a whopping 40 points. But Chris Christie actually won 57% of women en route to his landslide win.
  • Of course, Christie won as "the un-Republican," in Cillizza's words. The results suggest that the GOP "would be much better served nominating a Chris Christie conservative than a Ken Cuccinelli or Ted Cruz conservative" in 2016.
  • The party might be getting the message. Tea Party favorite Dean Young lost in Alabama's 1st District—maybe the reddest in the country—because his more moderate Republican foe raked in more money. The race "may signal the coming of a more active Republican business community," CNN observes.
  • Of course, the Chris Christie Conservative most likely to be nominated is... Chris Christie. Pundits everywhere are declaring him the official frontrunner for the GOP nod in 2016. Click for much more on Christie's win.
  • Bill de Blasio's win was hardly a surprise, but it does represent a kind of revolt in the Big Apple. "He became the voice of frustration for the boroughs outside Manhattan," says today's New York Times profile. De Blasio has promised to raise taxes on Manhattan's high-rollers, a big change from Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani's tough-on-crime reps.

Virginia Democratic Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe, left, signs an autograph as he greets supporters during an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, in Tysons Corner, Va.
Virginia Democratic Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe, left, signs an autograph as he greets supporters during an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, in Tysons Corner, Va.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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