Sorry, Dems, 2008 Is So Last Year

Winning coalition doesn't reemerge in gubernatorial races
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2009 7:45 AM CST
Republican Gov-elect Bob McDonnell, left, and Lt. Gov-elect, Bill Bolling wave to the crowd during their victory party in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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(Newser) – Last night’s gubernatorial defeats proved to Democrats that whatever magic they harnessed last November has left the building. Off-year elections aren’t usually great predictors, but with the Democrats’ winning 2008 coalition essentially absent, the warning signs are clear, writes Dan Balz in the Washington Post. Most notably, Democrats lost the independents, who broke decisively for Republicans last night after being solidly Democratic last year.

Absent, too, were President Obama’s legions of young voters. In Virginia, just 10% of voters were under 30, down from about 20% last year, while in both states the number of 65+ voters jumped. Black voters, also key to Obama’s Virginia win, showed up in smaller numbers. And the Republicans carried groups that had swung Democrats' way last year, including suburbanites, non-college graduates, and those “very worried” about the economy.