Tea Parties and Local Elections
Jim Geraghty bestows credit on the Tea Party movement for this very under-the-radar election in Tuscon, Ariz., where a safe Democratic incumbent was ousted by a Republican novice. There’s something to that, especially when you see that “the city will not have an additional $21 million to work with, since voters refused to lift the spending cap under Proposition 400,” a measure that’s failing by around 800 votes.
There’s going to be a lot of Republican focus on this Gallup Poll today, which shows Democrats losing by four points to Republicans in the generic ballot test due to independents running away from them. The lessons of election night 2009, though, seem to be a mix of Democratic news and overall voter distrust of their political system. Anti-tax measures, spending cap reforms, Glenn Beck-backed congressional candidates, and county/city officials whom no one saw as being in any danger — all of them suffered. All of this occurred with relatively low turnout–the angriest, most cynical voters were the most interested in voting.