It’s been a horror stretch recently for George W Bush and yesterday
the bad news continued. The Democrats won both governor’s elections
reasonably comfortably, in New Jersey and Virginia.
Virginia was especially disappointing for the Republicans, since they
had consciously imitated Bush’s strategy of trying to energise the
conservative base, and Bush himself had campaigned there on Monday.

Other races seemed to show the same trend: in St Paul, Minnesota, the
incumbent mayor, a Democrat who had endorsed Bush for president last
year, was defeated by a Democrat challenger. And in Dover, Pennsylvania,
voters threw out the members of the school board that introduced
“intelligent design” (in a case currently before the courts) and
elected a slate of evolutionists.

But there was some joy for the Republicans with a win in the mayoral
race in San Diego, and the overwhelming re-election of Michael
Bloomberg in New York.

Referendum results have been mixed.
Gay-bashing still brings out voters in the south, with Texas approving
a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. But in Maine,
voters rejected an attempt to overturn an anti-discrimination law, and
Californians rejected a proposed parental notification law for abortion.

Governor Schwarzenegger’s reform proposals were also all defeated in
California, further weakening his position. Among them was a move to
have redistributions done by a non-partisan commission instead of by
the legislature – something we take for granted in Australia. A similar
move was also defeated in Ohio.