Republicans benefited Tuesday from a sharp drop in turnout among so-called "surge" voters from 2008 -- namely African Americans and voters under thirty who overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama last year. In Virginia -- where Democrats lost the governor's job after Obama took the long-red state in 2008 -- only 10 percent of voters were under 30, down from 22 percent last year. Why did "Obama World" stay home?
Obama has lost his touch: President Obama tried to coax out his supporters, says Dan McLaughlin in RedState, to help Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey and Democrat Creigh Deeds in Virginia -- but Republicans won both gubernatorial races. Obama, though still popular, was powerless to transfer his minority and youth voters to his allies in 2009, and he won't be able to do it in 2010, either.
"Barack Obama: Not helping Democrats"
Young voters never vote in off years: Obama's voters haven't gone anywhere, says Dave Brockington in Lawyers, Guns, and Money. "Minorities, the young, the less wealthy, new voters do tend to stay home in odd years." If anything, Tuesday's results suggest that Obama still has plenty of "pulling power" -- more of the "Obama coalition" turned out in New Jersey, where Obama campaigned "heavily" for Jon Corzine, than in Virginia, which Obama "basically ignored."
"It's the turnout, stupid"
The economy will determine 2010: These "incredible shrinking turnout numbers" should worry the White House, says Walter Shapiro in Politics Daily. The sharp drop in youth turnout in New Jersey and Virginia underscored how mad voters are about 10 percent unemployment. But it's risky to draw conclusions from what happened to the "unpopular" Jon Corzine and the "lackluster" Creigh Deeds -- the turnout and results in 2010 will depend on how the economy looks next fall, not on Election Day 2009.
"The election's carry-over lessons? There are fewer than you think"