The Republican victories in Kentucky and Mississippi, along with Arnold Schwarzenegger's surprise win in California, mean that when the newest governors are sworn in there will be 29 states, including the four largest (California, Texas, New York and Florida), headed by Republican governors. Sixty percent of the country will live in states with Republican governors. In the last 12 months, the GOP has won governorships in four states that for decades have been dominated by Democrats: Georgia, Maryland, Hawaii and Kentucky. That sounds like a trend to me.
At last Tuesday's (Nov. 4) "Rock the Vote" Democratic presidential candidate debate there was talk about their favorite computers (PC or Macintosh beat the "boxers or briefs " question to Gov. Bill Clinton in 1992), but mostly it was about attacking the president with no positive or optimistic proposals from any of the eight candidates who participated. Republicans seem to have grabbed all of the ideas and the momentum going into next year's critical general election. If the economy stays strong and progress is made in Iraq, Democrats may face a bigger blowout than Ronald Reagan's 1984 reelection sweep.
Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie noted: "The Democratic strategy (against Fletcher and Barbour) was negative attacks and tying (the candidates) to President Bush, making the race(s) a referendum on the president's economic policies. The Democrats had their referendum and got their answer."
A lot can happen in a year (and it usually does), but after last Tuesday's "on year" (for Republicans) election, if Democrats were compared to a mutual fund, right now they'd look like Putnam.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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