And now, data from New Jersey and Virginia itself provides some insight into what we can expect in 2010.
In the vast mass of analysis from last night's results, two data points were highlighted by NBC as having some of the most significant impact on upcoming elections, or as they called it, "warning signs for the Democratic Party":
- How did Independents vote?
- How do voters feel about the state of the nation/state?
So the question then becomes, how do those numbers correspond to what we've learned about Ohio one year out?
The two most recent surveys that dealt most closely with these two questions were Rasmussen and the Ohio Poll, respectively.
So how does Ohio do on these two questions?
- Among Independents, the Governor currently is winning 35% of the vote.
- 91% of Ohioans have a negative view of the state of Ohio's economy. 92% have a negative view of the nation's economy.
So, as you can see, in the two most vital areas of concern, per NBC news, Governor Strickland is currently facing the exact same situation as the two Democrats faced last night.
Now, I would add one more variable of concern into this formula. Turnout.
Most reports from last night inferred Democrats weren't turning out in numbers similar to what they did one year ago. That's no surprise to anyone. It's my belief that this will be yet another challenge Ted Strickland will face.
- In the Ohio Poll, 37% of Democrats did not approve of Governor Strickland. That's over 1/3.
- In Rasmussen, that number is 23%.
That. Is. Huge.
If Governor Strickland can't bring back his base over the coming months, it will be virtually impossible for him to win.