Could Wins Create Momentum for Democrats?

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

November 9, 2005

With both gubernatorial races in the US going to the Democrats in Campaign 2005, some are wondering what this all means for future elections.

Many Democrats are feeling pretty good, coming off both gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and right here in Virginia.

"It means that the Democrats are back," said Chairperson of the Albemarle Democratic Party, Fred Hudson. "The Republicans are not satisfying the needs of the American people."

Local experts do agree that Democrats may have somewhat of an advantage.

"National Democrats are saying that this is quite a bit of momentum in favor of the Democrats and at the expense of the Republicans. To some degree that's true," said director of communications for the UVa Center for Politics, Matt Smyth.

Some Republicans however don't believe the elections generated anything more than enthusiasm.

"I don't think I would call yesterdays results for the Democrats 'momentum.' Excitement yes, but momentum no," said chairman of the Albemarle County Republicans, Keith Drake.

In addition to the gubernatorial wins, election initiatives by California Governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, were also defeated. President Bush's appearance with Jerry Kilgore Monday night may not have done anything to help the candidate either, because of Bush's low approval ratings. It's leading Democrats to believe that nation wide, it's time for a change.

"America is losing confidence in the president," said Hudson.

But the other party says - that's not necessarily the case.

"I think the Republican result at the governor?s level was more of a result of the organization that was in place rather than any kind of national disapproval of the president," said Drake.

Experts believe, whether you call it momentum or not, the wins should help generate more money and 2006 candidates for the Democrats.

"It means there some competition out there and that's usually good for the process," said Smyth.

Experts also add, the fact that Tim Kaine won is a strong sign that Mark Warner will have a lot more credibility in terms of a possible presidential nomination in 2008.

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