Democrats scored big in Virginia and New York while the blue state of New Jersey, which President Barack Obama had won by a margin of 18 points, re-elected Republican Chris Christie as governor for a second term.
Bill de Blasio, the Democratic challenger in the New York’s one-sided mayoral race, won by huge margin against Joe Lhota, who enjoyed the support of former mayor Rudy Giulian. De Blasio, an Italian-American liberal and New York City’s Public Advocate, is the first Democratic mayor of New York City since 1989. He won over 73% of the vote against Lhota’s almost 25% with results in from almost 90% of the precincts.
De Blasio won support from every community and in all the five boroughs of New York City. His election is being celebrated by minority and communities of color for his liberal pro-immigrant and pro-small business agenda. Like other New Yorkers, the city’s Muslim population too has enough reasons to celebrate de Blasio’s impressive expected victory, for his agenda will benefit them as well, but also because de Blasio has promised to close New York City schools during two Muslim festivals, the Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. De Blasio’s Republican challenger had also promised Eid holidays in New York City Public schools.
Blasio has a huge challenge of running America’s largest city’s government with employees strength of 300,000 and an annual budget of 70 billion dollars. Plugging the city’s ever-growing deficit and fulfilling his promises of education and police reforms and affordable housing will not be easy for the new mayor at a time when the city’s balance sheets are off.
In New Jersey, incumbent governor Chris Christie’s re-election sent the Tea Party-hijacked GOP a clear message that a liberal Republican with right credentials can still pull a convincing victory, even if the state like New Jersey is predominantly Democratic. Christie’s victory has further brightened his presidential ambitions for 2016. Many political pundits are now predicting that the GOP’s presidential bid for 2016 may start from the Garden State.
The toughest contest was witnessed in Virginia where Democrat Terry McAuliffe narrowly defeated Republican rival Ken Cuccinelli in a nailbiter. Cuccinelli had termed the election a “referendum on Obamacare” in a state where 53% of the voters oppose Obama’s signature health program. Cuccinelli’s defeat may set the stage for difficult electoral challenge for Republicans during next year’s mid-term elections.
It is no secret that the Tea Party-dominated GOP-enforced closure of the federal government in October has battered its image even in the most conservative constituencies in its traditional strongholds. November 5th elections gave strategists on both sides enough data to review and redraw their partisan plans for their next big fight for the control of US House of Representatives in 2014.