Article: 2013 legislative elections: Fierce but few
Summary: Although the 2013 election cycle is marked by few actual elections, the competition among the vying campaigns has noticeably intensified. At this point in the year, it seems many voters are sick of politicians. Due to the disillusionment generated from the government shutdown, many politicians up for election this year have tried to distance themselves from the partisan conflict in Washington, as their platforms tend to focus on local issues. A big shake-up in state governments is not likely, although it appears possible that the Virginia Senate could end up in the hands of Democrats. Interestingly, Democrat John Bell remarked that the American people are tired of the partisanship in the government and want politicians who are willing to compromise because they believe a more moderate government would function better and best reflect the people, as most of the constituency has a moderate view of social and economic issues. Key state elections include those of New Jersey, Washington, and our very own Virginia. In New Jersey, it is likely that Chris Christie will retain his governorship although many expect the state house and senate to be held by Democrats. The gubernatorial contest in Virginia is close, with Democrat McAuliffe holding a slight lead over Cuccinelli. A member of the national Democratic group said Virginia voters are turned off by Cuccinelli’s reputation for fighting the Affordable Care Act and for promoting conservative positions on social issues. This year’s contest in Washington has proved to be the most expensive legislative contest in the state’s history. Republicans are looking to get a firmer hold of the chamber and candidates are focusing on local issues such as school funding and transportation. Like the Virginia gubernatorial race, the election for state representatives has become slanderous at times. Interestingly, the article concludes with a statement from Democratic state Sen. Nathan Schlicher saying, “(Voters are) tired of career politicians on both sides of the aisle,” which reflects a growing trend among constituents.
Analysis: It seems that the partisanship in the government has become even more polarizing, which has turned many individuals off. The government shutdown was a situation that served to highlight the increasing partisanship within government and reactions to this event reflected a general desire among Americans for the government to be more moderate, as most of the population holds more moderate views of social and economic issues. In the wake of this, many politicians up for reelection this cycle have tried to distance themselves from the drama in Washington by focusing on local issues. It seems that the more moderate candidates are faring better in the polls. For example, it seems that Republican Governor Chris Christie has a hold on the governorship in New Jersey, despite the fact that the state typically votes Democrat, such as it did in the 2012 Presidential election. This is more likely because Christie is a moderate, and at that, is more so than his opponent. In the gubernatorial election in Virginia both the Democrat and Republican candidates are far less moderate, which is most likely why both come off as polarizing figures among all the slanderous claims made by the other and why the election is still so close. Currently, the Democratic candidate McAuliffe is trying to gain voters by associating Cuccinelli with the government shutdown because of his reputation for fighting the Affordable Care Act, which may play to his advantage. Today, voters are looking for more moderate people to represent their interests in government, which is a struggle as it seems Washington is becoming even more affected by the growing sense of partisanship.