Dems: Pay no attention to that election behind the curtain!

It's not easy for a group devoted to electing Democratic governors to put a happy face on Tuesday's results

Published November 4, 2009 4:55AM (EST)

The staff at the Democratic Governors Association had a very tough task on its hands Tuesday night: How do you put a happy face on an Election Day when Democrats lost both of the gubernatorial races on the ballot? So, in their defense, let's at least acknowledge that the DGA's job was nearly impossible. That said, though, they still managed to come up with a remarkably pathetic-sounding bit of spin.

The headline on the e-mail that the DGA sent out to reporters after Democrats Jon Corzine and Creigh Deeds conceded their races in New Jersey and Virginia, respectively: "DGA looks ahead to 2010 election cycle."


Things didn't get much better from there, as the release went on to read:

Washington, D.C. – After a disappointing election night tonight, Democrats are now looking ahead to the critical 2010 election cycle.

“We knew both these races would be tough, and although we’re disappointed in the results, we’re not discouraged in our greater mission,” said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the DGA. “Tomorrow marks the first day of the 2010 election cycle, when four out of five Americans will choose a governor. While we wish tonight's results in two states would’ve been different, we’re preparing for the fight ahead in 37 states. A fight to restore prosperity, build the middle class, and elect strong democratic governors.”

The results, while disappointing, are in line with historic trends. The last time the party in the White House won the New Jersey governorship was 1985. In Virginia, the streak goes back to 1973.

“The question on everyone’s mind will be: ‘What does this mean?’ The answer is simple,” said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the DGA. “Nothing. The party in the White House has lost these races for 24 straight years, and this election merely continued that streak. New Jersey and Virginia are independent-minded states, and tonight they reminded us of that.”

“We’re looking ahead to 2010, with 37 races for governors who will oversee the Congressional redistricting process that will reshape our political landscape for a generation to come,” Daschle said. “These races are the most important election in a generation and we’re committed to protecting our incumbent governors and expanding our ranks. The DGA is better positioned than ever before to win in 2010, with record-setting fundraising, strong candidate recruitment and early strategic investments in key states.”

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2009 Elections Chris Christie New Jersey Virginia War Room