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What do the results of the November 2013 election represent?
Elections results from Virginia on November 5, 2013 and the impact of it and other races were the topics of news stories around the country. It was not only the talk of the media but talk radio programs. The discussion of the election results in Virginia was not limited to the Governor race and how close it was but other offices on which voters expressed their opinions through their votes. The results as many have indicated may affect races between now and the mid-term elections in 2014. The closeness of the voting for Governor and other races in Virginia signaled a change in the political opinions of voters. The Virginia elections were suggested to be a representative of what may occur in the mid-term elections of 2014. We will have to see if this turns out to be true but the trend of voters changing their political opinions was evident in the results of elections, especially in Virginia.
I have written about the new political environment in the past but that environment is again in the process of changing and those running for political office between now and the mid-term elections must take notice. The problems facing our country and many states are not going away anytime soon and must be addressed at all levels of government. What affects the federal government affects state governments. State governments receive money for various projects from the federal government and if money becomes tight, and it will, the free flow of money may be severely be diminished or eliminated. This is inevitable given our financial situation at the federal level.
The last few weeks before the election on November 5, 2013 there was a distinct shift in voter opinions between the two candidates running for Governor of Virginia. What was a large lead by the Democratic candidate was drastically reduced by Election Day. There is much speculation why this shift occurred. Some feel it was the impact of the problems with the health law while others feel it was a change of opinion on the candidates and their positions on the issues. The drastic change of voter opinion at least in poll results identified by the media just before the election rarely happens in such a short time span.
I am not a fan of election polls though many do present an accurate picture of voter opinion and the way they will vote. This picture does not ring true in all cases. Many individuals do not project their true feelings about election candidates and in some cases their opinion may change at the last minute. Voter polls are only as accurate as the sample from which polls are taken. Results of election polls can be affected by those chosen to participate. The sample must be random to be reliable. The only real election poll is the result of the votes counted after election polls have closed.
Whether election results is a reflection of the coming election is yet to be seen but the decisions of the voters in Virginia should not be taken by those elected to be a mandate for changing the political operations of state government. The office of Governor was close with none of the candidates receiving more than 50% of the vote. When an individual is elected to office with less than 50% of the popular vote he/she must understand that almost half of voters did not agree with positions on which candidates ran. This in general is something both political parties need to understand.
Those of us who voted in the elections held in our respective areas rarely see the results in all cases for candidates or issues on which we have voted. Basically there were some surprises in election results while in others not so much. Issues present in elections held this November are not going to go away in fact they may increase in importance come the mid-term elections. We will be electing 1/3 of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives next year. Some candidates as expressed in the media are nervous about losing their positions either in the House or the Senate while others feel comfortable about what they have done and their actions on the issues. Whether voters agree with decisions made over the last two years will culminate in the mid-term election.
Healthcare along with the economy, jobs and the debt not only at the federal level but the state level will be on minds of voters when they make their decisions. Actions by some states with regards to legislation passed or decisions made affecting critical topics for on which voters have expressed their opinions. Individuals involved in actions going against the will of the voters at the state and federal level may or will see the displeasure of voters through their votes.
Elected officials must remember that they work for us not us for them. I am not discounting the fact that good legislation which are aimed to help citizens in various states or the country have been initiated and have become law while others have not be so well received.
The opinions expressed by voters in Virginia for example may well be a reflection of the upcoming election especially in the closeness of the results expressed. We as individuals will form our own opinions on the candidates on whom we will be voting and their positions and actions on the issues which are important to us, our state and our country. We must remember that we will not always agree with all positions an elected or potential elected individual may have but we must look at whether it is right for our respective government entity. Every individual has a right to their opinion but the opinion of the voters are the ones that will count come Election Day. It is likely that those running for re-election are nervous about whether they will receive the wrath of voters with regards to their actions while in office.