Lessons from Election 2011

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John Avlon: “In past recessions, populist anger was directed at either big business or big government. Now voter anger is directed at both, and the two parties are having a hard time adjusting their left/right playbooks to account for this shift. The anti-incumbent narrative likewise failed last night, as Kentucky Democrat Beshear was easily reelected. Instead, there seem to be a consistent impulse to reject ideological overreach, a reassuring sign of rational ticket-splitting even in this overheated political environment. Neither party should feel false confidence heading into 2012.”

First Read: “Voters punished elected officials for going too far. They might not be happy with public-sector unions, but they don’t support taking away their collective-bargaining rights (especially for first-responders). They might be against abortion in Mississippi, but don’t want to potentially outlaw things like birth control. They might be troubled by illegal immigration, but they don’t want their elected officials to look like they are targeting on specific community. They might believe government should do something about health care, but they don’t want to be forced to buy insurance. And they might be concerned about the idea of voter fraud, but they don’t want to lose rights they had. Politicians may be pushing absolutes, but voters are sending a different message.”

Ben Smith:

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.