Attendees of the Young Democrats’s election night party remained cheery and optimistic, even as election results favored Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell.
“We are very pleased by the Williamsburg results, which supported the Democrats,” Young Democrats Vice President Omar Farid ’10 said. “We think it is the result of our organization and students.”
Two couches held the party’s 10 attendees. Over half of the attendees tracked election results county by county on their laptops to see where Democrats won majorities. Other Young Democrats watched the election results on CNN.
“Although the results were not in our favor, we have an important election coming next year,” Farid said.
“We will do all we can to continue our effort in helping [President Obama].”
The Young Democrats are eager to prepare for the 2010 elections, which they said will be important.
“We’ll try to stick to our convictions,” Young Democrats President Ross Gillingham ’10 said. “It doesn’t change the core convictions of change.”
Change was the theme of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Despite criticism that change has yet to come a year after his election to the presidency, the Young Democrats felt that last
Tuesday night’s elections were not a sign of backlash against Obama’s platform.
“[This election showed that,] in this state, local issues are more important than national ones,” Farid said.
Many in the Republican Party disagree. The party has seen few bright spots since its defeat across the country in the 2006 elections, when Democrats won control of Congress, and in 2008, when Democrats won the White House and a strong majority in the Senate. The night’s victories offered much-needed encouragement for Republicans.
Democrats have controlled the Virginia statehouse since 2001, when Mark Warner was elected governor.
Tim Kaine succeeded him in 2006.
Now that the Republicans have won in Richmond, many Democrats are concerned that their accomplishments in the state will be lost.
“I am personally a bit concerned with how education policy will be affected, and hopefully there will be rational transportation plans that won’t cut into education funding, which has suffered because of the recession,” Gillingham said. “[I hope that] any sort of education cuts will balance with concerns of [the] long-term welfare of our state universities.”
Throughout the gubernatorial race, Deeds made McDonnell’s 1989 graduate thesis a campaign centerpiece.
The thesis, which McDonnell wrote while attending Regent University, expressed controversial views on women’s rights, homosexuality and family values.
“I think it will be clear to William and Mary students that the new governor and attorney general have views that are out of the mainstream,” Farid said.