Triumph of the Status Quo

Incumbency ruled in an uneventful off-year election

Three Democrats triumphed in traditionally Republican Virginia, and the party crowed. A Republican Governor waltzed to re-election in predominantly Democratic New Jersey, and the G.O.P. cheered. Incumbent mayors, regardless of party, breezed to victories just about everywhere and were smugly confident.

In an era of good feeling and continued prosperity, voters in last week's humdrum off-year elections thumped for the status quo. New Jersey's Republican Governor Tom Kean, who won by only 1,797 votes four years ago, crushed his young Democratic challenger, Peter Shapiro. In a state where just 20% of the voters identify themselves as Republicans, Kean won more than...

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