It's clear that the off-year elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey are typically contrarian against the winning party the year before, and won/lost on local issues. Most of the articles even mention it:
Off-year elections are prone to overinterpretation, and governor’s races tend to be determined by the quality of the candidates and local issues rather than national politics; overcrowded highways are the biggest topic this year in Virginia.
Yet as can be read in the above article, the media persists in creating storylines that politicians eventually have to deal with.
Even Presidential and Congressional races are often determined by complex interplays of candidates, issues, and the political enviornment. As much as I am proud of our democracy, the people rarely make clear judgements based on good information. Ultimately we elect leaders to make good decisions and through a series of elections, public pressure, and debate get the result we want.
This process however can and often is manipulated by powerful people in the media.
Just as in this case, they create a storyline and then tell you what it means.
As informed consumers we need to have an attuned ear to separate facts from political spin.
As a newliberal, I'm trying to figure out what is actually best for the country. One of the challenges is ignoring the media nonsense.