by Mark Angelides
There will be a lot of speculation and recrimination around the results of yesterday’s elections. The DNC will (and already are) claiming it as a rejection of President Trump, whilst the GOP is remaining somewhat silence. But what is the real deal here? Who truly won and lost, and what are the wider ramifications?
The DNC, and most specifically Tom Perez, have bought themselves a stay of execution. After losing every major election since (and including) the presidency, they were sorely in need of a big win. Virginia (already Democrat headed) and New Jersey Governorships are not huge, but they are nonetheless wins. Yet, the relief they are feeling has turned into something much worse…hubris.
To state that these (fairly easy) wins are a rejection of President Trump and everything he stands for is clearly hyperbole. If we followed the same logic, which means that the presidential election and every single one since was a rejection of the DNC and everything they stand for. You can’t make a parallel on only one side. The DNC need to inject a little perspective.
Both Virginia and New Jersey voted heavily for Hillary Clinton in 2016, so the lack of Trump supporters (around 25% in VA) is not really a shock. But what was surprising was that Ed Gillespie (an establishment candidate) refused assistance from the president. As CNN are happy to report, since Gillespie won the nomination, President Trump has been to his Virginia golf course 15 times, yet Gillespie’s campaign (run by a former Bush creature) refused to ask for his help.
And then there is Northam (also an establishment candidate), who during the campaign said that he would not allow sanctuary cities to spring up in Virginia and would be tough on deportations (which side is he on again?). It seems both candidates were trying to cash in on the Trump phenomenon without actually being on the same side.
It is notable that the only major Republican to speak out so far has been the president himself. Why is this? Is it because the GOP must finally come to terms with the idea that the president is the person people voted for, not their party? Jill Vogel, running for Lt Governor, actually got tens of thousands more votes than Gillespie himself…And she was openly in support of Donald Trump.
It’s time for both main parties to wake up and understand that legacy parties now need t work harder for the vote. Candidates (thanks to social media and a 24-hour news cycle) now have access to audiences that were denied or provided by the party machines previously.
Then again, in a race between two establishment politicians, the only losers are the people.
by Mark Angelides