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A Seismic Shift
Author: BobR    Date: 2017-11-08 14:00:00

For better or worse, elections in non-presidential election years are generally looked upon as a referendum on the incumbent president. That was the case in 2010 when Democrats got trounced in many local, state, and federal elections. This was 2 years into Obama's presidency, and the ACA had just passed with great sturm and drang

Off-off year elections are generally not very closely followed, being that they are state-wide races and such. This year was a little more visible, being that the Commonwealth of VA was electing a new governor, and the the 100 seats in its House of Delegates were up for grabs. New Jersey also elected a new governor.

It's only 10 months into the tRump pResidency, but if this election is to be considered a referendum on our satisfaction with him, he is in deep deep trouble. The purple state of VA went solidly blue.

Considering that the current executive leadership is Democratic, it was the Dem party's to lose, just one year after the presidential election that resulted in tRump taking the White House. Based on the latest ballot results, the Democratic candidate for Governor beat the Republican by 5% points. The races for Lt. Governor and Attorney General followed similarly. That is awesome news. Turnout was pretty good, with about 2.5M votes counted. This is encouraging, considering that there were some pretty nasty ads from the Gillespie campaign, using Lee Atwater-inspired Willie Horton-style ads.

Where the magic really happened, though was the House of Delegates. In the 13th District, the long-time Republican incumbent (Robert Marshall) was soundly defeated (10 points) by newcomer Danica Roem. What makes this sweeter is that Marshall tried to push a "bathroom bill" through the legislature, and Roem is openly transgender. She is the first openly transgender person to become a state delegate in VA.

Statewide, the news is pretty amazing. Although there are a few districts where no one was running against the incumbent (both R and D), there were a number that were contested. For any district where the Democrat was the incumbent, the Democrat won (the Dems didn't lose a single seat). The Republicans, however, lost 15 - count 'em - FIFTEEN seats to the Democrats!! The current House of Delegates in VA had 34 Dems and 66 Reps. By losing 15 seats, the balance will be 49 Dems to 51 Reps, making the VA House of Delegates essentially tied. This is huge - it means that the Commonwealth will be able to move forward. It's a huge repudiation of the tRump mindset, and the voice of a people ready to turn the ship of state around.

Virginia has definitely taken a lead and sent a message to Republicans nationwide that embracing tRump can have devastating results for your re-election plans. If Republicans were stalling on pushing tRump out of office, the voices in VA have spoken. Continue to stall or embrace him at your own risk.

UPDATE (09:31 AM): From Scoopster in the blog comments:

This wave was nationwide. Among some of the other notable races..

- Maine overwhelmingly passed a referendum to override Gov. Paul LePage's repeated vetoes of state expansion of Medicaid.
- Dems won three special elections in Georgia's state Assembly, breaking the GOP's supermajority control.
- Helena, MT elected a new mayor. He is a naturalized citizen from Liberia.
- Manchester, NH elected its first Democratic mayor in 14 years. She's also the first woman to hold the office.
- In Washington state, a single Dem special election victory turned control of the State Senate.
- In Delaware County, PA Dems unexpectedly won two county legislative seats, giving the party a say in county decisions for the first time since the early 80s.
- Hoboken, NJ elected a Sikh mayor.




60 comments (Latest Comment: 11/08/2017 23:10:34 by Raine)
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