Assuming that the Virginia gubernatorial election was the first round of the 2022 midterm elections, there is no doubt that the Democrats are on the floor.
Virginia, a state that easily won over Democrats in last year’s presidential election, will have a Republican governorship for the first time in more than a decade.
Glenn Yankin, the businessman who was nominated for the first time, defeated Terry McAlfie, a former governor and a veteran fundraiser for politicians, and ousted some. The attorney general and deputy governor were also nominated by Republicans, and the second was the first woman of color to be elected to the post. Republicans may also dominate the Virginia House of Representatives.
It should not be forgotten, however, that this was just one state election – turnout was higher than in previous 2017 gubernatorial elections, but not at all comparable to last year’s 75 percent Virginia turnout in last year’s presidential election.
But Democrats were close to losing the New Jersey gubernatorial election, which is a stronghold of Democrats. This set of events shows that we are not just dealing with a local phenomenon.
We are still a year away from the midterm elections of Congress and the governorship of 36 states. However, the results of Tuesday’s competition can provide us with early information.
The Republicans’ plan for victory is clear
After last year’s election defeat, some Republicans worried that the Democrats could build a lasting political coalition with the participation of urbanites, ethnic minorities, and suburban whites.
But Yankees and Republicans were able to put forward their own formula for victory on Tuesday. In the first step, they managed to maintain the strong support of rural voters who voted for Donald Trump in the last two presidential elections, and in the second step, they turned back some of the Democrats’ suburban supporters.
On cultural issues, such as looking at race in school curricula, forcing masks and election security, he took a pro-Trump stance, but focused mainly on larger educational and economic issues. But he also kept his distance from the former president – he did not invite him to his campaign to gain his support, nor did he get too involved in the “election theft” game, which is one of Trump’s key issues.
If Republicans enter the 2022 election with the same agenda, they will have a very good chance of winning Democratic seats in the suburbs and dominating the House of Representatives. The majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives is very small, so the victory of the Republicans does not require a major change.
Democrats must act
Tuesday’s gloomy results over next year’s midterm elections have certainly frightened many Democrats in Congress – and, perhaps, shocked them. Joe Biden’s social and infrastructural plans have not yet passed Congress, as moderate and liberal lawmakers disagree on the details of the first plan.
Democrats’ inability to advance their plans in Congress may have reduced their turnout in the Virginia election and certainly played a role in Biden’s popularity in recent months. The notion that the United States has urgent problems and that Democrats have failed to respond to them, despite having a majority in Congress and the White House, may have convinced Virginia voters to give Republicans a chance.
Mr McAulphy, the defeated Democratic nominee, was certainly thinking about it and desperately urging congressional Democrats to take action.
The minimal consequence of Virginia’s outcome should be for Democrats in the House of Representatives to approve Mr. Biden’s plan to upgrade the infrastructure so that he can sign it and build on that achievement.
It remains to be seen whether this result will lead them to approve a larger financial plan, which includes health care budgets, primary education for children and climate investment, or to rewrite the mediators’ concerns about its costs. But the party must finally agree on something, and time is running out.
It is not possible to escape political attraction
It has been just ten months since Trump supporters stormed the congressional building to prevent Joe Biden from being confirmed by Congress. In the days that followed, there was considerable talk of the long-term and deadly impact of those events on the Republican Party. Some party leaders distanced themselves from the former president, while others argued that it might be dangerous for the Republican Party to embrace Trump’s cultural and economic populism.
But in reality, American voters either seem to have little memory or do not hold the Republican Party responsible for the January violence.
Instead, US policy is based on a well-known orbit. A new president is elected and his party wins a majority in Congress. His initial popularity was replaced by a confrontation with his political agenda against the political wind. The party that has lost power, upset by the defeat and angry with the way the rival government is governing, creates a united opposition. The ruling party, on the other hand, is embroiled in internal strife, and its voters are frustrated and lose enthusiasm for failing to deliver on their promises quickly.
And when it comes to the next election, everyone is amazed at the power of a party that is out of power.
This phenomenon was evident in the first term of the presidency of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, and in the second term of the presidency of George W. Bush.
The United States remains a highly bipolar country with a clear political divide. There is no stable majority for governance, and the fate of political forces is tied to the quirky nature of American voters.
Trump’s words and actions after the defeat did not make a difference in this fact, although Mr. McAulphy tried hard to tie Mr. Yankee to the beard of the former president, who is still unpopular.