President Joe Biden returned on the morning of November 3 to a nation that no longer supports him or his party.
Virginia, which rose from 55 percent to 44 percent in 2020, elected Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor, Republicans as deputy governor and attorney general, and regained a majority in the House of Delegates.
Even more surprisingly, in New Jersey, which Biden took from 57 percent to 41 percent, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy currently leads Republican Jack Ciattarelli by around 29,000 votes, with a few more to count. New Jersey, as part of the New York and Philadelphia media markets, has long been a politically low-information state, and Murphy seems headed by the 50.5% averaging in polls, with the rest going all. to his unknown ex-legislator challenger.
Some Democrats have won. Eric Adams was easily elected mayor of New York City (76% Biden), and the Democrats captured a State House district (population 8,333) in Maine.
But that’s all good news for the party that won the Electoral College a year ago with 42,000 popular votes and congressional majorities of 51-50 and 222-213. Geographically, Republican victories ranged from a Supreme Court seat in marginal Pennsylvania to a retreat in a Hispanic District of the Texas State House at 72% (population 164,436) which is 72% Hispanic at a city council seat in Brooklyn and in Queens, full of immigrants.
The “progressive” wing of the Democrats fared particularly badly. Voters in Minneapolis (86% Biden), where George Floyd died in May 2020, rejected a proposed vote to replace the police force with a 56% to 44% “public safety” department. Just to define the police.
And in Buffalo (80% Biden), Democratic Socialist primary winner India Walton was beaten by votes written for the incumbent mayor she defeated for the nomination, from 59% to 41%. So much for socialism.
The findings in Virginia and elsewhere are, as Cook Political’s David Wasserman tweeted at 9:34 pm Eastern, “consistent with a political environment in which Republicans would comfortably take over both the House and Senate in 2022.”
In an environment where Donald Trump is no longer the central figure, despite Terry McAuliffe’s constant mentions of him, Youngkin has managed to improve Trump’s numbers with undergraduate white voters, making notable forays into affluent suburbs.
Republican victories came despite–in fact, due to–two presumably disabling tendencies. One is that voter turnout increased 27% during the last run for governor in Virginia and at least 11% in New Jersey. The increase was 30-40% in suburban areas rich in young families, but only 10% or less in central cities with many trendy minorities and singles.
The other trend is that the Virginia race was fought for cultural issues. Youngkin jumped at McAuliffe’s statement in the Sept. 29 debate: “I don’t think parents should tell schools what they should teach.” This is scripture among teachers union members and school administrators, who believe they have a special competence in enlightening the children of backward parents.
But in the Virginia exit poll, 84% said parents should have a lot to say about what schools teach, and only 13% said little or nothing. And after teachers’ unions closed schools for months (a full year in Fairfax County, the nation’s 11th largest school district), parents got a better insight into the sexually explicit materials alleged experts put in. hands also of elementary school students.
Likewise, Youngkin was not afraid to criticize public schools’ use of materials that defend the critical theory of race.–the idea that whites are hopelessly racist. Children should learn the good and the bad of our story, he said, and judge others by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.
Which predictably resulted in accusations of racism. Barack Obama, campaigning for McAuliffe, insisted: “We have no time to waste in these phony and invented culture wars.” Youngkin, he said, was avoiding “serious problems that actually affect serious people.”
But for parents, the education of their children is a serious matter, not a “false and invented” issue. More generally, cultural issues are more important to Americans, on both sides of the cultural divide, than the economy. Although the Biden Democrats argued that their economic policies would help the little guy, an ABC / Ipsos poll found that only 25% believe his reconciliation bill would help people like them, while 32% say it would. of evil.
That leaves almost half, 43%, without seeing much of a difference. Equally pervasive skepticism explains polls showing a majority against approving Obamacare in 2010 and repealing Obamacare in 2018. By contrast, attitudes about cultural issues are more firmly rooted in personal experience and principles. moral.
Liberals and progressives are vulnerable on cultural issues because their pursuit of the ultimate losing cause to defend, while sometimes producing widely accepted results, sometimes puts them in lasting opposition to the vast majority of voters. That’s what happened in Virginia. Tips from the Democrats’ MSNBC and CNN cheering teams–double by accusing voters of racism–it’s not useful.
So, at least for the time being … the nation Biden returned to in the early morning hours of November 3 no longer supports him or his party.
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