Dems Win Big in Virginia as Voters Reject Trump’s Politics

If the Virginia elections are,†as many projected, a referendum on the Trump administration, well, the voters have clearly stated that they†want a change.

Democrat Ralph Northam soundly defeated Republican Ed Gillespie, making Northam the next governor of Virginia. Northam, who served as Lieutenant Governor under current Governor Terry McAullife, was declared victor not long after polls closed, signifying just how large his margin would eventually be by the time the night was over.

The Virginia governor’s race was expected to be the first real test of how strong the Republican party brand is under President Donald Trump, and whether Democrats could unite in opposition to his presidency. Both parties had somewhat rocky primaries, with Gillespie, a longtime Republican strategist, challenged from the right by a Tea Party, Trump-esque contender, and Northam challenged by Tom Perriello, who was backed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters. While Perriello eventually lost the nomination, he became one of Northam’s biggest backers, rallying voters and campaigning on the nominee’s behalf.

Yet despite the support, Northam and Gillespie were near deadlock heading into election night, as Northam was plagued by last minute campaign missteps†as he tried to secure rural, white voters who leaned toward Gillespie and President Trump. As the GOP repeatedly played the race card by equating Northam with crime and illegal immigration, the Northam campaign stumbled, wavering on their support of sanctuary cities and denounced an ad taken out by the Latino Victory Fund that attacked Gillespie for the race-baiting nature of his own ads.

Unsurprisingly, however, Northam’s victory came primarily at the hands of those who were rejecting the new GOP agenda and the actions of the Trump White House.

“The governorís race had been close in pre-election polling, and Northam had been criticized by some in his party for waging a low-key campaign at a time of high passion and sharp rhetoric. But Virginians turned out in large numbers on a day of patchy rain around the state as Northam and the Democrats relied on an increasingly efficient system for getting voters to the polls, especially in the more-populous parts of the state,” reports the Washington Post. “Northamís victory was propelled by white, college-educated women; voters who are concerned about health care; a robust showing among Democrats; and voters who strongly disapprove of Trump, exit polls indicated.”

The fact that Northam’s win was a pointed rejection of President Trump didn’t appear to register with the President himself, who actually stated that Gillespie’s loss was a sign that Republican candidates need to be closer to the administration if they want to win.

“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for,” The President tweeted. “Donít forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!”

Northam may have been the biggest winner of the night in Virginia, but Democrats all throughout the state saw similar victories as well, as the groundswell of anti-Trump voters drove a wave of progressives into office.

The Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General’s races both were won by Democrats, and Democrats swept a number of House of Delegates seats, with the largest margin of change since 2001, coming near to flipping the House into Democratic control for the first time in over two decades. Democrats needed to flip 17 GOP seats to win the majority and nabbed at least 15, with four races still too close to call . Of those seats, one was won by an openly trans candidate, two by the state’s first Latina delegates, another the boyfriend of a gun violence victim who ran on the platform of gun restrictions. Women and minorities ran against sitting GOP incumbents and they won by the handful.

If Virginia is a 2018 bellweather, the message is clear: your time in power will be a short one, Republicans. The Democrats are coming to take back the country.

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38 comments

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld23 days ago

Deborah W.,
All these local elections are small potatoes. So far, they have not told us much. Usually the locals are too far removed from Washington to have any connection. Northern Virginia not so much, being so close to the beltway. The Democrats want to make every election, from governor down to dog catcher, a referendum on Trump. They may succeed. We will not know until the midterms next year. At some point they will have to campaign on their own merits.

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Deborah W
Deborah W25 days ago

IF the Virginia elections are, as many have speculated, a referendum on the Trump administration, then the voters would have clearly stated that they want a change. The Virginia governor’s race was expected to be the first real test of how strong the Republican party brand is under President Donald Trump, and whether Democrats could unite in opposition to his presidency. After a few wins, among their massive losses, Democrats are once again on the move -- this time a long-shot with little to no chance of standing: IMPEACH TRUMP, quickly jumped on by Cohen of Tennessee, Gutierrez of Illinois, Green of Texas, Fudge of Ohio, Espaillat of New York and Yarmuth of Kentucky. Check state and representative histories and you'll quickly realize why they're trying yet again to gain a lost foothold overall.

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One Heart inc
One Heart inc29 days ago

Thanks!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABVKIPk_u0

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Julie D
Julie Dabout a month ago

This made me feel a new ray of hope. Thank you all the voters who turned out and made it happen!

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Janet B
Janet Babout a month ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winn Adamsabout a month ago

Very glad there is some sanity with regards to the recent elections in VA and NJ. Resist and remove tRUMP. Impeach him now.

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Dan B
Dan Blossfeldabout a month ago

Butt kicking? Obama won the state by 6% and 4%. Clinton won by 5%. Northam won by almost 9%, so that is slightly more than the average of the past three presidential elections, but hardly a "butt kicking." The DNC is trying to make every election across the country a mandate against Trump's policies. While this may have influenced this election (being so close to the capital), local elections typically have much less connection to national politics.

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Ciaron Drain
Ciaron Drainabout a month ago

This was a butt kicking and sent a message about what the country thinks of the Trump presidency. As for some of Trump’s apologists whoabsurdly sought to claim the result was unsurprising because Virginia is a blue state anyway, which simply is not true. The state legislature remains solidly in republican hands (depending on those recounts) and seven of the state’s 11 members of the U.S. House are Republicans. That’s no Democratic stronghold.

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Shirley S
Shirley Sabout a month ago

Trump is unwittingly the Democrats best supporter.

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M Q
M Qabout a month ago

Good news. :). :) :)

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