Thoughts on Virginia governor’s election
(Dan here…from Wednesday, Nov.3)
About last night
I was going to write about motor vehicle sales (not good), but FRED is down for maintenance. I might put something up later whenever the site comes back online.
In the meantime, because a few people have asked me offline what I make of last nights results (at least in Virginia), so herewith is my take.
Virginia turned out about exactly how I expected. The RWers are as pi**ed as progressives were 2 and 4 years ago, so they were going to turn out more. And as soon as McAuliffe dissed parents’ right to have a say in the education of their children, I knew he was sunk, and would probably take down the rest of the ticket.
But here is the more extended discussion. There were a few main factors, uniquely local, overlaid with a typical off-year electoral trend.
There were two national factors:
1. People are motivated much more strongly to vote by anger over something that they feel has been taken away from them, than gratitude for something they feel has been given to them. This is basic human behavioral wiring. That’s why the out-party typically does well in off-year elections. And courtesy of Fox and Facebook, RWers were thoroughly wound up. This is why NJ is also so close. (Dems will have the same incandescent rage – regrettably – one year from now after the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade.)
2. Manchin and Sinema have done some real damage to national Dems. Here Biden is, going on one year in office, and he still can’t get his main agenda out of Congress. This is similar to 2009-10 and Obamacare when centrist Dems like Baucus and Lieberman slow-walked it nearly to death. It is also similar to what happened to the GOP four years ago when Trump failed to get a repeal of Obamacare through Congress. Trump had among his worst ratings ever right after McCain’s thumbs-down.
But there were several decisive factors unique to VA:
1. McAuliffe’s gaffe at the last debate saying parents shouldn’t have any control over their childrens’ education. Even if you think that statement is true, it was a disaster to say it. A million parents heard “F*** you, we’re going to control your children.” Up until that statement, all the polls showed McAuliffe ahead (despite the background national issues above, and including Afghanistan and whatever other extraneous event you want to include. McAuliffe was still winning). As soon as that statement got publicized, his polls all tanked and continued that way.
2. McAuliffe ran Hillary’s 2016 anti-Trump campaign and got Hillary’s 2016 result. This is in contrast to the last two off-year elections, where Democrats ran against the votes cast by GOP legislators in the Statehouse. And none of the candidates touted the good things Statewide Dems had done for people in the last 2 years.
In short, take away the gaffe, and run a campaign focused on the State, and VA Dems might have overcome the adverse national trends.
Lieberman was not a centrist Dem in 2009.
McCain regrets not choosing Joseph Lieberman as his 2008 running mate
McCain wrote in the book, which the NY Times said it obtained independently of the Arizona Republican, that his advisers warned him against picking Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat who turned Independent, because of his support for abortion rights. The advisers believed that support would divide the party.
“It was sound advice that I could reason for myself,” he wrote in “The Restless Wave,” according to The Times. “But my gut told me to ignore it and I wish I had.” …
(McCain of course had chosen Sarah Palin of Alaska instead,
which was almost immediately seen as a particularly goofy choice.
Not that Lieberman, long a McCain pal, would have been any better.)
Joe Lieberman unaware of John McCain’s 2008 regret until new book
Hmmm. Joe Lieberman had been Al Gore’s running-mate,
back in the days of ‘Bush v. Gore’ when he still a Dem, albeit
an ‘Independent Dem’ (whatever that means – like Joe
Manchin maybe?) Joe would have brought much-needed
presidential race experience to the McCain candidacy, fer
shur. History would seem to show that having a president
and VP of different parties doesn’t work well at all.
And apparently, Lieberman never actually joined the GOP.
John McCain, always a ‘maverick’, was something of a
loose cannon. But yooogely less loose than Donald Trump.
How Trump gets relected?
Republicans Pounce on Schools as a Wedge Issue to Unite the Party
Republicans Pounce on Schools as a Wedge Issue to Unite the Party
After an unexpectedly strong showing on Tuesday night, Republicans are heading into the 2022 midterm elections with what they believe will be a highly effective political strategy capitalizing on the frustrations of suburban parents still reeling from the devastating fallout of pandemic-era schooling.
Seizing on education as a newly potent wedge issue, Republicans have moved to galvanize crucial groups of voters around what the party calls “parental rights” issues in public schools, a hodgepodge of conservative causes ranging from eradicating mask mandates to demanding changes to the way children are taught about racism.
Yet it is the free-floating sense of rage from parents, many of whom felt abandoned by the government during the worst months of the pandemic, that arose from the off-year elections as one of the most powerful drivers for Republican candidates.
Across the country, Democrats lost significant ground in crucial suburban and exurban areas — the kinds of communities that are sought out for their well-funded public schools — that helped give the party control of Congress and the White House. In Virginia, where Republicans made schools central to their pitch, education rocketed to the top of voter concerns in the final weeks of the race, narrowly edging out the economy. …
This is not about schools.
It appears the VA election was largely ‘about schools’.
Dogwhistle. The election was all about racism.
Idiocy, which is to say that VA’s recent gubernatorial election was a beauty contest to select Virginia’s next top idiot. It was supposed to be an amateur competition, but Terry McAuliffe proved to be a professional idiot and disqualified himself.
Wedge issues work.
Wedge issue allow voters to
avoid thinking of themselves
You totally nailed it. THX
In a different NJ race…
Stephen Sweeney, N.J. Senate President, Loses to Republican Truck Driver
Mr. Sweeney, the second most powerful lawmaker in New Jersey and a Democrat, lost his bid for re-election to Edward Durr, a driver for a furniture chain.
Two things. VA elected a black republican woman who posed with an rifle that mimic’s an assault weapon.
VA since the 60 has elected for governor the opposite party that is in the presidents office.
It was not just the education thing. That was the most visible and easy piece to leverage.
Yeah, that woman defeated Hala Ayala.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt whatsoever what caused this result.
The racial concentration of this movement toward Youngkin was one sign that CRT, as an ethnic appeal, was working. Another sign was that his 12-point improvement among white voters on education was bigger than his improvement among white voters on any other issue, including jobs, taxes, and law enforcement. Youngkin’s gains on education were concentrated among white people, and his gains among white people were concentrated in education. In fact, on the question of “who do you trust more on education,” the gap between white voters and Black voters grew more in those two months than did the gap between Democrats and Republicans. Race, not party, was driving the polarization.
The network exit poll, released on Nov. 2, showed the same pattern. Youngkin got 62 percent of the white vote and 13 percent of the Black vote, a gap of 49 points. But among voters who said parents should have a lot of “say in what schools teach”—about half the electorate—he got 90 percent of the white vote and only 19 percent of the Black vote, a gap of 71 points. The idea that parents should have more say in the curriculum—Youngkin’s central message—had become racially loaded. And the loading was specific to race: Other demographic gaps for which data were reported in the exit poll—between men and women, and between white college graduates and whites who hadn’t graduated from college—get smaller, not bigger, when you narrow your focus from the entire sample to the subset of voters who said parents should have a lot of say in what schools taught. Only the racial gap increases.
The exit poll didn’t ask voters about CRT, but it did ask about confederate monuments on government property. Sixty percent of white voters said the monuments should be left in place, not removed, and 87 percent of those voters went to Youngkin. That was 25 points higher than his overall share of white voters. The election had become demonstrably polarized, not just by race but by attitudes toward the history of racism. All the evidence indicates that Youngkin’s attacks on CRT played a role in this polarization.
So, yes, there was a backlash against “critical race theory” in Virginia. And, yes, it helped Republicans win. Their strategy of hyping, distorting, and attacking CRT worked. But it didn’t work by appealing to parents. It worked by appealing to race.”