Virginia last night was GREAT! But for reasons you might not have caught. | THE POLITICUS

Virginia last night was GREAT! But for reasons you might not have caught.

     To start with, although I wasn’t personally aware of it because it didn’t receive much media coverage, apparently Ed Gillespie bught a French bikini bottom over the weekend for his consolation trip to the Caymen Islands later this week. I only say that because he got so completely freakin’ waxed last night! Sorry, I couldn’t resist, been a looooong year hasn’t it?

     You know things are going your way when the networks call the “biggest race” in the new Trump era before all of the VIP guests are even in the victory celebration room. True statement. When MSNBC called the Virginia governor’s race for Northam at about 8:10 pm ET, they went to Garret Haake at Northam HQ, only to find that the place was barely populated, they had only started letting VIP guests in about :20 earlier since they thought it would be hours before a call was made. I’m sure people made up for it when they finally got inside.

     Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? No shit, after spending a year feeling like we were playing Alabama every game, it really was nice to roll one up against Stony Brooke. But you know me, I have a knack for the subliminal sometimes, and in the general festivities, there were some things that didn’t get much coverage, but can be both educational and important going forward into 2018.

     When we freakin’ compete, we win! This came through loud and clear last night, and it had damn well be a lesson learned. Like a lot of states, complacency had taken over in the state party regarding certain districts in Virginia as being out of reach. Two years ago, Democrats only ran just over ha half a slate and ended up with 34 seats in the House of Delegates. This year, they ran 84 candidates, and may just squeak out a majority in the House. Sweet Jeebus DNC and state parties, get it through your heads! Republicans are not invincible, they’re just uncontested. You can’t have a shot without a name on the ballot. Fortunately, Democrats are not having to recruit very much for 2018, candidates are coming forward, just like they did in Virginia, now we just need to support them.

     We now have the outline of the Democratic playbook at the state and DNC level for 2018. It’s simple. Open your wallet, give candidates what they need, and shut the fuck up! The state parties didn’t go out and recruit most of these candidates, like a college with a high school quarterback, the recruits came to them as walk ons. Danica Roem didn’t win because she was transgender, she won because she wanted to repair a road that her overstuffed, long serving incumbent didn’t even know was busted. I was pooh-poohed for saying this a couple of months ago, but this is the strength of grassroots candidates. They speak directly to their neighbors about purely local issues while the incumbents are spouting platitudes. They don’t need a crash course in talking points from the state party, all they need is the monetary and logistical support to get their message out. I heard last night that Danica Roem outraised her 25 year incumbent 3-1 in that race. Please, just give them the help they need and step back and let them run their own campaign,

     The “shine” is off of the Donald. Time to play the numbers game a little, because there were some very revealing facts about last night in Virginia. Trump’s victory was credited to three things (other than Russian interference) in 2016. He racked it up with men, non college educated voters, and lost women by a much smaller margin than anticipated. In Virginia last night, Gillespie got hammered by women voters to the tune of a mid double digit loss. Men only edged to Gillespie by a razor thin 50-48 percentage. And non college educated voters weren’t much better, backing Gillespie by a margin of 52-48. Early exit polling yesterday showed that while 23% of Virginia voters were voting to protest Trump and his antics, only 11% were voting to support him. If these numbers begin to translate nationally, Romney’s daughter over at the RNC had better spend some on that contribution booty on commissioning construction of an ark.

     But here was the most important takeaway for me, and no, not just because it gave an early confirmation of something I’ve been saying in both diaries and comments for months now. Because it’s important. Ed Gillespie’s strategy was simple yesterday. Run on Trump issues in the southwest of the state to ramp up the Trump voters, but remain moderate enough in the north and northeast suburbs to avoid getting blown out the way Trump did there in 2016. It didn’t work. Gillespie got massacred in the three northern Democratic strongholds by as bad or worse numbers than Trump did in 2016, and voter turnout was through the roof. But even more importantly, in the GOP stronghold of southwest Virginia, according to Steve Kornacki of MSNBC, while Gillespie basically matched Trump’s 75% winning margin down there, the GOP total vote tally in southwest Virginia was significantly down from 2016! Here is the first indication that the pendulum may have finally swung. One of the biggest beefs on Democrats is that they don’t show up in midterms, when the President isn’t on the ballot, but the Republicans do. That clearly does not seem to be the case in southwest Virginia last night. While Gillespie largely held Trump voters, they didn’t show up in the overwhelming numbers for him that they did in 2016 for the Inglorious Basterd.

     Watch the hell outta Alabama! Right now the last FOX news poll showed Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones tied at 42%. All the way back on election night in the GOP runoff, concerns were expressed as to whether or not Moore was so extreme that “moderate” Republicans might just sit out the special election rather than tar their state with a whack job like Moore. This race should be in the Republican “kill zone”. Bannon wants more Roy Moores running all over the country. If Moore only wins by low to mid single digits, or even manages to lose to Jones, it will add another brisk to the wall that there is such a thing as “too much Trump”. And again, the thing I’m going to be watching most closely is the turnout. Regardless of who wins, if GOP turnout is substantially lower than it was for Trump in 2016, that will be very strong evidence that the Trump “base” really is maniacally committed to Trump alone, which will be disastrous news to GOP incumbents who sold their souls to attract his voters to come out for them in the midterms.

     One last thing. Both CNN and MSNBC last night posited that in order to use Virginia as a kind of generic bell weather on the Democrats chances of retaking the US House in 2018, they would need to flip at least 10 seats or more to simulate what it would take nationwide. OK fine, what else. Don’t touch that dial.

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