The GOP's bad election night

  • 8 November 2017
  • NormanL
The GOP's bad election night

New Jersey, New York City, and Virginia voters went to the polls this week and -- there is no way to spin it -- the results were terrible for the GOP.

Yes, Democrats were expected to retake the governorship in New Jersey. Yes, they were also expected to win the mayor's race in New York.

But Virginia was a wipe-out. Not only did the Democrats sweep the state's top three offices, for the second consecutive time, they also may have flipped Virginia's House of Delegates from GOP control to Democratic control -- a move of at least 16 seats.

While the final numbers on the House are still pending recounts, in some areas, the overall result was terrible. Armchair analysts have their theories about why the Republican lost -- the Republican nominee ran away from Donald Trump, demographics favored the Democrats, the GOP candidate was too estabishment, and so on.

There's a case to be made for all those theories. But we're focused on the results. The GOP statewide candidates won more votes than ever before -- and still lost. They lost in Virginia's growing suburban counties. They lost among voters under 44 years of age. They lost minority voters 4-1. They lost among the educated, the well-off.

It's dangerous to draw national lessons from local contests. But we should still be aware that Democrats won big, and they did so by winning in suburban communities that, traditionally, were the sources of Republican strength...and the bedrock of conservatism.

We will continue to look over the numbers. But we will also keep in mind that a conservative electorate that does not get involved while the left organizes, is a conservatism that will lose. We will also note that a conservatism that ignores, either through ignorance, or intention, the pressing need to engage younger voters, minority voters, and those who have been marginalized both by the left's cultural excesses, and a changing economy, is a conservatism that dies.

The Virginia results will be spun a thousand different ways. But the one message is crystal clear: get involved, or get ready to lose.