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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

 

Democrats win. Trump, NRA lose.

by Tom Sullivan

In Virginia, it was "a tsunami election." For the National Rifle Association, maybe not an earthquake, but perhaps a tremor.

Virginia Lt. Governor Ralph Northam became governor-elect last night. Northam held the governor's mansion for Democrats by felling veteran Republican operative Ed Gillespie. Polls Monday night gave Northam a three point advantage. He won by nine.

In New Jersey, Democrat Philip Murphy defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno from the outgoing Gov. Chris Christie administration. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio won a second term, as expected, winning 65 percent of the votes.

Virginia Democrats erased a 32-seat Republican advantage yesterday, with control of the House of Delegates still hanging in the balance. They picked up three open seats and defeated 13 Republicans, potentially, pending recounts. Democrats are in a positioned to veto, if not draw, 2021 redistricting maps.

Journalist Danica Roem became the country's first openly transgender person elected to a state legislature. The heavy metal singer defeated Bob Marshall, the man who wrote Virginia’s anti-trans bathroom bill.

The Richmond Post-Dispatch reports:

“It’s quite an experience to experience a tsunami election, and this is it!” said House Minority Leader David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, who conceivably could become the next speaker of the house instead of Majority Leader M. Kirkland Cox, R-Colonial Heights.

The tsunami resulted from the electoral earthquake a year ago that put Republican Donald Trump in the White House, Toscano said. “You can’t get away from this being a very clear reaction to Trump.”
The Washington Post reports turnout in Virginia was "five percentage points and 10 percentage points higher than the last two" elections, the highest in 20 years for a gubernatorial election. In Charlottesville, the scene of white supremacist violence in August that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, "raw votes cast were up 31 percent," reports FiveThirtyEight.

The Posts's Dave Weigel tweeted that buried in the exit polls were results showing that Northam, F-rated by the NRA, split the vote with Gillespie among voters who ranked gun policy as their most important issue:

How much we might attribute that softening to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and the church shooting on Sunday in Texas is unknown. But in the Southwest Virginia college town of Blacksburg, the on-air murder of broadcast journalist Alison Parker is still fresh after two years. Last night, Parker's boyfriend, Chris Hurst, running as a first-time candidate, defeated an NRA-backed candidate for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

The Guardian reports:

Hurst’s victory, just two days after a mass shooting at a Texas church left 26 people dead, was hailed by gun control advocates as proof that it is possible to make progress on America’s gun violence crisis at the local level. Despite a series of increasingly frequent, deadly mass shootings, congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump continue to block any attempt at gun law reform in Washington.

Hurst’s girlfriend, 24-year-old journalist Alison Parker, was shot dead on live television during a routine morning broadcast in 2015, along with WDBJ7 cameraman Adam Ward. Parker had been quietly dating Hurst, another reporter at the station, and they had just moved in together. A reported 40,000 people watched the shooting live.

A year after Parker’s death, Hurst was sent to cover a very similar workplace shooting, this one at a Roanoke rail car manufacturing company. Hurst covered the news, but he was shaken by the similarities between the two shootings, and said he decided to leave his job as a television journalist that day.
Last night Hurst defeated Joseph Yost, a Republican incumbent with an A-rating from the NRA.

One thing last night proved: red areas of purple states are politically frackable, with the right pressure applied at just the right weak points. Democrats have a lot of ground to recover in state legislatures by 2020 if they hope to reverse the radical gerrmandering and voter suppression efforts Republicans implemented after 2010. It helps if Democrats field candidates. After last night, they will have many more surfacing, and not just in Virginia.

The #Resistance has solid wins under it's belt. Democrats are awakened. Their party still needs a message.

* * * * * * * *

Request a copy of For The Win, my county-level election mechanics primer, at tom.bluecentury at gmail.