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"Ed Gillespie was Virginia’s version of Jeb Bush."
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Posted by: TEEBONE ®

11/10/2017, 00:24:11

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That GOP bloodbath in the Old Dominion


About



The
day after his “Silent Majority” speech on Nov. 3, 1969, calling on
Americans to stand with him for peace with honor in Vietnam, Richard
Nixon’s GOP captured the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey.

By
December, Nixon had reached 68 percent approval in the Gallup Poll,
though, a year earlier, he had won but 43 percent of the vote.

Contrast Nixon’s numbers with President Trump’s.

Where
Trump won 46 percent of the vote against Hillary Clinton, his approval
rating is now nearly 10 points below that. He has less support today
than on the day he was elected, or inaugurated.

Tens of millions
of Americans are passionately for Trump, and tens of millions are
passionately against him. The GOP problem: The latter cohort is equal in
intensity but larger in number, and this is especially true in purple
and blue states like the commonwealth of Virginia.

There is no way to spin Tuesday as other than a Little Bighorn, and possible harbinger of what is to come.

In
George Washington’s hometown of Alexandria and Arlington County,
Democratic candidate Ralph Northam won 4-1. In Fairfax and Loudoun
counties, the most populous D.C. suburbs, Northam won 2-1.

In the rural counties, however, Republican Ed Gillespie rolled up the landslides.

As there are two Americas, there are two Virginias.

Consider.
Of all the delegate seats in the Virginia assembly allocated to
Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, the
GOP can today claim only one.

Northern Virginia is taking on the political and socioeconomic profile of San Francisco.

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Another and perhaps insoluble problem for the GOP, not only in the Old Dominion, is demography.

Democrats
rolled up their largest margins among African-Americans, Hispanics,
single women, immigrants and the young. And these voting blocs are
growing.

Gillespie ran up his largest margins among white males
near and past retirement age and married white women. These Middle
Americans are in inexorable demographic decline.

The Greatest Generation is passing on, and baby boomers born between 1946 and 1951 are now on Medicare and Social Security.

Yet reports of the GOP’s demise are grossly exaggerated.

Though Gillespie lost by 9 points, Jill Vogel, who ran for lieutenant governor on Trumpian issues, lost by 6.

By
2-1, Virginians do not want their Confederate monuments torn down.
Northam, sensing this, moved toward Gillespie’s position as the campaign
went on. Also, among the 27 percent of Virginians who regarded taxes
and immigration as the top issues, Gillespie won by nearly 4-1.

It was health-care concerns, the No. 1 issue, that buried the GOP.

As
for mainstream media rage and revulsion at the “racism” of Gillespie
ads suggesting Northam supported sanctuary cities and was soft on the
MS-13 gang, this reflects an abiding establishment fear of the Trumpian
issues of illegal immigration and crime.

Then there was the Republican messenger.

A
former chairman of the RNC, Washington lobbyist and White House aide,
Gillespie is an establishment Republican unconvincing in the role of a
fighting populist conservative. His speeches recalled not Trump’s run,
but that of the Republicans Trump trounced.

Ed Gillespie was Virginia’s version of Jeb Bush.

Message
from the Old Dominion: A purple state, trending blue, with its economy
recession-proof as long as Uncle Sam across the river consumes 20
percent of GDP, is a steepening climb for the GOP. You must have a
superior candidate, comfortable with cutting issues, to win it now.

Republicans
are being admonished to drop the monuments-and-memorials issue and
respect why NFL players might want to “take a knee” during the national
anthem.

But if to win in Northern Virginia the GOP must move
closer to the Democratic Party, why would the rest of the state want to
vote for the Republican Party?

During the campaign, both candidates moved rightward.

Northam
rejected sanctuary cities and accepted Lee and Jackson on Richmond’s
Monument Avenue, and Gillespie ran Trumpian ads, even if they seemed to
clash with the mild-mannered candidate himself.

The lesson for 2018:

While
the solid support of Trumpians is indispensable for GOP victory, it is
insufficient for GOP victory. Republican candidates will have to decide
how close they wish to get to President Trump, or how far away they can
risk going and survive.

Facing this choice, Sens. Jeff Flake and
Bob Corker decided to pack it in. Other Republicans may follow. But a
house divided will not stand.

Republicans should recall that
off-year elections are often problematic for incumbent parties. In 1954,
President Eisenhower lost both houses of Congress. After pardoning
Nixon in 1974, Gerald Ford lost 49 seats. In 1982, Ronald Reagan
sustained a 27-seat loss.

In 1994, Bill Clinton lost 53 seats and control of the House. In 2010, Barack Obama lost 63 seats and control of the House.

If
the nation chooses to turn Congress over to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck
Schumer in 2018, will that be all Trump’s fault? Or should perhaps some
credit go to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and venerable political
tradition?










LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATE



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