Glenn Youngkin (R) defeated Terry McAuliffe, (D) in the campaign to become the next Governor of Virginia. This is widely regarded as a rebuke to President Biden, whose stature amongst the voters of the state has fallen since the chaotic U.S. pull-out from Afghanistan on his watch this August.
In the final days before election day, the national Democratic Party, sensing that this one was slipping away from it, sent its Big Guns to Virginia to campaign for McAuliffe.
Former President Obama, barnstorming in Virginia on Saturday, October 23, identified the Republican Party as the followers of a path of “tribalism and cynicism.” Democrats have to get to the polls and help each other get there in order to take another path, that of “giving people a better life.” That stark message clearly did not work.
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Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the gubernatorial election turned out to be an unexpected nail-biter. At this writing, the incumbent Democratic Governor, Phil Murphy, appears to have pulled off a re-election against the surprisingly strong showing by the Republican nominee, former state assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli.
The lesson may be that as former Governor Chris Christie (R) and even former President Donald Trump (R) recede into the past, running against them will not be sufficient. The electorate asks, “what have you done for us this year?”