As Steve noted this afternoon, Republicans and conservatives routed the Left in yesterday’s elections. This is the Washington Post’s headline on James Hohmann’s report: “From coast to coast, conservatives score huge victories in off-year elections.”
* Dramatically outperforming the polls, Matt Bevin was elected Governor of Kentucky. His Lieutenant Governor, Jenean Hampton, is the first African-American elected to statewide office in Kentucky. Republicans pulled off a near-sweep of that state’s constitutional offices.
* Despite the infusion of millions of dollars by rich liberals, Republicans retained their majority in Virginia’s Senate.
* Ohio rejected a proposal to legalize marijuana by a 2-1 margin.
* San Francisco’s Sheriff, who defended the city’s scofflaw “sanctuary city” policy, went down to defeat. The sanctuary city issue is radioactive; watch for Democrats to back away from it as fast as they can.
* In Houston, voters easily rejected an initiative that would have given special legal status to gay and transgender people.
So it was a good day. That made this Associated Press headline puzzling: Warning Signs For Both Parties In State and Local Elections.
State and local elections across the country this week produced warning signs for both Democrats and Republicans as they press toward next year’s presidential contest.
Really? Republicans pretty much swept the board yesterday, and they increasingly dominate politics at the state and local levels. With the election of Matt Bevin, 33 governors will be Republicans and only 17 will be Democrats. And the GOP controls a stunning 68 of the country’s 98 partisan legislative chambers, besting the Democrats by more than two to one. So how were yesterday’s results a “warning sign” for Republicans?
Democrats lost ground in state legislatures and governor’s mansions, raising questions about the party’s strength when Barack Obama’s name isn’t on the ballot.
The AP fails to mention that the Obama administration has been a disaster for the Democratic Party. President Obama is widely seen as both incompetent and outside the mainstream of American politics. This has largely driven the flight of voters to the GOP, not only in the House and Senate, both now under Republican control, but also in state offices across the country.
And in Kentucky, Republican Matt Bevin’s win for the governorship could be a sign that many voters are serious about electing outsider candidates.
Or maybe they are serious about electing Republicans, or conservatives. In Kentucky, Republicans took four of five statewide offices away from the Democrats.
That sounds good for the GOP, whose leading presidential candidates are Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
The trend toward Republicans, which began in 2010 and continues strongly, sounds good for the GOP, period.
But Democrats still have important demographic advantages in the states that often determine presidential elections.
It wasn’t many years ago, following the 1988 election, when commentators speculated about whether the Democratic Party could ever elect another president. Today, the Democrats view the presidency as their last redoubt. Perhaps so, but those purported demographic advantages haven’t been looking particularly formidable lately.
And Republican leaders are skeptical that outsiders’ rebellious appeal will be sufficiently deep and lasting to send such a candidate to the White House.
Again, talking about Carson and Trump. But the GOP extends far beyond those two candidates. It is remarkable how far the press will go to cover for the Democrats, even after ballots have been cast. But does it do the Democrats much good? On the evidence of the last five years, the answer is no.