There were several state elections around the nation on Tuesday. The results were a mixed bag, which didn’t stop certain media outlets from painting it as a no-good, very bad, terrible day for President Trump.
In fact, the only people who got really bad news were longtime Virginia residents who’ve watched with alarm over many years as more and more government trough-feeders moved in and started shifting their state left. That process was completed Tuesday when the Democrats took control of both houses of the legislature for the first time in 26 years. That could mean there will not be any brakes on Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, most famous for favoring infanticide, gun confiscation and wearing blackface makeup but getting protected anyway by Democrats who would destroy a Republican’s career simply for using the “wrong” pronoun.
One has to wonder why anyone would want their state to be entirely in the hands of Democrats. Did Virginia voters look at Californians sitting in the dark with no electricity; paying the highest taxes and gas prices in America; surrounded by homeless people, illegal immigrant gang members, needles, feces and typhus; and say, “I want my state to be run like THAT!”? Were they really impressed by all the great things the Democrats have done for America since taking power in the US House last January? Or do they just have a death wish?
Sadly for the good people of Virginia, they were overwhelmed by changing demographics, campaigning by liberal outsiders such as Barack Obama and Hollywood celebrities, and millions of dollars poured into Democratic coffers by outside sources, chief among them leftist billionaires such as George Soros and Mike Bloomberg (I thought Democrats believed that interfering in other people’s elections was a high crime, and that we must stop “billionaires from buying elections”...oh, wait, these are THEIR billionaires...)
The other election being painted as a disaster for Trump and a harbinger of a “blue wave” that will take out Mitch McConnell in 2020 is the Governor’s race in Kentucky, where incumbent Republican Matt Bevin seemingly lost to Democrat Andy Beshear. But with only 5,333 votes out of 1.4 million cast separating them, Bevin is refusing to concede, citing voting irregularities, and considering a legal challenge that could keep the final results unknown for weeks. (Cue howls of outrage from the same liberal commentators who continue to insist that Stacey Abrams is really the rightful governor of Georgia.)
This again illustrates something I’ve written about for years: the folly of trying to read too many national trends into local elections. Bevin’s problem wasn’t that Kentucky voters are turning on Trump and Republicans. He was battling a number of headwinds, from personal unpopularity to strong opposition by teachers to a controversy over toll roads. The “protest vote” Libertarian candidate got 2% of the vote, which would have been far more than needed to defeat the Democrat. Likewise, the Republicans easily swept the down-ballot races, including electing Daniel Cameron as Kentucky’s first-ever black Attorney General. As for Trump harming Bevin, some polls showed him losing by double digits before Trump staged a rally to help him.
Meanwhile, in Mississippi, where the media had described the Governor’s race as a “nail-biter,” Republican Tate Reeves won by about 53-47%, following a big rally and endorsement by Trump.
If you’re looking for a more telling indicator of how Americans are thinking for 2020, look at places where the kind of far-left ideas promoted by the Democratic Presidential candidates were actually on the ballot. For instance, in Tucson, one of the most liberal outposts in Arizona that already operates basically as the state’s only “sanctuary city” (in typical liberal fashion, they use the misleading euphemism “Immigrant-welcoming city”), voters had the opportunity to make that declaration official. They practically screamed “NO!” by a 71.4% landslide. In Snohomish County, Washington, a sheriff who practiced typical liberal “soft on crime” policies was so unpopular with angry residents that he conceded to his “law-and-order” challenger before the first votes were even announced. And in Texas, voters approved a proposed constitutional amendment banning a state income tax by 76-24%. So the media might want to restrain their giddiness over a “blue wave” or a “purple Texas” until the actual votes are counted over a year from now.
In New York City, voters approved the adoption of a “ranked-choice” voting system to eliminate traditional run-off elections. Voters can rank up to five candidates in their order of preference. It’s a “progressive” idea, in the same sense that it makes voting even more confusing than the rules of progressive blackjack. Here’s how the New York City Campaign Finance Board describes it:
“Voters rank up to five candidates on the ballot. Voters would not be forced to rank every candidate -- they could still choose just one if they want. A candidate who receives a majority of first-choice votes would win the election. If there is no majority winner, the last place candidate would be eliminated and any voter who had that candidate as their top choice would have their vote transferred to their next choice. This process would repeat until only two candidates remain, and the candidate with the most votes then would be the winner.”
The Heritage Foundation describes it somewhat differently, calling it a confusing system that can disenfranchise voters by creating a “faux majority” for the winner, casting a voter’s ballot for someone they ranked far below first and to whom they might have strong objections. But AOC endorsed it, telling her followers on social media that it was “pretty cool,’ and it passed. Proving that you don’t necessarily need a “ranked-choice” voting system to have confused voters make bad decisions.
I wanted to make sure you also read these comments:
While a flood of outside money is partially to blame for the poor long-time residents of Virginia now having to deal with a government completely in the hands of Democrats (and I suspect there will soon be fewer long-time residents, just as there are fewer and fewer in other solidly blue states such as California and New York), there are some things that no amount of money can convince people to buy. For instance, New Coke, the Edsel, and “Beto” O’Rourke.
The final tally is in, and according to Fox News, “Beto’s” quixotic Presidential bid cost his donors a staggering $14 million. But that’s literally “chump change.” His losing Senate race in Texas blew $75 million, much of it from outside-state liberals who hated Ted Cruz. Cruz spent $45 million, making that the most expensive Senate race in history, and one where the loser outspent the winner by 30 million bucks.
There are two important points to take away from all this:
1. Money can’t necessarily buy an election, at least not if your candidate likes to put his dirty feet on diner tables, broadcast his teeth cleanings and (especially) threaten to confiscate people’s guns and bully churches;
2. At least we can all rejoice that for once, the money liberals threw away on a transparently awful idea was actually their own money.
Related to Tuesday’s election results: Prof. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit reminds us of this study from last year that found that overwhelming majorities of every demographic group, including young people and racial minorities, think that “political correctness” is a problem in America, and as Reynolds notes, the top Democrats “have doubled down on it.”
Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)
"He that covereth a transgression seeketh love;
but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends."
- Proverbs 17:9
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