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Will Virginia teach Trump fans a lesson?

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

“A plurality of college educated whites supported him in 2016.  This week a majority went Democratic.”

(DECLARATIONS  by Peggy Noonan)  The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday November 11 12, 2017)

I had hoped, almost promised myself to avoid this kind of stuff. I read the press, watch the Tube, and try to keep my head above water.  I took no position on the President, won’t take one today.  Needless to say I don’t like what is going on  in the Country.  One does have to stay alert. I read this Noonan piece on the plane returning home, possibly over Virginia.

“Look, it wasn’t Westchester and Nassau Counties in New York.  And in Virginia it wasn’t only the governorship the Republicans lost.  When all  the votes are counted, their 66 – 34 majority in the House of Delegates may turn into a majority.

The Democrats had a big night Tuesday, and the president of the United States took it right in the kisser.  And it was all about him.

I spent Wednesday and Thursday talking to Virginia Republicans, from centrists to hard rightists.  Not one expressed surprise at the outcome.  All acknowledged the cause was Donald Trump.”

“About future prospects, the state Republican Party was blunt.  Yes out-of-state money  and groups had an impact, as did Republican congressional inaction.  But 68% of voters under 45 voted Democratic, and Republicans lost nonwhite voters 80% to 20%.  ‘If we do not find a way to appeal to these two groups ,’ the party chairman chairman said in a statement,  ‘the results will be grim.”

“A smart, experienced republican elected official:  ‘It was a total repudiation of Trump – no other way around it.  Voters, more  women than men, were literally walking in saying ‘I’m here to vote against Trump. ’The name   of the victim on the ballot didn’t matter. “

“Accomplished mainstream legislators lost along with bombthrowers.

Mr. Trump lost Virginia last year by5%, worse than Mitt Romney’s 3% defeat, and distributed differently.  Trump in 2016 lost  the growing areas – suburban, diverse – and won big in the shrinking areas – rural, white the official observed.

‘And although it was a suburban bloodbath  it went well beyond the suburbs.  Loosing so many seats in our House of Delegates was historic – half of the losses in Northern Virginia, but losses too in Virginia Beach  where we have military population, and the Richmond suburbs.”

Noonan:  “ Finally from a New York based political veteran;’ it was a referendum on Trump, and he lost.  Fifty-seven percent  of Virginia voters disapproved of him, half of them strongly. Whites with college degrees gave 51% of their vote to the Democrat. Last year Trump won that demographic {in Virginia} 49% to 45%.”The larger picture

Still more from Noonan:  “The larger picture?  We’re in the early scenes of big change.  We’re seeing the gradual cratering of both parties. Tuesday night obscured  this for the Democrats and highlighted it for the Republicans.  Democrats, split between moderates and a  rising progressive left, which has all the energy, enthusiasm and intellectual action.  Mr. Trump united the Democrats in Virginia.  That won’t last forever.”

The treat for Democrats is that they’ll overplay their hand – that heady with their first big win since Barack Obama’s re-election, they’ll go crazy-left.

Tuesday nights losses could have a helpful effect on Trump enthusiasts. They imagine the number and strength of his support as bigger than it is. They imagine his opponents s as unappreciative sellouts.

Finishing, Noonan: “The parties are each in an existential  crisis.  The Democrats, split between the Saunders/Warren  vision and the old Clinton vision will fight more passionately among themselves as 2020 approaches.

Peggy Noonan may just be right. I’d like to think that there is still at least one grown-up in the game. I’d say that it is time to pay attention , watch the locals; that’s where the action is for us in this State, these Counties, this Town.

  

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