Republican Ed Gillespie lost the Virginia gubernatorial election last night. Democrats also won the governorship of New Jersey. Denying there are danger signs is a head-in-the-sand approach. It's wrong-minded. But so is the Chicken-Little, the-sky-is-falling panic.
Virginia is no longer a red state. It may not even be a purple state. President Trump did not win the state so having a losing governor run in a Trump presidential year, is not exceptionally surprising. The other side of the coin is the congressional wins in Trump districts over the past 9 months or so. The partisan divide, is holding.
|Not exactly. Maybe a little.|
New Jersey was not going to elect a Republican governor. There was a reaction to Chris Christie just as he was a reaction to his predecessor. New Jersey is a very blue state. The New York mayor, who shall remain nameless, was re-elected as well. Republican mayors of the ultra-liberal city are the anomaly. So this is not a terrible time for Republicans.
Where there should be some concern among conservatives, is the enthusiasm among Democrats and the potential for an enthusiasm momentum. The left has traded on impeach Trump vitriol for a year. That level of anger is just not sustainable. Real momentum requires victories and it requires something to be hopeful about. That's what not what birthed, but rather carried the Tea Party movement through the Obama years.
Countering the liberal momentum what do the Republicans have? No major legislative victories. No Obamacare repeal. No tax reform. They have to counter it and legislatively waited too long. That is not to say that the Republicans are not on the timeline they originally proclaimed for tax reform (late 2017). The impact in voter pocketbooks needs to be felt. The impact on the economy needs to be felt, the momentum of it needs to be felt prior to November 2018.
So what to make of the elections? The Republicans have some issues to address. Predominantly the issues is lethargy. They need to move faster. They need to deliver. It's something pundits on the right side of the blogosphere, myself included, have been harping on since about March. The GOP may have had their heads in the sand on president Trump for the last 10 months, but many are starting to figure it out. They need tax reform, they need it now, and they need it to not be the last thing they do before the midterm elections.