Skip to comments.2016 Is Looking Like the New Normal
Posted on 11/10/2017 12:30:32 AM PST by Kaslin
If you wanted to predict the results of Tuesday's gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, you would have been wise to ignore the flurry of polls and campaign events. You would have paid no heed to the conventional wisdom that Republican Ed Gillespie had a solid chance to beat Ralph Northam in Virginia.
In fact, Northam's 9-point victory margin in Virginia was not much different from Phil Murphy's 13-point margin over Republican Kim Guadagno in New Jersey. And both almost precisely mirrored the 2016 presidential results. Hillary Clinton carried New Jersey by a 55-41 percent margin last year; Murphy won it by a 56-43 percent margin this week. Clinton carried Virginia by a 50-44 percent margin; Northam won it 54-45 percent. The two Democrats, lacking Clinton's reputation for dishonesty, gained a few points she lost to third-party candidates; the two Republicans got almost exactly the same percentages as Donald Trump did in 2016.
That makes the 2016 numbers look like the new normal. The past quarter-century, except for 2006-08, has been an era of polarized partisan parity, with one election result resembling another and more straight party ticket voting than any time since the 1950s. That's produced divided government, as Democrats have won 4 of 7 presidential elections since 1992 while Republicans have won a House majority in 10 of 12 congressional elections since 1994.
The parties are evenly matched but differently distributed. Democratic voters are clustered in central cities, sympathetic suburbs and university towns. Republican voters are spread more evenly elsewhere.
Trump changed that in 2016, but just a bit. Rough extrapolations from exit polls suggest he lost 2 million to 3 million college-educated whites who had previously voted Republican but gained some 3 million to 4 million non-college-educated whites who had previously voted Democratic or didn't vote. His college graduate losses cost him zero electoral votes; the non-college gains netted him 100 new electoral votes and the White House. The art of the deal.
New Jersey and Virginia have relatively few non-college-educated whites -- 33 percent and 37 percent, respectively, according to FiveThirtyEight. They have many college graduates outraged by Trump. That's especially the case in northern Virginia. The Washington suburbs cast 35 percent of Virginia's votes.
Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and backer of earlier comprehensive immigration reforms, ran for the Senate and won 43 percent of the vote in northern Virginia in 2014, losing statewide by just 1 percent. Trump got only 33 percent there in 2016, and this year, Gillespie could manage only 35 percent. Losing one-third of a state by 30 points instead of 11 is the difference between a squeaker and a near-landslide loss. Carrying the nonmetropolitan 30 percent of the state by a margin slightly better than Trump's doesn't compensate.
The danger for Republicans -- and the opportunity for Democrats -- is that Republicans next year will run, as Gillespie did, at Trumpish levels with high-education constituencies but fall, as he didn't, to pre-2016 levels in low-education areas. And despite Gillespie's improvement on 2014 in nonmetropolitan Virginia, Democrats made big gains in state House races by running well-organized and well-financed campaigns, mostly in high-education suburbs. Republicans went into Election Day with a 66-34 majority in the chamber; as this is written, Democrats might just gain the 17 seats needed to overturn that.
This has led David Wasserman, The Cook Political Report's ace U.S. House race analyst, to say Democrats are "slight favorites" to overturn the Republicans' 240-194 majority in the House. My impression is that anti-Trump enthusiasm has been inspiring many serious Democrats to run in high-education districts but not many are running in low-education districts.
Democrats could suffer from internecine primary strife and plurality nominations of fringe candidates, but clearly, Republicans are worried. Many Republican incumbents are retiring, some because of six-year term limits on chairmanships, others for fear of serving in the minority, where your job is to show up and lose.
Similar fears may be prompting House Republicans to rally around their leadership's tax legislation, to avoid the type of fiasco we saw when the House floundered and the Senate failed to repeal Obamacare. But any serious legislation is tricky, and the president's party needs informed guidance from the White House. So far, that's most lacking.
Off in South Korea, Trump ungallantly tweeted, "Ed Gillespie ... did not embrace me or what I stand for." Is splitting a party with majorities at risk part of the art of the deal?
Northam's 9-point victory margin in Virginia was not much different from Phil Murphy's 13-point margin over Republican Kim Guadagno in New Jersey. And both almost precisely mirrored the 2016 presidential results. Hillary Clinton carried New Jersey by a 55-41 percent margin last year; Murphy won it by a 56-43 percent margin this week. Clinton carried Virginia by a 50-44 percent margin; Northam won it 54-45 percent. The two Democrats, lacking Clinton's reputation for dishonesty, gained a few points she lost to third-party candidates; the two Republicans got almost exactly the same percentages as Donald Trump did in 2016.Hitlery's next book should be titled "The Art of the Outrage", and the media's should be "The Art of the Fake News". This is the first thing I've read about the ho-hum results of these oddball 2017 elections that actually made sense.
What’s sick is seeing college-educated male cucks falling for the siren song of Communism as offered by the Democrat Party.
As long as Uncle Sam is giving them a job, a well paying one at that, they see the Demcrats as saviors. Most of these people are idealists and base their votes on feelings and not reality.
Keep in mind with the VA result in 2016 that Hillary’s running mate was a Virginian - probably on the ticket to ensure the Dems carried the state. Any parallel to the 2017 race loses meaning when that is taken into account.
Moral of the story - have Trump campaign for you.
Barone seems to think the President owes loyalty to the GOPe that has systematically sought to stab him in the back since he first announced as a candidate, rather than him being the GOP leader who deserves support from his (reluctant) fellow GOP politicians.
And not the pos Bush.
'College-educated' is over weighted with people who feed at the 'education elite complex' trough... and besides if you're one of the thugs at the top, communism isn't that bad...
I think I just found me a new tagline.
Yup. They’re doing more damage openly to the nation than the Soviet agents and their “liberal” sympathizers did covertly under FDR through to JFK.
LOL - if you ever want it - it's yours...
That makes the 2016 numbers look like the new normal. The past quarter-century, except for 2006-08, has been an era of polarized partisan parity, with one election result resembling another and more straight party ticket voting than any time since the 1950s.
VA: Trump 44.43%, Gill 44.96%. NJ: Trump 41.00%, Kim G 42.02%.
Counties/independent cities carried was virtually identical. In VA Trump took Chesapeake and Virginia Beach by narrow pluralities (got about 48% in each) while Northpig carried them. In NJ Trump won Gloucester by about half a point, Kim G ran well behind him there and lost it badly.
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