Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Virginia GOP in Denial About Election Day Disaster

The Republican Party of Virginia ("RPV") began to reject objective reality and began to dwell in a bubble years ago.  It started with RPV's embrace of Christofascists who were slowly but steadily voted onto local city and county committees and who alienated moderate members of those same committees and the party in general.  Now, with the embrace of white supremacists as best embodied by failed senate candidate Corey Stewart and Donald Trump.  The end result is that Virginia is quickly becoming a "blue state" where no Republican can win statewide office and where the GOP strangle hold on the Virginia General Assembly is greatly weakened and may vanish completely in November, 2019.  Sane people would realize that either the party agenda needs to change oe extinction may be on the horizon.  Not so with RPV as a column in the Virginian Pilot notes.  Here are column excerpts:
ANYTIME a political party gets shellacked on Election Day, it’s useful to ask whether the party has learned anything from the experience, and whether it is willing to fix its problems.
If the post-election message from Virginia GOP Chairman Jack Wilson to the party faithful is any guide, the answer is “not likely.”
Friday evening after the Nov. 6 midterm elections — contests in which Virginia Republicans gave up three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (two of them in usually Republican territory), and got walloped in Virginia’s U.S. Senate election — Wilson sent an email to fellow Republicans statewide.
“Simply put, this Tuesday’s results were devastating,” acknowledged Wilson. He continued, “While some will want to play the blame game, we as a Party do not have the time to engage in that useless dialogue. Our defeated candidates are not to blame, every single one worked their hearts out and left everything they had out on the field. President Trump is not to blame.”
The contention that Donald J. Trump is not responsible for Republican losses here strains credulity.  Trump and his supporters are in full command of the Republican Party. He promotes a racially inflammatory agenda in place of traditional Republican principles that support free trade, strong ethics and family values.
Trump’s message continues to appeal in rural districts.  But in states with rapidly growing urban and suburban districts, such as Virginia, Trump and Trumpism are political liabilities.
Largely as a result of Trump, Virginia Republicans over the past two years have lost statewide elections in Virginia, lost those three seats in the House of Representatives and almost lost the GOP’s 20-year grip on the Virginia General Assembly in the 2017 state elections.
Statewide surveys show that Trump is deeply unpopular in Virginia, and the Washington Post-Schar School Election Day survey confirmed that Trump was top of mind with voters as they went to the polls.
The Washington Post-Schar School survey showed that 56 percent of women voted for Democrats in hotly contested congressional districts around the country this month. A CNN exit poll in Virginia showed that 64 percent of women voted for Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine in his U.S. Senate contest with Republican Corey Stewart, an unabashed Trump acolyte.
Despite the gender gap, Wilson’s letter makes no mention of urging the Republican Party to do more to appeal to women. That seems odd; women usually outnumber men at the polls.
[A]s long as Republican election officials around the country are regularly accused of suppressing the minority vote, and as long as the president stokes a strident anti-immigrant agenda, it’s doubtful black and Latino voters will soon embrace the GOP.
Some GOP strategists have openly said that as long as Trump is president, Virginia will continue to elect Democrats.
We won’t have to wait long to test that proposition. The Virginia General Assembly is up for grabs next fall. Results from the midterm elections show that Kaine won handily in about a dozen General Assembly districts currently held by Republicans, a worrying sign for the GOP.
But to capitalize on the opportunity in 2019, Democrats will have to motivate voters who seldom vote in low-profile legislative elections.
“Virginia has changed,” says [former Lt. Governor Bill] Bolling, “and the Republican Party is going to have to change if it wants to win again in a state that is much more diverse and much more moderate than it used to be.”  But Bolling is not calling the shots at the Virginia GOP anymore. The Trumpists are.
With luck, RPV will remain in its alternate reality and Democrats will gain control of the General Assembly in November 2019.  Perhaps if that happens, RPV will finally realize that embracing Christofascists and racists is a losing proposition long term. 

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