Tuesday’s elections across America featured a contest between the party of normalcy versus the party of radical change. Despite America being founded by radicals, we don’t do radical anymore.
Democrats, much to their chagrin, are rediscovering that simple political truth the hard way: they are losing everywhere.
A little-known businessman in Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, swept to victory in the governor’s race. He was running against former governor of the state and Democratic legend Terry McAuliffe. The key issues in that race were the economy and education.
In New Jersey, it’s still too close to call and likely will be for at least 24 hours. Another unknown Republican businessman, Jack Ciattarelli, is narrowly ahead of incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy. Pre-election polls had Murphy up by 8-14 points, which goes to show that the pollsters still haven’t gotten it right since their utter debacle in the 2016 presidential race.
While polls have been shown to be unreliable, exit polls are fairly straightforward. People leaving the precinct are asked a variety of questions about the race and the issues. What the exit pollsters managed to catch this time was the beginning of a red wave. And the big takeaways from the polls are: 1. Republicans don’t need Donald Trump to get energized, and 2. Education appears to be an election-winning issue for the GOP.
About half of Virginia voters said parents should have “a lot” of say in what their child’s school teaches, while another roughly 3 in 10 said parents should have “some” say, and just over 1 in 10 said parents should have little or no say, according to preliminary exit polling.
Public schools became an increasingly important issue late in the campaign, when Youngkin criticized McAuliffe for vetoing a bill that would give parents the right to opt their children out of certain reading assignments. The bill arose out of a parent’s concern about “Beloved,” the 1987 novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison about a Civil War-era Black woman who kills her 2-year-old daughter to spare the child from the evils of slavery. Youngkin said it was an effort to impose the will of the state on parents. McAuliffe said: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Every single Republican candidate for the House and the Senate should center his or her campaign around the differences in approach to educating children. It’s a surefire winner and even though federal candidates don’t have much of a say in how kids are educated, GOP candidates can pretend that they do. Or, at least they can pretend that their Democratic opponents can impose CRT and other radical notions on kids.
A slight majority of Virginia voters favored employers requiring coronavirus vaccination for their employees, while just over 4 in 10 opposed such a measure, according to early network exit polling.
The virus was not one of the top issues for voters in the election, according to exit polling, with the economy and education outpacing it. More than 8 in 10 voters said they had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
The pandemic as a decisive political issue has disappeared. The Democrats’ “Never Let a Crisis Go To Waste” philosophy failed in the end.
But why? It had been the perfect storm of desperate, panicking Americans willing to do anything to stay safe and radical communitarians looking to transform America to reflect that radical vision. Would people be willing to turn the United States of America upside down to realize a delusional future based on “equity” and “fairness” — for some Americans, at least?
This time around, apparently not.
What stood in the way of this radical vision were millions of ordinary Americans who usually don’t get enough credit for their beliefs, their faith, their values, or their simple goodness as human beings. The radicals call them “obstructionists” and “racists.”
Maybe that’s why they lost so badly.
More functionally, the exit polls reveal why the red wave is coming and is about to roll over the Democratic Party from coast to coast. Consider this:
- Women went for McAuliffe by 52-47 — a far cry from the double-digit loss by Trump in 2020.
- White women went for Youngkin by an astonishing 57-43. Trump lost the white women’s vote by 50-49 in 2020.
- Youngkin won every age group except the 18-29 group. But where Trump lost that age group by 30 points, McAuliffe only won the kids by 53-46.
- Youngkin trounced McAuliffe among white voters 61-38 — 72 percent of the electorate.
- Youngkin did not do as well as Trump among Hispanic voters but did slightly better among black voters.
- Youngkin beat McAuliffe by 20 points among voters with “some college or less.” Trump lost in that demographic to Biden by 53-46.
If GOP candidates can recapture suburban women, voters with some college, maintain their strength with white voters nationwide, and continue to attract a growing percentage of minorities, Democrats will be helpless to stop the takeover of Congress in 2022.