On Tuesday, the Democrats enjoyed a strong day politically for the first time since 2012. Republicans won significant victories during 2015, 2016 as well as the big upset in 2016.
Democrats needed to win and win big on Tuesday after going all in on a special election for the House in Georgia last spring but lost. The big wins came last night.
Voters went to the polls in large numbers bracing rain and the cold to send President Donald Trump a message. The results around the nation were nothing less than a repudiation of the president on the first anniversary of being elected.
On Tuesday, Virginia voters elected Ralph Northam a Democrat to governor by nine percentage points. Republican Ed Gillespie was not able to escape the unpopularity of Trump, despite making an incredible effort to do so.
Four of 10 voters in Virginia approved of the job President Trump is doing. Gillespie received more than 9 of every 10 votes from those who approve of Trump, but amongst the bigger group of disapprovers of the president, Northam had close to the same advantage or 87%.
The impact of Trump on election races was clear from the many questions asked during exit polling. Thirty-four percent of the voters expressed opposition to the president as a reason for how they voted, with close to that entire group voting for Northam.
Women were a big part of the difference as well. White women that hold college degrees, which were a group split 50/50 in the governor’s race back in 2013, favored the Democrat by 16% over Gillespie. The margin by Northam is over twice the size of Hillary Clinton’s win last year which was just 6%.
Married women sided with Northam by over 10%, while in last year’s presidential election, Trump won their vote by 1%. Married women represent 30% of the voters in Virginia in 2017 which was similar to elections years 2014 and 2016.
Former GOP congressman Tom Davis said that Gillespie could not escape being a Trump proxy which caused a huge drag for the party ticket.
Democrats voted en masse to protest it, as it was their first opportunity to come out and vote in force.
Davis added that the lesson was that Republicans must regroup and that Gillespie did the best he could according to the hand he had dealt to him.