Yeah, the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
What…haven’t heard of it?
Well hot damn – I guess you must be normal!
It sure wasn’t on my radar. I’m not even paying attention to the Jon Ossoff race in Georgia.
Maybe I’m politicked out.
I will say that an Atlanta newspaper had Ossoff up by 7% a few days ago, as CNN reported.
It seems that the candidate backed by both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren lost the race.
The Democrat that was supported by all the state’s Democrats won.
Being the current Lieutenant Governor no doubt helped with that.
Over at the Washington Post they say that the race “resembled the national party’s struggle over its future direction.”
I don’t know anything about Virginia politics, but from the map I’ve seen it looks like the coastal areas went for the winner while the inland areas went for the loser.
I think we’re seeing an urban-rural, liberal-conservative split here.
We do know that the “vote-rich Northern Virginia battleground reported far more Democratic ballots cast than Republican.”
Bernie and Liz Warren were both there to wage “an outsider campaign to get more people involved with the Democratic party.”
We also know that “outside groups have poured money and attention into Virginia, and a vast army of new candidates have flooded the Democratic side of House races.”
The Bernie-backed loser of the race had entered “unexpectedly in January and upended the state party’s orderly plans” to have their chosen successor assume the role.
Mostly the race was a referendum on Trump, for both the Democratic candidates. Only 36% of Virginians approve of Trump.
We also know that the Bernie-backed strategy of turning out the young and new voters didn’t work…again.
So here are some lessons I see for potential 2018 candidates in Montana:
- If your state hates Trump and you’re a left-leaning Democrat…it doesn’t mean you’ll win.
- If you have national backing but not state party backing, you’ll probably lose.
- Left-leaning national politicians (read socialist in conservatives’ minds) might hurt candidates running more centrist races…due to the number of rural voters they have to contend with.
- Up-start candidates going against next-in-line establishment politicians are going to have a very rocky road to begin with.
- When upstarts have to rely on national support because state support isn’t coming, that support could swing both ways…helping or hurting. Upstarts will later be blamed for forcing the winning candidate to 'waste' resources in the primary when they could have been used in the general.
- The young don’t vote. They haven’t voted in the past and aren’t likely to vote in the future. Is spending time and money on them a worthwhile pursuit?
- Does having Bernie show up for you help more or hurt more? How do those outside the base feel?
- Is there really a split in the Democratic Party – both nationally and in the states – or is that just something trumped-up by the liberal media to sell votes and get clicks?
- Does wondering about any of this really matter anyways? Establishment, centrist-candidates always seem to win the primary…and then go on to lose in the general.
- How can this change…and if it does change, will that truly have any lasting impact on your life?
Just some things to consider as we think of our friends in Old Dominion.