Takeaways from Tuesday’s elections: Bad omens for Democrats
Image via AP.

Terry McAuliffe
Don't over interpret.

The off-year elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey tend to receive outsize attention, and the results are mined for deeper meaning about what they portend for the midterm elections the following year that determine which party controls Congress.

Here are some key takeaways from Tuesday’s elections:


Democrats’ worst fears are that they’re on course for a 2010-like drubbing in next year’s midterm elections and that they can’t use the specter of former President Donald Trump to stop it.

Those fears got a lot stronger after Republican Glenn Youngkin won the governor’s race in Virginia.

President Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 percentage points just a year ago, and if Democrats cannot generate more enthusiasm than their gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe did, they’ll likely be swept out of power in Congress.

In Virginia, governors are limited to a single term and elections are held in odd-numbered years, making it the go-to gauge of voter sentiment before midterms. It usually is a warning for the party in power in Washington and this year was no different.

McAuliffe, elected Virginia governor in 2013, was unable to excite voters amid significant headwinds facing Democrats, including Biden’s drooping poll numbers, the congressional stalemate over the president’s economic agenda and the persistence of the pandemic.

Democrats have only a five-vote margin in the House and a single-vote margin in the Senate. Historically, the party in power almost always loses seats in Congress. But if 2022 nationally is anything like Virginia 2021, Democrats will lose a lot more than normal.


Diversifying states with a large share of college graduates like Virginia have been an unsolvable puzzle for the GOP during the political era dominated by Trump. But Youngkin seems to have cracked the code.

A former private equity executive, Youngkin presented himself as a nonthreatening suburban dad in a fleece vest. He embraced Trump just enough to win the GOP primary and rev up the party base, but was also able to target more moderate voters by talking about fiscal management and investing in schools and campaigning without the former president at his side.

According to AP VoteCast, a survey of voters, it paid off. While a majority of voters held an unfavorable view of Trump, about half had a favorable view of Youngkin.

Youngkin’s arm’s-length approach to Trump didn’t seem to hurt him with GOP voters. Most Youngkin voters — about 8 in 10 — said the candidate supports Trump the right amount. About 1 in 10 said he supports the former president too much, and about that many said Youngkin supports Trump too little.

Look for more Republicans next year try to model themselves after Youngkin in swing areas — refusing to disavow Trump but not hugging him too closely, and tailoring their messages to both the former president’s most hardcore voters and persuadable suburbanites.


Youngkin’s signature issue was an unexpected one — education. He prevailed on the issue by both pledging to boost education funding and hammering public schools on hot-button social issues like race and transgender rights.

He said he would ban the teaching of critical race theory in Virginia classrooms even though it is not a part of the secondary school curriculum.

Critical race theory is an academic framework that centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people. In recent months, it has become a catch-all political buzzword for any teaching in schools about race and American history.

The focus comes after lengthy school closures during the pandemic infuriated some traditionally Democratic voting groups and conservatives targeted school board races nationwide over masking rules and teaching racial justice issues. In Virginia, 14% of voters listed education as a top issue, and about 7 of 10 of those voted for Youngkin.

McAuliffe didn’t help himself when, during a debate, he said, “I don’t believe parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” providing Youngkin a pivotal opening to hammer his opponent.

Youngkin also highlighted a controversial high school bathroom rape case in affluent Loudoun County, in Northern Virginia, to argue against allowing transgender students into their chosen restrooms.


Democrats took control of all parts of Virginia’s government in 2019 and steadily started liberalizing the state’s voting laws. They made mail voting accessible to all and required a 45-day window for early voting, among the longest in the country. This year they passed a voting rights act that made it easier to sue for blocking ballot access.

Trump in 2020 attacked efforts to expand ballot access during the pandemic, spreading baseless claims of fraud.

Republican-controlled states have rushed to tighten voting laws, cutting early voting hours, restricting mail balloting and arguing that liberalizing elections invites fraud and helps Democrats. The latter claim contradicts repeated studies that have found that mail voting does not favor either political party.

Now Virginia’s election is another example of how liberal voting laws don’t hurt conservatives.


The other big governor’s race Tuesday was in New Jersey. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy was favored in his race against Republican Jack Ciattarelli, but the race was too early to call Wednesday morning.

Democrats were looking to the Garden State for hopeful signs, but were quickly disappointed as what should have been a relatively easy race turned into a nail-biter.

Murphy has been able to deliver on many liberal priorities, like expanding government funding for widespread prekindergarten and community college, and has the advantage of incumbency that McAuliffe lacks. As such, he may offer more of a model of the position Democrats could be in next year should they manage to pass Biden’s agenda. He also avoided McAuliffe’s errors on education.

Still, the race remained tight well after midnight in a state Biden won by 16 percentage points, another sign of the grim national environment for the Democrats.


It’s still 12 months before Election Day 2022. While Tuesday’s results hold some clues as to what might happen, they are merely clues.

The two biggest drags on Democrats currently are the persistence of the coronavirus pandemic and supply chain problems that have pushed up prices. Both could improve over the next 12 months, potentially bolstering the incumbent party — or they could worsen.

There are signs Democrats could pass Biden’s infrastructure and social safety net legislation soon. Most Wall Street forecasts call for robust growth next year.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to issue an opinion on an abortion case next June that will determine whether the conservative majority upholds or overturns Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that affirmed abortion rights.

That could make debates over masking and racial justice lessons in schools seem like quaint relics of Election Day 2021.

So dig into the results of tonight, but they are in no way definitive. A lot can happen in the next year, and probably will.

Reposted with permission from the AP.

Associated Press


  • Alex

    November 3, 2021 at 4:59 pm


    It’s meaningless this long before Nov 2022, and especially 2024.

    Of course the Refugs enjoy it,but they enjoy guns, lies, anti-democracy, and killing themselves with covid to “own the libs”

    • Impeach Biden

      November 4, 2021 at 12:12 pm

      Oh this is just the beginning. Keep pushing the defund the police, wokeness in the workplace, crt at the schools, record spending on social programs, immigrant 450k lotto fever, and watch what happens in 2022. Please keep pushing for this you libtards.

      • Alex

        November 4, 2021 at 2:27 pm

        Hi Imp!

        Still lying out your rear end I see.

        Did you ever figure out what a High Crime is?

        • Captain Howdy

          November 4, 2021 at 3:15 pm

          if you masturbate while watching Rachel Maddow, you can get your jollies and your talking points in the same hour.

          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 4:12 pm

            And…..right to the lowest rung on the intelligence ladder.

            Good job Howdy, now post some link no one will click on.

        • Impeach Biden

          November 4, 2021 at 4:55 pm

          No lies. Your liberal agenda is going pooooooooooof

          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 5:38 pm

            And two more lies.


            Now answer the question.

            Oh you can’t can you?


    • Tom

      November 4, 2021 at 8:51 pm

      It’s not meaningless, you just want to hide it.

      As a political scientist, student of presidency the congress and electoral savant, I do know.

      Repubs in position to gain, net up to
      50 House seats in 22. Dems really in the thick manure.

      Biden in total denial. Not aware of
      $450,000 payoff to illegals is a whopper.

  • Ken

    November 3, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Know who you do business with. The following companies support, fund, Joe Biden, the Democrat party, BLM and other far left organizations. Financial BOYCOTT whenever possible the following socialist enablers. Patriots, pass this along….

    American Airlines
    American Express
    Bank of America
    Baskin Robbins
    Best Buy
    Carl’s Jr.
    Capital One
    Corona Beer
    Dell Technologies
    Delta Airlines
    Discover Financial Services
    Discovery channel
    Discovery Plus
    Dunkin Donuts
    Estee Lauder
    Ford Motor Co.
    General Motors
    Goldman Sachs
    Jack in the Box
    Johnson & Johnson
    Levi Strauss & Co
    Little Caesars
    Lowes Hardware
    Modello Beer
    Nerd Wallet
    Pacifico Beer
    Rocket Mortgage
    Sonic Rest.
    State Farm Insurance
    Target Stores
    The General Insurance
    United Airlines
    US Bank
    USA today
    Varo Bank
    Wells Fargo

    • Alex

      November 3, 2021 at 11:55 pm

      Good luck avoiding them all, in fact if you own stock, you realistically can’t avoid them without fucking yourself.


      • Captain Howdy

        November 4, 2021 at 9:21 pm

        Fucking yourself? Like you do watching Rachel Maddow LOL creepy little troll Alex

        • Alex

          November 4, 2021 at 9:27 pm


          I like watching you squirm.

  • Jerry

    November 4, 2021 at 1:50 am

    It wasn’t the only thing, but what did McAuliffe in was when he said parents shouldnt be deciding what the government teaches children in schools. And he got CREAMED for saying that. He got destroyed. That statement lost him the election right there. And everything he did after that only made it worse.

    Democrats ARE in a lot of trouble. The border is a mess. It’s so bad politically that they pretend there is not even a crisis there. Biden is trying to ignore it. Inflation and the supply chain is becoming a major concern. Affordable housing is becoming harder to find. Businesses will be crunched even further with vaccine mandates. So the economy right now is going all to hell. Foreign policy has been a disaster with Afghanistan. The Chinese are threatening Taiwan and testing hypersonic missiles.

    And now Democrats think the infrastructure bill will fix everything? That’s not even popular anymore according to the polls. It’s loaded with garbage and actually it gives a tax cut to the top 5% in blue states. I guess the Dems need to reward their donors.

    Even Chuck Todd this weekend on NBC showed a poll where 71% of Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction. When Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House and 71% of the country thinks we are going the wrong way…..that’s bad news. That’s really bad news.

    The mid-terms are going to be a wipe out against Democrats. And we could be looking at the worst presidency since Jimmy Carter.

    • Alex

      November 4, 2021 at 2:45 pm

      Hannity said so.


    • Ocean Joe

      November 4, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      Have to agree with a lot of that, Biden misinterpreted his election victory (and yes, he won). His only mandate was to remove the crazy guy and try to restore some degree of unity.
      He is too old to run again and Harris is a weak VP. He should have gone with Elizabeth Warren, then he could have resigned on Jan. 21. But here we are, the progressives let “perfect be the enemy of the good” and too much time passed without results.
      The bad news is that a Republican controlled congress means the end of any timely climate action. Period. And since Republicans want to eviscerate funding for the public school system by morphing themselves into champions of parents guiding school curriculum, then the GOP plan to abolish public schools in favor of private and charter schools run by their cronies with high salaries is working. I prefer to let trained educators who know what is required for college entrance call the shots, not the yokel down the street.

      • Alex

        November 4, 2021 at 7:37 pm

        How did he misrepresent his victory?

        • Tom

          November 4, 2021 at 9:12 pm

          Cause he had 5 seat majority in House, 50-50 Senate. It’s a joke.
          Bernie didn’t win the presidency.

          He’s not LBJ, nor FDR. More like Jimmy Carter or Woodrow Wilson, after stroke. Not coherent. Google it Alex. Btw, did they let you out yet under observation?

          Liz Warren, complete lunatic. Harvard professor with husband, but they report up front bought $12 million earnings or so. She’s a complete hypocrite.

          Your right Joe, the Union controlled public school system has been so wonderful in producing scholars for life. We rank woefully behind 20 plus countries In scholastics. Blame Repubs Joe. Are Dems ever responsible for trillions on
          Housing, education.

          McAuliffe is pathetic, horrible hate filled campaign. Joined forces with hateful racist Lincoln org, peter h is the towel boy.

          You liberals are a joke. Joe you have incompetent mayor pete to save you.
          LOL, LMAO

      • Impeach Biden

        November 4, 2021 at 9:00 pm

        Elizabeth Warren. Ha! Ha! Not sure if that’s an improvement over “Giggles” Harris.

        • Alex

          November 4, 2021 at 9:05 pm

          You wouldn’t know the truth about either one.

          You listen for far right talking heads who lie based on alt-facts, conspiracy theories, nonsense and hate.

          • Captain Howdy

            November 4, 2021 at 9:23 pm

            Oh please please please wonder smart libturd Alex tell us the Truth about Harris and Warren. Enlighten us, you supercilious little shit

          • Tom

            November 4, 2021 at 9:30 pm

            Far right, yeah your correct.
            Rachel Maddowless, Joy hapless reid, cooper andersen. Clown show.

          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 9:53 pm

            I could, but I doubt it’d take on the first 20 tries.

            I have better things to do than educate morons.

            Like watching you squirm.


        • Tom

          November 4, 2021 at 9:19 pm

          Yes, giggles Harris biggest loser next to McAuliffe incompetence.

          She campaigned for him.

          What a joke.

        • Alex

          November 4, 2021 at 9:29 pm

          Poor Howdy trying to make up for his childish bs – with more childish out of touch bs.

          Now squirm worm.

          • Captain Howdy

            November 4, 2021 at 9:44 pm

            Just tell us what is so great about Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. And explain how those racist Virginians elected Winsome Sears as Lt Governor. I will await your compelling explanation.

          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 9:54 pm

            I could, but I doubt it’d take on the first 20 tries.

            I have better things to do than educate morons.

            Like watching you squirm.


          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 10:05 pm

            Oh, a lie.

            No surprise.


          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 10:07 pm

            Tell us another lie moron.

            Desperation is taking hold.


        • Captain Howdy

          November 4, 2021 at 9:59 pm

          You’ve used that line before and it’s just as phony now as then. You mean you can’t explain. Because you are full of shit. Squirm yourself, arrogant worm.

          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 10:08 pm

            Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

            More please.

          • Alex

            November 4, 2021 at 10:23 pm

            Howdy ran away.

          • Captain Howdy

            November 5, 2021 at 8:22 am

            You keep recycling your stale lines. You’re so tiresome. An arrogant worm who thinks he stings like an adder, and counts it as some petty victory when others simply ignore him. Get a fuck’n life.

          • Alex

            November 5, 2021 at 11:33 am

            And you can’t string together a coherent argument, just childish sex jokes and posting links to far right websites with zero credibility and no context, and imitating what I said to someone else 8 comments above.

            Enjoy your sad existence.

          • Captain Howdy

            November 5, 2021 at 11:40 am

            LOL LOL LOL you are such a supercilious and obnoxious lefty troll. I suppose, in your invincible and blinding ignorance, consider Substack a ‘far-right’ website. What a pathetic creep you are. What a fuck’n waste of time and skin you are. Have a nice life

          • Captain Howdy

            November 6, 2021 at 9:33 am

            Childish sex joke? LOL!! Your sense of humor is in inverse proportion to your self importance. Squirm, worm Alex, squirm.

      • Tom

        November 4, 2021 at 11:31 pm

        Joe Oh, so are you the local to the neighbor Joe? Do you ever put your place in some other persons shoes?

        All you elites act like u know what it like for others? You don’t.

        McAuliffe sent his kids to privilege private schools. But he acted like he cared. So much so, he told parents to F off.

        I hope DeSantis and legislature cuts taxes on businesses, and individuals. I hope they approve 10,000 more public school scholarships.

        Eviscerate, I think status quo has done that already.

      • Tom

        November 6, 2021 at 7:48 am

        Gov DeSantis is correct in calling for new laws to ensure no ballot harvesting efforts.

        This is a manipulative act by Dem. operatives. It defeats election integrity and ballot security.

        It will ensure fair elections.

  • Tom

    November 4, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    McAuliffe ran the worst campaign since Hillary’s incompetent effort in 16.

    No hope, no messages. Unhappy warrior, retread lines, racist broadsides, pandering to the nth degree. Would have made billy boy clinton proud. Just incompetent. His debate comment parents not involved in school board curriculum is a all time blooper. Just arrogantly stupid.

    Meanwhile first African woman elected, first Hispanic male to Lt Gov & AG respectively.

    Disgraceful, pathetic campaign by McAuliffe confused with racist hating Lincoln org add.
    Cheap shot. Good riddance.

    good guy won for change.

Comments are closed.


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