Here’s why last Tuesday’s election means the opposite of what you think

 


I’m a political analyst. Some call me a pundit, or a political commentator. I send out hot take tweets on popular topics that defy conventional wisdom in a way that suggests either a rare understanding of the workings of politics or a deep need for attention, such as this one from early Tuesday evening before election results started coming in:

 “Squid Game’s “success” shows exactly why the Democrats are today’s English at the Battle of Gastillion.”

Roll THAT one around in your non-PHD degree-having-mind. I tremble to think of the mental gymnastics you must be doing in your hallucinaseum as you scramble to understand my analogy.

Anyway, I’m here to tell you why what you think last Tuesday’s election results mean is not only wrong, the truth is the opposite of what you were thinking.

Let’s start with you neophytes that think the Democrats losing every Virginia statewide office up for grabs on Tuesday depicts a political party in disarray, headed by an unpopular president.  Ho ho, that’s rich. You are, of course, wrong. 

Over the past few decades, the party holding the White House has lost the Virginia governorship every time except once. ONCE. So the fact that Joe Biden’s party lost Virginia is entirely within political norms. And while the Republican Glenn Youngkin did win over former Governor Terry McAuliffe, the margin was a mere 2 and half percent. Exit polls indicate that McAuliffe held similar levels of support across all demographics except white Americans, which is a shortfall that the Democratic Party has ample time to address before 2024.

Excuse me, I just thought of a hot take thatI need to tweet: 

“Virginia was the Battle of Alma all over again, and McAuliffe was Prince Menshikov. The question is now, will 2024 be another Crimean War for the Dems?”

That felt good.

Now where were we? What’s that? You agree with me? You think that there’s a broader Democratic silver lining outside of Virginia? Like the fact a Democrat won reelection as New Jersey’s governor for the first time ever?

You are so wrong. Allow me to explain. McAuliffe led polling in this contest until only a week or so before the election. What happened? The state election became possessed by national issue demons.  Critical Race Theory (CRT) became a powerful bogeyman lurking just outside each ballot box. This wave of angst not only blunted an electoral tide that was changing blue, it reversed it. And this is a model that can be repeated outside of Virginia. Indeed, it will be.

So to summarize for all you trying to make sense of an astounding election: you’re wrong. It’s the other thing that’s right.

Wow, you’re lucky I’m here.

Dr. Airgant Riboflavin has an extensive background in talking about politics and being insufferable. Dr. Riboflavin writes periodically for the Interesting Times Harold and we’re not sure why he calls himself “doctor,” now that we think about it.

 


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