The “mainstream” media would have you believe that the 2019 elections were a disaster for the Republican Party and presage a Democratic victory in 2020. This interpretation may be an attempt at wish-fulfillment on their part.
Kentucky: Yes, the Democratic candidate has a very slim lead in the gubernatorial race, but the Republican incumbent governor is calling for a recount. The present count is 49.2% versus 48.8%. And Republicans won five of the six other statewide races.
Of interest is that the Libertarian candidate polled 2%–more than enough to possibly affect the result. We cannot say with certainty that all of those votes would have gone to the Republican had the Libertarian not been in the race—some of those voters may have otherwise stayed at home, and close study of some previous Libertarian and Ron Paul races have indicated that a surprising amount of their vote came from disaffected Democratic voters. Probably a majority of these Libertarian votes would have gone to the Republican, but who knows.
Also of note is the abrasive campaign demeanor of the Republican governor, who has been described as “Trump without Trump’s charm.” Believe it or not, a good number of voters still cast their ballots on the basis of personality factors, not pure ideology.
Mississippi: The incumbent Republican governor couldn’t run for reelection because of term limits. The Republican gubernatorial candidate had an uncontested win, by a 52.2% to 46.6% margin. This despite the fact that his Democratic opponent was the incumbent state Attorney General, and had been elected statewide four times, making him a formidable foe with high name recognition. He also distanced himself from the national Democratic Party, making himself palatable to Mississippi voters by being anti-abortion and pro-gun, with TV ads portraying him with his guns, pickup truck, and hunting dog. (What, no MAGA hat?) And the Republican won his primary race only after being forced into a runoff.
This is also the first time since the geological Paleoarchean Era that Republicans have won all statewide offices in Mississippi. (Fact-checker: Actually, that should read “since Reconstruction.” The Democrats have held the state Attorney General position only since 1878.) Somehow this is deemed less important by the liberal media than the results in Virginia (see below).
Arizona: Tucson, arguably the most liberal metropolis in Arizona, voted not to become the state’s only Sanctuary City by an overwhelming margin (71% “no” vs. 29% “yes”). Apparently they are too close to the Mexican border for that to be popular. NIMBY (“not in my back yard”) rules.
Virginia: The Democrats—who already occupied the statehouse—won control of both the state Senate and House of Delegates, giving them full control of the state government for the first time in 26 years. Yes, this is important, especially since this gives them the power to redraw the state’s legislative and congressional districts in the 2020 census reapportionment.
But overlooked is one very interesting statistic. According to the Washington Post’s election tallies, there were 860,993 Republican votes and 823,694 Democratic votes in the state. This suggests that the Republicans could have won any statewide races this year, had there been any. The legislature changed hands because Republicans fielded candidates in only 25 (out of 40) state senate districts and only 72 (out of 100) state house districts. The Democrats, on the other hand, fielded candidates in 36 state senate districts and 92 state house districts. (This is effectively a reverse of the 2016 U.S. presidential race, where Democrats won the popular vote but the Republicans won the Electoral College.)
Since I have lived in Virginia since 1999, let me give you my take on…
Why Virginia has become a blue state
The Democrat takeover of the Virginia legislature was a predictable event, the culmination of the federal takeover of Virginia thanks to the growth of the federal government.
In fact, we can thank the Republicans for this as much as the Democrats.
The Democrats’ contribution to the growth of the federal government has been mostly on the domestic-policy side of the bureaucracy (HUD, Education, etc.). Those bureaucrats need someplace to live, and D.C. is not large enough. Thus the growth of that D.C. bureaucracy and its expansion into the suburbs has led to the Democratic sweep of neighboring Montgomery and Prince Georges counties in Maryland and, to a lesser extent, Frederick, Howard, and Anne Arundel counties. Maryland is a small state, so add Baltimore to the mix and Maryland long ago became a dependably Democratic state.
The Republicans’ contribution to the growth of the federal government has been mostly on the military-“national security” side of the bureaucracy, and those bureaucrats have settled primarily in Northern Virginia. Add to that the huge military presence in the Hampton Roads area, where the civilian population apparently also sees its military-related jobs as being more secure with the Democrats in power, rather than with a Republican like Trump who talks of cutting back on the U.S. empire’s involvement abroad.
Take away Northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads areas, and the only liberal strongholds in Virginia would be elitist Charlottesville and state capital Richmond—not enough to swing the state to the Democrats. So the Republican support of the growth of the military-“security” side of the federal government has ironically led to the gradual but certain Democratic takeover of Virginia.