Wednesday, June 29

Psychological defeat of the Democratic Party one year after Biden’s victory


The Virginia campaign has generated the most buzz: McAuliffe has been on the front lines of US and Virginia politics for two decades. So his failure is a bad sign for Biden, whose popularity has dropped to Trump’s own levels in the last four months.

Republican candidate in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, receives comfort from a supporter on election night.
Republican candidate in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, receives comfort from a supporter on election night.EMPTY BURNINGREUTERS
  • USA Joe Biden, in free fall one year after his electoral victory
  • New York Eric Adams, the expolica “betrayed by the city” who will rule New York

The Democratic Party has not been able to celebrate the first anniversary of the 2020 elections as it would have liked. The state of Virginia, in which that political formation had been the winner of practically every election since 2008, will have, except for a historical surprise, a Republican governor. Is named Glenn Yougkin, He is 54 years old, and is the former CEO of the private equity giant Carlyle, founded and run, paradoxically, by the Democrat David Rubenstein. Indeed, one of the first operations that Yougkin carried out in front of Carlyle was the purchase, for 390 million dollars, of Codornu.

More brutal, by the unexpected, for Biden’s followers is the situation in the state of New Jersey, where it was assumed that the current governor, the Democrat Phil Murphy, was imposed without problems to the republican candidate, Jack Ciatarelli. With three-quarters of the vote counted, Ciatarelli was almost one point ahead of Murphy, to the surprise of all and especially the polling companies.

On Virginia, with 96% of the vote counted, Youngkin added 51.1% with about 1,616,000 votes, while the Democrat Terry McAuliffe follow them with 48.2% (1,525,000 votes). And while most of the votes that remained to be counted were in the Democratic stronghold of Fairfax – in effect, a Washington city neighborhood – the chances of the latter achieving victory were remote. McAuliffe’s defeat will be especially hard for this 64-year-old politician, very close to Bill Clinton, who was chairman of the Democratic National Committee between 2001 and 2005, and who had already been governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. At their peak, a couple of years ago, they are even running for the White House for the Democratic Party. . Today, his political career seems to be over.

Virginia’s campaign was not the only one this November 3. But I am the one that has generated the most excitement. The reasons for this are obvious: McAuliffe has been on the front lines of US and Virginia politics for two decades. So your failure is a bad symptom for Joe Biden, whose popularity has plummeted to Donald Trump’s levels in the last four months. In fact, in some Virginia counties, McAuliffe has scored twenty percentage points less than Biden did a year ago, although it is true that these are rural areas where fewer than 20,000 people vote. But, nevertheless, the turnout has been massive, which has disproved the myth that the mobilization of the vote favors the Democrats. And if you add to that the tie in New Jersey, things get surprisingly difficult for Democrats, because in that state, one of the most Democrats in the country, Biden won by 16 points a year ago. All this seems to confirm, according to political analysts, the idea that the Republican Party will achieve good results in the 2022 congressional elections.

Glenn Youngkin, Republican candidate and future Governor of Virginia.
Glenn Youngkin, Republican candidate and future Governor of Virginia.Anna MoneymakerAFP

The key to Youngklin’s success has been his popularity among the white middle classes who live in what in the US are called ‘suburbs’, and which are the neighborhoods of single-family homes that appear in movies and television series. In 2020, that group left with Biden, just as it had in 2008 and 2012 with Obama. Now, the Republican has outperformed Trump in 2016 among those voters. And that also supposes a new factor of uncertainty in American politics: Youngkin has not wanted to get close to Trump even in paint (literally). The Republican has forged a different image of the former president, but with a political program very similar to his.

So this could be the first moment a GOP candidate has left the shadow of Donald Trump behind. That is something that the leadership of that party dreams of, which does not support the former president. In fact, the chairman of the Senate Republican National Committee, Rick Scott, he was quick to emphasize last night that “our data, especially among suburban voters, shows us that the nation rejects the Biden program and the Democratic candidates.” It’s an unsubtle way of telling the center’s candidates for that party to run for the 2022 election. The only reason for any consolation among Democrats is that Virginia and New Jersey are reputed to be voting states. against ‘, that is, for the party that is not in power in the White House.

Other results have been more predictable. New York has elected the second black mayor in its history, the center democrat Eric Adams. And, most notably, Minneapolis It has rejected in a referendum the decision to replace its Police Department with another, called the Department of Civil Security. The proposal, which was defeated by 14 points, was the lynchpin of the “defund the police” movement launched 17 months ago after the murder of African American George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin.

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