A very big political night in the US with some significant apparent changes in mood, although Colorado, especially Denver, mostly avoided a return to sanity. As Axios put it, "Voters punish Democrats amid left drift". We'll have a few guests with very different job descriptions join us to talk about what it means.
Washington Examiner columnist David M Drucker returns to the show after less than 2 weeks. When I booked David to come back, the purpose was to talk about the part of his new book "In Trump's Shadow" which is actually about former President Trump, which was the part we didn't get to on his first visit to the show. Given what happened in Virginia yesterday, it makes the question even more interesting and even more relevant.
Political consultant and analyst Dick Wadhams is most famous for running the campaign of John Thune to unseat then Majority Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota. He also served for a time as the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. We'll dig deeply into what we learned about Colorado last night as well as what lessons we glean from election results elsewhere. One key question relates to a piece that Dick wrote for the Denver Post several months ago asking essentially "Can Republicans beat Michael Bennet in 2022?"
Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN-3) is the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus that contains more than half of House Republicans. He's also an officer in the US Navy Reserve. We'll talk about his predictions (and hopes) for what the election results mean for Congress, both in terms of what 2022 elections could look like and, maybe more importantly, whether this makes it more or less likely that Democrats will pass one or both of the so-called "bipartisan infrastructure bill" (which I oppose) and their truly insane social welfare bill which, they're not shy about saying, is intended to "transform" the nation into one with even higher taxes and even more government involvement in our daily lives.
Wow, that was interesting (and it's not over yet)
Previously unknown (except to his family, colleagues and friends) Glenn Youngkin beat long-time Democratic fixture and Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe in the race for governor in Virginia. McAuliffe probably lost the race because of a single sentence: "I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." Once the issue of education started hurting him, McAuliffe just got stupid, including having the most unappealing surrogate in the world, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, the face of teachers unions that care about union revenue but not your kids, come campaign for him in the closing days of the election.
Virginia, which Joe Biden won by 10 points and which hasn't gone Republican for president since 2004, also appears to have elected Republicans to the offices of Lt. Governor and Attorney General. A Republican hadn't won statewide in Virginia since 2009. It remains unclear what the balance of power is in the state's House of Delegates. It's possible that the GOP will have taken back the majority after the Dems had it for just two years.
The next Lt. Governor is a black woman with the simply fantastic name of Winsome Sears. She's an immigrant, the daughter of immigrants, a retired US Marine and married to a retired US Marine. She's an incredibly appealing candidate, not least because she's so winsome. If you missed her brief talk last night (and you probably did), I recommend checking it out...the video is below. Her love for this nation is remarkable.
Meanwhile, the angry liberal talking heads on CNN and MSNBC yesterday and the "blue check" libs on Twitter were claiming that yesterday's election results were a victory for "whiteness." Perhaps that's what inspired Winsome Sears to remind supporters yesterday that "In case you haven't noticed, I'm black. And I've been black my whole life." Awesome.
People are already talking about Youngkin running for president. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. By the way, Mrs. Sears can't run for president (or VP) because she's a naturalized citizen rather than a "natural-born citizen" as required by the Constitution, though she could run for House or Senate one day if she wanted to.
A lot of people (including yours truly) will be talking about what this means as far as how the GOP can try to navigate the human landmine that is Donald Trump. Youngkin did it perfectly, not snubbing Trump but also not embracing him, and staying focused on the eternal wisdom that "all politics is local" (while McAuliffe tried and failed to nationalize the race by constantly talking about Trump and bringing in people named Obama, Biden and Harris to campaign for him.)
New Jersey isn't done
At the time of this writing, the Republican candidate for governor in New Jersey, Jack Ciattarelli, was 1200 votes ahead of Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy (who thanked "organized labor" in his brief remarks last night...and you wonder why NJ is such a basket case of a state, with the highest property taxes in America?). However, based on where votes remain to be counted, it seems more likely than not that the Dem will pull out a win. Still, the fact that it's this close is yet another wakeup call for the Democrats. Joe Biden won NJ by 16 points. Here's a link where you can check the latest results: 2021 New Jersey Election Results - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Colorado had some excellent results though Denver is still lost
All three of Colorado's statewide ballot measures got trounced yesterday despite the fact that two of them had, as far as I can tell, $0 spent campaigning against them and plenty of money spent in favor. I'll note that all three were complicated, maybe too complicated, and that Coloradans outside of Denver tend to vote no when they're unsure.
All four "right" candidates for school board seats swept to victory in Douglas County, the happiest result of the day for me in Colorado and I can't imagine how happy Mandy must be (since she lives in DougCo.) Also, all 9 (yes, nine!) of the candidates in the Colorado Springs area supported by pro-educational freedom activist Steve Schuck and former state senator Bill Cadman won their races, including Ivy Liu, also a recent guest on the show. And congrats to fellow LPR graduate Andrea Haitz for beating a union-endorsed candidate for the Western Slope's Mesa County Valley School Board.
The reform-oriented (non-union-owned) candidates in Jefferson County all lost. Seems to me the difference was largely one of organization and support. Yes, JeffCo is much bluer than DougCo but I believe that a more coordinated strategy, running as a "slate" earlier, and basically doing more of what the DougCo candidates did might have increased the chances of success. Anyway, JeffCo remains a place where voters seem to care more about the interests of the teachers union than of their own kids, and of course that goes double, or triple, or quadruple for Denver where the guy who's helping Tay Anderson pay his bills, Dave Esserman won a seat on the school board and it appears that anti-school-choice and anti-reform candidate Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán may also squeak out a victory. Looks like Tay will have good company on the lunatic left, especially Esserman who appears to be part of the new class of "diversity, equity and inclusion" grifters. As Chalkbeat put it, Denver may soon have it's first 100% union-owned (aka "union-supported") school board ever. Seriously, Denver is on a suicide mission.
Denver rejected a major bond offering for a new 10,000 seat arena at the National Western Complex although they supported every other bond offering. They rejected a weird proposal to tax marijuana for "pandemic research" as well as a measure that would have overturned the City Council's vote earlier this year to let more unrelated people live in one house. (The measure did a couple of other things as well.)
Conservatives Dustin Zvonek and Danielle Jurinsky (both recent guests on my show) won their elections to the Aurora City Council, which is truly remarkable. A couple other "good guys" won as well; one didn't. We'll have to see what it all means.