Whew. Northam pulled out a Democratic victory in Virginia, and in conclusive fashion. There is finally some electoral pushback to the notion that Trump voters will support anyone he supports, no matter what, and that those voters can carry the day in a lot of formerly Democratic states.
Pundits attribute Trump’s core support to a lot of factors. Redistricting. Tribal loyalty to the Republican Party, which keeps shafting working class people on economic issues while successfully stoking their rage on cultural ones. Mid-term election apathy. The success of racially-tinged attack ads. Chaos in the Democratic Party.
Take your pick of reasons why the Democrats have not been running the board, even as Trump’s poll numbers continue to sink. Alabama is still likely to send the disastrous Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate.
But election night — with big victories in New Jersey and Virginia — may have given the Democrats back their sea legs. New Jersey was expected; Virginia had everyone worried. The Northam win is big — a repudiation of the Trump playbook, of a slash and burn racist message.
This is our first real electoral sign that the tide may be beginning to turn.