In the Aftermath of Virginia
Two weeks ago in the general election, Virginians were deciding on whom they wanted to hold three major governing positions in the state of Virginia. Elections were held for the position of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General in Virginia.
Democrats won a sweeping victory in all three races. Ralph S. Northam beat out Republican Edward W. Gillespie for Governor. Northam is not the incumbent in the race, but the Democratic Party is; Northam will follow his predecessor, the current Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe (D). However, Northam is the current Lieutenant Governor, giving him an edge over Gillespie. Northam got 53.91% of the vote, with Gillespie getting only 44.96% of the vote with the little known libertarian candidate Clifford D. Hyra getting only 1.07% of the vote according to the Virginia Board of Elections.
In the race for Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Justin E. Fairfax received 52.70% of the vote beating out Republican Jill H. Vogel, who received only 47.21% of the vote. Fairfax, again, is not the incumbent, but the Democratic Party is in this case. The current Lieutenant Governor is the newly elected governor, Ralph S. Northam, who continues to climb the political ladder to the seat of governor, as Fairfax taxes his place in the seat of the Lieutenant Governor.
Finally, in the Attorney General’s race, Democrat Mark Herring won with 53.33% of the vote beating out the Republican candidate John D. Adams who only received 46.57% of the vote. The main difference between this race and the race for governor and lieutenant governor is that Mark Herring is the incumbent in this race, giving him a significant edge over Adams. While the people of Virginia may not be completely satisfied with Herring as their Attorney General, the enemy you know is always better than the enemy you don’t know, to borrow the colloquialism. So it would seem that the people of Virginia have decided to stay with that which is comfortable and familiar, while perhaps not completely satisfying. People don’t like change, so often times, while they may not be completely happy where they are at, they are at least comfortable and so they feel safe and have the lack the courage to step outside of their comfort zone and to try something new. Thus, Virginia shall remain tightly clasped in the hands of the Democrats.
Some have cast the Democrats’ sweeping victory in Virginia as the people of Virginia trying to send a message to the establishment Republicans and President Trump, who was overwhelmingly rejected by Virginia during the presidential elections. Perhaps Virginians are using the latest election as a vehicle for voicing their dissatisfaction with the Trump administration, 1 year in.
This being the case, it is politically expedient or advisable, to use major elections to spite or try to send a message to a certain party or certain governing officials. I do not see this “message sending” as accomplishing much other than to maybe ruffle some feathers, while it may cause certain candidates to do a double take in the future, and consider what blowback may result from their constituents, this is a huge risk for the voting public to gamble with in a major election.