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The Democrats' Debacle

The US Democratic Party could be in for a drubbing in next year's midterm congressional elections, and potentially even a loss in the 2024 presidential election. The outcomes of two recent gubernatorial elections offer insight into why.

WASHINGTON, DC – Perhaps the Democratic Party’s downhill slide can be arrested by President Joe Biden and his top congressional allies. But their job is daunting. If objective conditions don’t change – particularly inflation – and if the Republicans field able candidates, the Democrats could be in for a drubbing in the midterm congressional elections in 2022. The presidential vote in 2024 could also be in danger. The surprisingly tight gubernatorial election in Democratic-leaning New Jersey on the same day that the Republicans eked out a victory in Virginia underscored the Democrats’ trouble. Whether or when the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bipartisan bill passed by the House near midnight Friday, November 5, will resuscitate Biden's political fortunes can’t be known for a while.

Glenn Youngkin, a very wealthy former businessman (he funded his election effort) ran a highly effective campaign for Virginia’s governorship, especially for a neophyte. Youngkin was particularly deft in handling what’s become the Republicans’ problem of dealing with Donald Trump, whose support could work against them. Though Youngkin paid honor to Trump, particularly before he obtained the nomination, he stopped short of obeisance. He even managed to keep Trump physically out of the state without incurring the wrath of the easily irritated Trump.

As a result, Youngkin got the votes of both Trump supporters and of white suburban women who had switched to supporting Biden in 2020. Youngkin largely focused on issues of local interest: mainly, parental unhappiness with local school systems – making, most unusually, education the second-highest concern (the first, as usual, was the economy, with inflation key).

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