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Steve Deace @SteveDeaceShow
, 31 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Tweet storm coming on #VirginiaElection -- and why every side is likely going to draw the wrong conclusions from it.
1) First, it must be stated from the outset the monstrous growth of government sector workers in the last decade has changed Virginia's demographics.
2) From Eisenhower to George W. Bush, Virginia was a reliable GOP state except for the historic LBJ landslide of 1964.
3) However, Republicans have lost the state in the last three presidential elections. Each by 4-6 points. So this is either becoming a blue state or has become one. Failure to note that is shoddy analysis.
4) This brings us to the 2017 gubernatorial race. Yes, Trump won Virginia in the 2016 primaries, but he faced some of his fiercest resistance in this state. It was one of Rubio's strongest showings. Trump won by just 3 points.
5) Culturally, Trump's message is popular with a segment of the base, yes, but not Virginia Republicans as a whole -- let alone the increasingly blue state.
6) However, Republicans nominated a candidate who is as establishment and corporatist as it gets. Who just lost a Senate election in the state, too, and couldn't have been more antithetical in every way to Trump.
7) Which means what's happening here isn't as simple as "the Trump effect" or a "Democrat surge."
8) For all their alleged energy, the Democrats still don't have a road win since Trump won. Virginia is their home turf. By this time after Obama won in 2008, Republicans already had road wins in Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
9) So more than likely the Virginia result is the culmination of a blue wave that's been sweeping the state already. Angst about Trump just cemented or accelerated that which was already happening before him.
10) In sports, we have a saying: "a playoff series doesn't really begin until somebody wins a road game." Same applies in politics. Until Democrats win a road game their alleged surge is only a talking point.
11) So Democrats, get back to me when you win a road game. Now, to the Republicans. Most complaining about "the Trump effect" couldn't even define what it is.
12) Trump couldn't define what it is, because defining Trump or "Trumpism" is like trying to nail jello to wax paper. Its amorphous, and can metamorphosis with every tweet. Sometimes in the same tweet.
13) Because what Trump is, is simply Trump. To the people that hate him, he's a dishonest divider. To the people that love him, he says what they think and puts everyday Americans first.
14) Trump isn't a slate of issues or an ideology. It's strictly a persona. And the issues can be crafted and/or abandoned depending on the persona.
15) If you don't understand that, you don't truly understand why you have Trump. Why he won. Why people turned to him, many of them out of frustration with Republicans like Gillespie.
16) For example, the Left called Republicans redneck racists in a Virginia ad. And instead of declaring war on it, Gillespie basically punted. Trump would've gone DEFCON 1 over that garbage.
17) And while doing so would've angered his opposition, Trump's base would be FIRED UP. Believing he was defending them, not just himself. That's why Trump, for all his faults, has a loyal base most Republicans don't.
18) See, it's the cultural issues that are the final dividing line between the two, unibrow/corporatist parties. And those are the issues Republicans like Gillespie loathe, but they're the ones Trump embraces.
19) Sure, Trump often doesn't use the best rhetoric, let alone follow through on policy. But at least he -- crudely and often cynically -- picks fights the base wants, which most Republicans don't even bother entertaining while virtue signalling for the media.
20) Thus, while there was already a blue wave rising in Virginia anyway, the result is still ominous for Republicans. Because the ensuing debate over its meaning shows most are bound to learn the wrong lessons from it.
21) Most Americans hate most politicians, regardless of party. They simply want the system to give them what they want, and they don't much care who does so.
22) Therefore, if Republicans saved us from Obamacare's spiraling premiums, cut our taxes, and killed terrorists before they killed us (ie kept their promises), it wouldn't matter what incendiary rhetoric Trump uses.
23) But since Republicans prefer to bailout insurance companies, do fake tax cuts, and Muslim urban renewal instead, there's nothing to run on but Trump's persona.
24) And that is the REAL Trump effect. When GOP base voters turn to Trump because the GOP turned on them. And then general voters turn on a GOP that doesn't govern as promised because Trump's persona alienates.
25) If the GOP simply kept its promises, there would be no "Trump effect" because there would be no "Trump." You might have President Scott Walker right now, actually.
26) But since GOP won't keep its promises, its base will be loyal to Trump -- who hit at least hits back at stupid NFL protest culture. Meanwhile, swing voters just get further alienated by Trump's antics and lack of action from the GOP alike.
27) This is the toxic brew determining the 2018 environment. It's tailor-made for Democrats, but they have to decide if they want to run on people's every day concerns or their culture war concerns.
28) If Democrats run on culture war they won't win, not even in this environment. And it's why they haven't won a road game yet. They're not just driving out their base -- but Trump's.
29) The Democrat path to 2018 is de-emphasizing culture war issues. But they may not be capable of doing so, as their reaction to the Texas Church Shooting last weekend demonstrates.
30) End of tweet storm that was way too long, even for me. :-)
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