After the special election in November held in Virginia that swept Democrats into office and Republicans out, and the wave of other Democratic elections in places where it was only slightly less concentrated but no less important, one important point is making it to the ears of Republican strategists and party activists:
People are SICK of Donald Trump.
I mean, that stands to reason, but sometimes it’s easy to forget because of how loud the supporters he has left are. Not to mention the fact that Trump himself is constantly testing the waters to see what sort of outrageous lies he can tell and still maintain his base’s faith. So far, many haven’t seen the lie yet that drove them away.
But those are specifically Trump supporters. Just plain old Republicans are — hold on to your hats — sometimes just like us when it comes to getting sick of the antics of a particular politician from our own “side.”
And Republicans in Washington, D.C. see the Virginia elections as a sign of bad things to come for them. According to a report in Sunday’s Washington Post, GOP operatives even on a national level are beginning to see the omens:
“Midterm and off-year elections are defined by whose base is more animated and engaged and right now it’s the Democrats. You’re going to have to work harder than ever if you’re a Republican in this environment.”
That’s according to Chris LaCivita, a Republican strategist based in Virginia, but who works on national campaigns. And the even more frightening aspect for many Republicans, ironically, is that this year’s GOP candidate for Governor in the former reliably-Republican state, Ed Gillespie, got 7,000 more votes than the last one, Ken Cuccinelli.
That means that far more Democrats are turning out — by more than double. In this case, the winning Democrat in that race, Ralph Northam, got 16,000 more votes than the last Democrat that won the seat in 2013.
This isn’t the time to slow down, though. Democrats have the GOP rocking back on their heels, and everyday citizens have become activists when they never saw themselves as one before. Kim Drew Wright, a newly-minted activist whose passion was kindled by her deep despair over the election of Donald Trump, made it her mission to point out that — as she wrote in permanent marker on a placard she taped over her Hillary For President yard sign the day after the election — Trump is a dick, and so are you if you voted for him.
“I wouldn’t have done this every day for the past year if I hadn’t gotten so angry about Trump,” said Wright, 46, a mother of three who observed politics from the sidelines before last year’s presidential election. “Once you wake up and see how important local elections are, it’s hard to go back to the shadows and stick your head in the sand. Now we have our eye on everybody, from dogcatcher on up.”
So while Thanksgiving may have turned up some uncomfortable conversations with conservative family members, and while you’re still seeing Donald Trump tweet outrageous things that you know his supporters believe and eat up, it’s time to take heart.
The Republicans are running scared, and the time is now to strike.
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