WHAT WILL DEMOCRATS OF­FER TO VOT­ERS FLEE­ING CRAZY LAND OF TRUMP?

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION - Fol­low the Ed­i­to­rial Board on Twit­ter: @ cste­d­i­to­ri­als. Send let­ters to let­ters@ sun­times. com.

The weather vane on Amer­ica’s po­lit­i­cal barn swung sharply Tues­day as Democrats made gains from Vir­ginia to Wash­ing­ton state.

But if that shift to the left — or away at least from the fum­ing far right — is to be­come a pre­vail­ing weather pat­tern, Democrats will have to do more than sit back and crow.

Fed- up vot­ers across the coun­try, es­pe­cially in the sub­urbs, sent a clear mes­sage that they’ve had enough of Don­ald Trump and his ugly ways — bash­ing im­mi­grants, de­fend­ing white su­prem­a­cists who rally around Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ments, and rip­ping kneel­ing foot­ball play­ers. But if Democrats hope to build on Tues­day’s vic­to­ries to chase Trump­ism back un­der its rock and re­take the U. S. House, they’ll have to do some­thing more.

They’ll have to end their own civil war, be­ing waged be­tween Hil­lary Clin­ton cen­trists and Bernie San­ders left­ies, and give Amer­i­cans some­thing to vote for — not just against.

Mean­while, ev­ery Repub­li­can in a swing con­gres­sional dis­trict or state now has to re­think Ed Gille­spie’s strat­egy in the Vir­ginia gover­nor’s race. He hewed to the mean- spir­ited Trump line, even if he never in­voked Trump’s name, and he was trounced — 53.9 per­cent to 45 per­cent — by new­comer Ralph Northam. Hil­lary Clin­ton had won the state by only five points.

Exit polls in Vir­ginia showed that Trump still en­joys the sup­port of his base, but he has alien­ated large num­bers of other vot­ers. Half of those who voted in Vir­ginia told poll­sters that Trump was a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion for them — and that led them by a mar­gin of two- to- one to vote for the Demo­crat. Trump is that toxic.

On the West Coast, Democrats flipped a Wash­ing­ton state Se­nate seat in a race on which the two sides spent more than $ 10 mil­lion, giv­ing the Democrats full con­trol of state gov­ern­ments along the en­tire coast. Among other vic­to­ries, the Democrats also won back the New Jersey gover­nor­ship.

Repub­li­can can­di­dates next year face a dilemma. If they dis­tance them­selves too much from Trump, they risk a low turnout by their party’s base in the Novem­ber gen­eral elec­tion. But if they em­brace Trump, sub­ur­ban Repub­li­cans — bet­ter ed­u­cated, mod­er­ate on so­cial is­sues and more re­spect­ful of ac­tual facts — might find they just can’t stom­ach it.

Good luck with that, Gov. Bruce Rauner. You, too, Rep. Peter Roskam.

If that shift to the left — or away at least from the fum­ing far right — is to be­come a pre­vail­ing weather pat­tern, Democrats will have to do more than sit back and crow.

Ed Gille­spie

Vir­ginia Gov.- elect Ralph Northam cel­e­brates his elec­tion vic­tory at Ge­orge Ma­son Univer­sity in Fair­fax, Va., Tues­day.

| CLIFF OWEN/ AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.