Democrats Wrest Power from Republicans in ‘Blue Wave’

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by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 8, 2017   

Pro-abortion, pro-gay candidates sweep contests in Virginia, New Jersey

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Democrats are jubilant after snapping a painful losing streak at the polls.

After a year-long electoral drought, a blue wave washed over Virginia and New Jersey Tuesday night, sweeping Democratic candidates to victory in every major contest.


In Virginia, the party won all three statewide bids.

In the race for governor, Ralph Northam bested Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, 53.7 percent to 45.1 percent.

Running mate Justin Fairfax outpaced Republican rival Jill Vogel in the race for lieutenant governor, 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent.

Mark Herring will remain at his post as attorney general, defeating Republican opponent John Adams, 53.3 percent to 46.7 percent.

Additionally, Virginia voters ejected a number of incumbent Republicans from the state House.

In New Jersey, meanwhile, Phil Murphy won over Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. 

Political analysts are offering contrasting views on how to read Tuesday night's results.

Those on the Left are interpreting them as a harbinger of an approaching Democratic tsunami forecasting massive blowback against Trump and his agenda during the 2018 mid-terms.

Some on the Right are downplaying the Democratic advance. Governor Chris Christie's political blundering so angered New Jersey's bluest of blue electorate that a Democratic return to power was inescapable they suggest. Virginia, they say, is a reliably unreliable swing-state, where Democrats have come out on top in every statewide election since 2009 and was the only southern state Trump lost in 2016. Gillespie's loss, therefore, comes as no surprise.   

Others on the Right are noting that both Gillespie and Guadagno were of the Establishment. 

According to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, Gillespie refused to be interviewed by Breitbart and rejected Trump's "America First" economic nationalism.

Bannon political advisor Andrew Surabian gave a frank assessment late Tuesday night: "Ed Gillespie had no message, was inauthentic, spoke from both sides of his mouth and at the end of the day, even the deplorables couldn't save him ... Gillespie campaigned with George W. Bush, [but] ran from President Trump."

Viewing results through the lens of morality, Tuesday night was rough for religious conservatives, particularly in Virginia.

As the commonwealth has shifted to the Left in recent years, it has become an abortion battleground. This, coupled with the advancement of pro-life interests under the Trump administration, meant the abortion industry viewed Virginia as crucial to its interests and Northam as their man.

Opponents have described Northam's position on abortion as "extreme," pointing out he supports the procedure even in "the eighth or ninth month" of pregnancy. 

Having assembled a 100 percent pro-abortion voting record in his years as a state lawmaker, the Virginia Democrat enjoyed robust abortion lobby support throughout his campaign.

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In August, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia endorsed Northam for governor, branding him a "champion" supporter of abortion.

Planned Parenthood did likewise, announcing it would pour $3 million into his campaign for digital marketing, radio ads and face-to-face outreach to hundreds of thousands of Virginia homes.

Planned Parenthood couldn't afford to lose the momentum it gained under Virginia's pro-abortion leaders like Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Time Kaine (both self-described "Catholics"). From 2009–2015, the number of abortions in the state fell by almost a third, even as the abortion giant's market share rose by half. Early on, Planned Parenthood recognized that a Ralph Northam governorship is essential to maintaining its grasp on Virginia.

The abortion giant was also instrumental in defeating Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Jill Vogel, who as state senator strongly supported a measure requiring abortion-minded women to undergo vaginal ultrasounds.

Other Virginia victors were distinguished by ties to gay activism.

Herring, who retained his seat as attorney general, refused to enforce the state ban on same-sex "marriage" when coming to power in 2014.

And in a closely-watched state House race, transgender Democrat Danica Roem unseated staunch social conservative Bob Marshall, who earlier this year introduced a bathroom bill to require people to use the public restroom matching the gender listed on their birth certificate (the bill died in a Republican-led committee).

 

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Stephen Wynne

Stephen Wynne is a staff writer for Church Militant.