[Marxism] WSJ editors on Tuesday's election results

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Wed Nov 6 15:27:01 MST 2019

*Here is the Wall St. Journal editors' analysis of yesterday's election
results. They are concerned that Trump might lose it not only for himself
but for their favored party as a whole. Many on the left scoff at the final
paragraph's view - that nominating a "progressive" Democrat would help
Trump win. But consider the results in Virginia. I think it's highly
questionable whether a "progressive" Democrat would have won there. This is
not an argument in favor of the Biden-Pelosi wing over the Sanders-Warren
wing. It's simply questioning the established Sanders etc. accepted
"truth". My view is that if we had a real working class party, the purpose
of running candidates would not only be to win elections. In fact, that
would be secondary. The main purpose would be to build an independent
working class movement, which is something no wing of the Democrats will
do. With that in mind, here's what the WSJ editors have to say:*

"Democrats flipped the state House of Delegates and Senate in Virginia,
which means they will control the entire state government for the first
time in 25 years. They also appear to have won the governorship in
Kentucky, though the Republican hasn’t conceded, and they came closer than
they should have to winning the governorship in conservative Mississippi
(losing by 5.6% compared to 34% in 2015).

"Worse than the defeats for Republicans is the voting trend, which
continued the suburban losses of 2017 and 2018 that cost them control of
the U.S. House. In Virginia they could in the past overcome their deficits
near Washington, D.C., with gains downstate. But now their losses extend to
the suburbs around Richmond and the state’s southeast.

"Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin was crushed in the Louisville (99,000 votes)
and Lexington (36,000) metro areas. Mr. Bevin lost the Lexington area by
only 10,000 in 2015 and around Louisville by 38,000. But turnout statewide
this year was up about 50% from 2015, as Democrats showed again that they
are highly motivated in the Trump era....

"Tuesday’s vote wasn’t a straight referendum on Mr. Trump, who wasn’t on
the ballot, but in Kentucky it was a referendum on the Trump governing
style. Mr. Bevin shot from the lip and campaigned on cultural issues like
immigration, abortion and political correctness. The state’s 4.4%
unemployment rate wasn’t enough to overcome his personal unpopularity.

"Democrat Andrew Beshear, the son of a former Governor, ran a centrist
campaign that avoided talking about Mr. Trump and mobilized teachers unions
with promises of pay raises. Mr. Trump campaigned for Mr. Bevin on election
eve and rallied some GOP voters, but these days Mr. Trump is a double-edged
turnout sword.

"The governing consequences will be most severe in Virginia, where the GOP
was outspent as the national left, led by Mike Bloomberg’s gun-control
operation, poured in millions of dollars. Democrats will use their new
majorities to move the state left on spending, a higher minimum wage, gun
regulation, mandates for renewable energy and public unions....

"These results forecast nothing definitive about 2020, though the anti-GOP
trend of three years should worry the White House. Mr. Trump won in 2016 on
an inside straight in the Electoral College, and he has never had a job
approval rating above 50% despite a good economy. His divisive rhetoric on
immigration and so much more may thrill his base but it alienates others.
His approval rating with white college-educated women in particular is
dreadful—34% in the latest WSJ-NBC poll.

"The fair judgment a year from Election Day in 2020 is that Mr. Trump is
highly vulnerable in his bid for a second term. He could benefit if the
economy rebounds from its recent 2% rate of growth, and perhaps Democrats
bent on impeachment will overreach. But Mr. Trump may need Democrats to
nominate an opponent whose agenda is far enough to the left to scare
suburban voters who are tired of the daily melodrama of the Trump

"Senate Republicans know this, and they know their majority is also at
risk. They can’t win merely by turning out the Trump base. The GOP needs a
strategy and agenda to regain support in the suburbs or they will lose the
House, the White House and the Senate in 2020."

*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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