Democrats in Washington were alarmed by the results of Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, which indicated that breaking every promise they made to voters in 2020 may not have been a winning strategy.
In Virginia, a state Joe Biden won by more than 10% in 2020, Glenn Youngkin (R) defeated Terry McAuliffe (D) to become the state’s next governor. In New Jersey, where Biden won by 15%, the race’s margin was razor-thin.
McAuliffe’s shocking defeat sent shivers down the spines of Democratic strategists nation-wide.
“People are starting to get worried that we can’t excite young people of color with 60-something white guys who say stuff like ‘think big’ and ‘be bold’ anymore,” said Democratic Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper.
Democrats up for election in 2022 are scrambling to rethink their core campaign messages after McAuliffe’s message of “I am not Donald Trump” fell flat with Virginians. Some are even suggesting that the party should actually formulate a coherent agenda in order to keep up with Republicans.
After all, Republicans have something Democrats don’t: a core message. Sure, that message might be, “let’s accelerate the heat death of the planet if we can’t all die from Covid first,” but at least it’s something.
“We need something to unite around,” said Pierce Blambert, a former staffer for the Tom Steyer campaign. “Remember how unified and effective the Democratic Party was when it looked like Bernie might win? We need something like that.”
Moderate, pragmatic, tactical members of the party argue that Democrats are not doing enough to flaunt their various achievements since taking control of the presidency and both chambers of Congress, including approving new oil-drilling projects and pipelines on public and tribal lands, giving a major budget-boost to the Pentagon and continuing all of Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Radical, socialist, communists argue that Democrats might gain popularity by adopting Marxist policies like giving new parents paid leave, slightly lowering prescription drug prices or adding dental to Medicare.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell who is right.
We can be sure about some things though: 2022 is going to be an absolute bloodbath, and the Trump/Biden rematch in 2024 will provide a ton of side-splitting content for whichever assholes are writing for the Daily Cardinal Almanac.