Email #336: “This is a tidal wave”

Your fellow Virginian Republican Rep. Taylor said of yesterday’s election results:

“I don’t know how you get around that this wasn’t a referendum on the administration, I just don’t. Some of the very divisive rhetoric helped prompt and usher in a really high Democratic turnout in Virginia. We need to have some looking in the mirror.”

The President tweeted early yesterday about the governor’s race:

“Ralph Northam will allow crime to be rampant in Virginia. He’s weak on crime, weak on our GREAT VETS, Anti-Second Amendment….and has been horrible on Virginia economy. Vote @EdWGillespie today! @EdWGillespie will totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA. MS-13 and crime will be gone. Vote today, ASAP!”

When it was clear that Northam had won by 9%, the President tweeted:

“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!”

But in Virginia, Republicans lost big. Not only did the full Democratic ticket win the three statewide elections, Democrats claimed historic victories in the House of Delegates.

Republicans currently dominate the House 66 to 34. Because of gerrymandered advantages, they were only expected to lose six seats this year, compared to the single seat they lost in the last election. Instead Democrats have taken 14 seats, with another three too close to call and headed for recounts. That means the best-case scenario for Republicans is only a 52 to 48 majority. The worst case: they drop to a 49-seat minority.

According to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report: “This is a tidal wave. It’s hard to look at tonight’s results and to conclude anything other than that Democrats are the current favorite for control of the House in 2018.”

President Trump claims Gillespie lost because he did not “embrace” him. But he lost because he could not distance himself enough from the President. Rep. Taylor says the Republican Party needs some looking in the mirror.

What do you see in yours right now?

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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