Living in a state whose governor hung out at white supremacist conferences but enjoys a high bipartisan approval rating, I pay attention to my neighbors, none more so in recent days than what was once the Old South. For most of my life Virginia was a state my eyes glossed over: a red bastion, part of the GOP’s inexorable hold on suburbs. Reading the basic news should chill Republicans.
For decades, Virginia was reliably conservative, choosing Republican candidates in every presidential primary from 1968 to 2004. But demographic changes in large portions of the state, including a population explosion in Northern Virginia from the early 1990s through 2010, turned the commonwealth from red to purple.
“At this point, Virginia has become a blue state — how can you call it anything else,” Rozell said. “In a state that was long considered leaning red and two-party competitive at best, who could have predicted that the Republican Party would fall so dramatically and quickly?”
The outcomes were no less dramatic in Pennsylvania, won by Donald Trump in 2016:
The Pennsylvania suburbs, which will be crucial in the 2020 general election, turned even bluer Tuesday, following big GOP congressional losses in the midterm elections.
In Delaware County, the results for Republicans were catastrophic. All three Republican Council candidates and all four Republicans running for Common Pleas Court judgeships lost there. Incumbent Republican District Attorney Katayoun Copeland was ousted by Democrat Jack Stollsteimer, whose campaign received the support of liberal billionaire George Soros.
GOP consultants have hastened to remind reporters that Governor Bevin was a world-class dickhead, loathed even by supporters, but, as usual, don’t look at the results: focus on the trends. With each statewide election, the suburbs move closer to the Dem column. I didn’t pay attention to Panglossian chatter about Texas and Georgia; now it may happen in my lifetime.