Take that, wingnuts. Northam beat Gillespie in Virginia by 54% to 45%, a much bigger margin than the most recent polls predicted. In the state’s House of Delegates, where Republicans had a 66-34 majority, Democrats have picked up at least 14 seats and may manage another 3 to take the majority. Maine approved Medicaid expansion by referendum, 59% to 41%. In perhaps the sweetest result of the day, the Republican state legislator who wrote Virginia’s anti-trans “bathroom bill” was defeated by Danica Roem, a transgender candidate. A round-up of our wins nationwide is here.
The wingnuts quickly began devouring their wounded. Breitbart repudiated Gillespie as an “establishment Republican” leading a “band of virtue-signalling Bush loyalists”, while Trump said that he “did not embrace me or what I stand for”, even though in fact Gillespie had been endorsed by Bannon and had run a Trumpesque campaign full of dog-whistles about illegal aliens and Confederate statues. RedState, which these days is unenthused with both the Trump and establishment brands of Republicanism, declared the day “a bloodletting of the Republican party of a kind unseen in a generation”.
One of the striking things about this election was turnout.