Rachel Maddow points out the pattern in recent history of first year presidents going all the way back to George H.W. Bush losing the governorship of Virginia and New Jersey to the opposing party, and since Democrats actually won New Jersey, losing in Virginia doesn’t necessarily warrant a freak out no matter what the Beltway media says:
Rachel Maddow explains why Biden’s “bad election night” wasn’t bad, “for the first time since the 1980s, Republicans weren’t able to flip those two governorships like the opposing party has been able to do in the first year of every new presidency.” pic.twitter.com/ZmmskP3qxx
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) November 4, 2021
“Democrats Are Freaking Out Because The Media Told Them That They Did Badly”
Honestly, what happened here, for the past 30 years, every single time we’ve had a new president, that first year of the new president, the president’s party lost both the Virginia governor and New Jersey governor, every single time, except this time the Democrats didn’t lose New Jersey. In a rational world, this would not be a cause for democratic panic. Quite the contrary. Democrats have beat the odds. They’ve done everything that the great communicator, Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan is the last president who pulled this off, the last time a president managed to lose only one of those governorships, the great communicator Ronald Reagan. You would think this would be cause for celebration in the Democratic Party. But that’s not how we do things. In the beltway press today you can see for yourself how they treated it.
But, you know, even if you want to take a wider lens of it, look at how else things have been going in big high-profile elections for the Democrats since President Biden was elected. Back in June, there was a congressional special election. It was in New Mexico. Republicans saw that as a major opportunity, talked about how optimistic they were for that outcome and that congressional race in June, ultimately the Democrat not only won the seat but won by a larger than expected margin, womp-womp.
In September, Republicans and especially the conservative media, they got themselves very excited about the big recall effort against the Democratic governor of California, statewide recall. They were going to throw him out of office, the Republicans would rise up in California and humiliate the Democrats in that race. What happened in that race? The Democratic governor did fine, in fact, he won by just about as much as he won the seat by in the first place. Just a colossal waste of money and energy and breath. It went absolutely nowhere for them.
And now, last night, for the first time since the 1980s, Republicans weren’t able to flip those two governorships like the opposing party has been able to do in the first year of every new presidency going all the way back to Poppy Bush. They only got one. Dems held onto the other. Why this scenario should be cause for Democratic freakout is beyond me. I mean, if you’re a Democrat and you enjoy freaking out, knock yourself out. Be my guest. But rationally, big picture, you would rather be the party of Joe Biden than the party of Donald Trump right now.