Open Thread

Open Thread for November 8, 2017

A Democratic sweep of Virginia, New Jersey, and mayoral races in Charlotte, New Hampshire, Boston, and New York City.  Ralph Northam (D) has been elected next governor of Virginia defeating Ed Gillespie (R).   Washington Post: “As the nation’s only competitive governor’s race this year, Virginia’s contest was seen as a measure of whether swing-state Republicans could survive Trump’s unpopularity.”

Phil Murphy (D) is projected to win the New Jersey governor’s race defeating Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who struggled to gain traction in the race.  Newark Star Ledger: “Murphy’s victory over Guadagno, Christie’s lieutenant governor, will usher in a new era of Democratic rule in the Garden State after eight years of Christie, a once-popular Republican who saw his approval rating plummet to historic lows in recent years.

Politico: “This one was for Donald Trump. Exit polls revealed an unmistakable anti-Trump backlash Tuesday, as Democrats won resounding victories in governors races in Virginia and New Jersey. Majorities of voters in both states disapproved of the job Trump is doing as president, with significant numbers of voters in each state saying Trump was a reason for their vote. And far more of those voters said they made their choice to oppose Trump than to support him.”

“What is unusual about Tuesday night is the extent to which the two races were about Trump. And the stark results cast fresh doubt on the health of Republican majorities in the House and Senate, in addition to gubernatorial races in next year’s midterm elections.”

Mike Allen: “Top Republicans were stunned by the severity of the shellacking, and worry that it will endanger both tax reform and the House majority.”

Politico: “Jubilant Democrats struck a defiant tone after sweeping victories across the country on Tuesday night, led by Democrat Ralph Northam’s surprise pummeling of Republican Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Surveying their first electoral sweep in half a decade after a soul-crushing 2016 campaign and a desultory start to the Donald Trump era, Democratic leaders reset their expectations for the 2018 midterms.”

“They’re now expecting a fundraising and candidate recruitment surge, powered by grass-roots fury at the Trump administration. While most Democrats stopped short of predicting the party will take the House next year, they noted in Gillespie the failure of a candidate who tried balancing between Trump-style populism and establishment Republicanism.”

New York Times: “Lessons from off-year elections can be overdrawn, but the Virginia race strongly suggests that Republicans running in swing states will have to choose a side rather than try to straddle an uncomfortable line. Mr. Trump’s blunt force, all-or-nothing approach has worked in deeply conservative areas, but Republicans will have trouble replicating that in certain states in the midterms next year when faced with a diverse, highly educated electorate like the one in Virginia.”



President Trump “asserted that tougher gun laws would not have stopped the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last weekend and in fact ‘hundreds more’ would have died had another man not been able to ‘neutralize’ the alleged killer with a gun of his own,” the Washington Post reports.

“Asked during a news conference here whether he would entertain ‘extreme vetting’ on guns, Trump appeared irritated by the question and suggested it was not appropriate to talk about ‘in the heart of South Korea.’”



“Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to President Trump’s campaign whose visit to Moscow during the election has drawn scrutiny, sent an email to fellow Trump aides during his trip describing ‘a private conversation’ with a senior Russian official who spoke favorably of the Republican candidate,” the Washington Post reports.

“Page also wrote that he had been provided ‘incredible insights and outreach’ by Russian lawmakers and ‘senior members’ of Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s administration during the trip.”

“The email appeared to contradict earlier statements by Page, who had said he had only exchanged brief greetings with the senior Russian official, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, after he delivered a speech at a Russian university.”



“More people in some key counties President Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election say the U.S. is worse off now than say it is better off,” The Hill reports.

“An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll surveyed residents of 438 counties that saw a surge last year for Trump or flipped to vote Republican in the 2016 election after previously going for President Obama in 2012. The poll found 32% of people in those ‘Trump counties’ think the country is better off now than it was before Trump assume office. But 41% think the country is worse off.”

“A majority of people surveyed, 53%, don’t think the president has a clear agenda.”



According to financial-disclosure forms Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross filed after his nomination, Ross has less than $700 million in assets despite repeatedly claiming he’s worth more than $2 billion, Forbes reports.

“And after one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.”


New York Times: “Syria announced during United Nations climate talks on Tuesday that it would sign the Paris agreement on climate change. The move, which comes on the heels of Nicaragua signing the accord last month, will leave the United States as the only country that has rejected the global pact.”



“An early December government shutdown is a real possibility, since a divided Congress can’t agree on military spending, Democrats insist on help for young immigrants and President Trump’s position can change with each lawmaker he talks to,” the AP reports.

“Most of Washington is focused on overhauling the nation’s tax code, but lawmakers face a combustible mix of must-do and could-do items, with the current government spending bill set to expire Dec. 8. On the list are immigration and a U.S.-Mexico border wall; an impasse over children’s health care; pent-up demand for budget increases for the Pentagon and domestic agencies; and tens of billions of dollars in hurricane aid.”



Politico: “Momentum for gun control saw a brief burst of life after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history last month, with Republicans joining Democrats in weighing restrictions to bump stocks. But the GOP-controlled Congress hasn’t pushed forward any bills, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has yet to curb the gun accessory that authorities say was used to kill nearly 60 concertgoers in Las Vegas.”

“And after the latest mass shooting at a rural Texas church on Sunday, proposals to restrict firearms appeared no likelier to advance on Capitol Hill.”


Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

11 comments on “Open Thread for November 8, 2017

  1. Some quick tweets:

    Julie McClain Downey‏ @McClainJulie 8h8 hours ago
    Of the 15 Republican-held seats that were flipped tonight in Virginia, 11 were by @emilyslist endorsed women.

    Marshall Cohen‏Verified account @Marshall_Cohen 11h
    This says a lot about turnout.
    2016 VA exit poll: 67% white, 21% black, 6% Latino
    2017 VA exit poll: 67% white, 21% black, 6% Latino
    Same proportions. (Given normal MOE.) Usually midterm years and off-years feature a whiter electorate. Benefits GOP in a big way. Not tonight.

    And these numbers tell a big story:

    Neal Carter‏ @nealcarter
    Black women delivered for Dems in the commonwealth of Virginia. Yet again another cycle and the white women vote was split. #ElectionDay #BlackWomenLead

    • Delaware Dem

      Not tonight, because FINALLY!!! Democrats turned out in an off year midterm election. If we have the same turnout in 2018, we will win 80 seats in the House and 10 seats in the Senate. And I am not even joking. The numbers are there for a huge night.

  2. Yep. NIce win for the blue team yesterday. Definitely the nightmare scenario for the red team for 2018, Trump’s unpopularity drives up off-year turnout. Virginia is pretty blue but turning a lot of red seats in the state legislature is a really good indicator of long term electoral success. But note that all the success was in states that Clinton carried in 2016, will be interesting to see if the effect holds in 2016 red states.

    • Not all the success was had in states that Clinton carried. The Georgia pick-ups are a pretty big deal.

      And Maine voted – overwhelmingly – for Medicaid expansion. (59.1 to 40.9)

      • Georgia pickups were pretty small beer from what I could see. Don’t think you can read too much into any metro Atlanta results or a few scattered off year races. But still a pretty good day overall for Democrats.

        Remarkable to see a Socialist winning a State delegate spot.

    • Pretty sure Cheeto carried PA take a peek at results in CHESCO, DELCO and Bucks Counties. Seats flipped going back generations. Black Mayor in Helena Montana, There’s more:)

  3. cassandram

    Dave Weigel on Twitter today bustin’ up some of the CW on the VA win:

    • A middle of the road Dem won a blue state. Nothing more than that. Of course Gillespie’s messaging was built around painting Northam as an extremist, just like Northam tried to pin the racist label on Gillespie. It’s what every politician does.

      • yea and flipping or near flipping a 64-36 R state house. CHESCO, CELCO, Bucks County PA going blue after generations. D wind in suburban areas in multiple states.
        Nothing les than an earthquake, sport:)

      • cassandram

        You didn’t even see what you did here. A middle-of-the road Dem now stands for: $15min wage, No Right to Work, oppose charter school expansion, cap & trade. Right? McAuliffe wasn’t supporting this stuff. It might seem small, but a move of the Overton window is pretty vital, I think.

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