Was the Washington Post Right to Make Trump the Big Loser?

Today’s page one Washington Post headlines:

Top of  page one:

Victory for Northam in Va.—Democrats sweep statewide elections, seen as barometer on Trump

Secondary story:

Democrats jolt Trump’s party with firm message

Both stories focused on the election of a new governor of Virginia, with Democrat Ralph Northam defeating Republican Ed Gillespie by 232,000 votes.

Northam succeeds Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic incumbent. Was Democrat Northam winning the governor’s race a surprise? No, he consistently led in the polls. Is Virginia a Republican state? No, Hillary Clinton won the state in last year’s presidential election by 212,000 votes.

A jolt to Trump’s party?

Maybe a small one.

The real message was the increasing domination of Virginia politics by the Washington suburbs. The five jurisdictions (the city of Alexandria and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties) adjoining the District of  Columbia gave Northam a 252,000 vote plurality over Gillespie, the winner in the rest of Virginia.

Yesterday’s Virginia vote echoed what happened in last year’s presidential election.

Hillary Clinton won the District of Columbia with 94 percent of the vote.

In Fairfax County, the biggest suburban area in Northern Virginia, Clinton got 65 percent of the vote, Trump got 29 percent. That 65 percent for Clinton was up from the 47 percent Al Gore got in 2000.

In Alexandria and Arlington, just across the Potomac River from DC, Clinton got 77 percent of the vote in both places. In 2000, Gore got 60 percent of the vote in Arlington and 68 percent in Alexandria.

So the Washington area—with the Maryland suburbs even more Democratic than the Virginia suburbs—now is ever more Democratic and the Washington suburbs increasingly dominate statewide elections in both Maryland and Virginia

Why is the nation’s capital—DC and its suburbs—ever more Democratic? The old joke was that when Republican officeholders lost they went home but Democrats never leave. There’s a little truth to that but it’s more true that as the national government grows more powerful and rich the Washington area grows more liberal and rich. The Washington Post and the people here like it that way. To us, Mr. Trump, you’ll always be a loser.
Reaction from a woman journalist in Washington: What most surprised me was that the Virginia House of Delegates might shift hands. I don’t think anyone saw the Virginia Dems making the gains they did.

One report said it was largely because of the turnout among female voters, and the number of women running. According to the Washington Post, of the 14 House of Delegates seats that the Democrats flipped, all were held by men and 10 were won by women—including two Latinas.

I talked with another woman journalist and we think that a lot of the anger that Trump has unleashed has energized women and may be why women who have been sexually harassed are speaking out. So politics may not be the only area where some women are saying: We’re not going to take it any more.
And there’s the age factor: According to the New Policy Institute, 64 percent of the Virginia voters under the age of 45 voted for Northam, while 51 percent of the voters 45 and older voted for Gillespie.

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