Tags: 2020 Elections | Coronavirus | Gun Control | virginia | staunton | city council | ralph northam

Is Virginia Returning to Republicans?

ralph northam speaking wearing a pink tie, blue shirt and black suit
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 27 May 2020 06:09 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Press coverage accompanied municipal election results in Staunton, Virginia, last week.

In results that could only be dubbed as “stunning,” Republicans captured the Staunton City Council.

The results were especially dramatic, as over 17,000 votes were cast, putting turnout at about 4,300 voters of roughly 23,400 residents. In 2018, Democrats captured their three council seats in the local election with a total of about 7,000 votes cast, with about 2,300 voters turning out.

The national press is especially interested in what happened in Staunton because, for the last 15 years, the western Virginia town has been a reliable bastion of the Democratic Party. It delivered handily for Democratic Party presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Governors Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam, both Democrats.

As to why such a result occurred in Staunton, most pundits and politicians agree that Republicans gained by focusing their fire on two highly unpopular policies of Gov. Northam: a gun control measure he signed that upset the large gun-owning population in western Virginia and the early lockdown that he imposed to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

So are the results from Staunton a sign that Virginia may revert to Republican domination in 2020 and beyond? 

“One overlooked key factor in the city's record voter turnout is that liberal Mary Baldwin University students may have not turned out due to their lack of interest in a local election and the coronavirus lockdown,” veteran election analyst Jay O’Callaghan told Newsmax. “But this election also shows that Republicans could turn out in record numbers in 2021 and retake the legislature from very partisan liberal Democrats.”

Former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., a past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told us that “[t]his is still western Virginia. Trump gets crushed in urban areas and that is the difference in statewide races — Republicans got 16 percent in Arlington and Alexandria and 29 percent in Fairfax. Republicans will come back post-Trump.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Press coverage last week accompanied municipal election results in Staunton, Virginia.In results that could only be dubbed as "stunning," Republicans captured three of four seats on the City Council and actually unseated three Democratic incumbents. The results were...
virginia, staunton, city council, ralph northam, terry mcauliffe
Wednesday, 27 May 2020 06:09 AM
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