RICHMOND, Va. — Voters in Virginia and New Jersey gave Democratic gubernatorial candidates large victories Tuesday and sent a clear message of rebuke to President Donald Trump.
In Virginia's hard-fought contest, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey front-running Democrat Phil Murphy overcame Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to succeed unpopular GOP Gov. Chris Christie. As reported by the AP
The real issue is whether these two elections actually are a rebuke of Donald Trump. In considering this issue, there are two things to consider.
1. Trump's polling is abysmal. Americans are unhappy with his performance, and he continues to ignore that dissatisfaction by Tweeting irresponsible commentary thereby undermining his own presidency, showing a big disconnect with what Americans feel. Moreover, he does not seem to care.
2. The victories in both states for Democrats are significant. Voters are looking for alternatives and the message appears to be: wake up Donald Trump, we are not with you. However, with these victories come responsibility. Therefore, Democrats are going to have to deliver, showing a strong connection with Americans.
The next year will bring changing dynamics and many challenges...it is hard to predict if these victories are an indication of what is to come. Regardless, Democrats received a boost with these wins.