Virginia Primary Puts Democrats’ Spirit of ’17 to the Test

Democrats hope for signs that voters are still as unhappy with President Trump as they were in November, when their party made big gains. Republicans are counting on a rebound for the midterms.

Comments: 42

  1. Today’s Virginia’s primaries could foreshadow the Democratic party’s fortunes for November. The president inherited not a mess but a very low unemployment rating, thanks to his predecessor who turned around the economy and high jobless rate he was handed from George W. Bush. The president’s approval rating is at nearly 90% among Republicans but it remains to be seen if his popularity can be found in places besides the Richmond suburbs or in the mountains in southwest Virginia. It’s certainly nonexistent in the Washington suburbs.

    With Corey Stewart, a clone of the president, vying for Tim Kaine’s Senate seat in November, voters will be reminded of the stark differences and clear choices between the two parties.

  2. The red-red coal loving SW will certainly go for the crazy white supremacist (I know, I live here). NoVA has to get out the vote and overturn that.

  3. I wouldn't count on the Democrats doing well. The Democrats have squandered the big electoral lead that had last year by refusing to talk about real issues. Also, their negativity towards Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un--placing partisan attacks above the need to prevent nuclear war--will turn many voters against them.

  4. Keep dreaming!!! See you at the polls: ) He’s giving away the store in Singapore, without receiving anything tangible in return, we won’t rest with regaining the House and Senate either.

  5. I beg to differ. In the wave Elections of 2006 (Dems 6.8+) and 2010 (Reps 7.9+), the Generic Congressional Vote was lower than it is now (Dems +8.2). In so far as the Trump-Kim meeting is concerned, we have seen this picture before with Kim's father and grandfather. Both times the North Koreans reneged on signed agreements. The word negativity is inaccurate, skepticism is what we Dems feel.

  6. You mean they won't notice that Kim Jong Un is Trump's brother from another mother, only a mite smarter?

    Dream on ... they're both thrusters with their eye on getting their way.

  7. This November, Virginians will have a choice between:

    Tim Kaine, a smart, informed, humble, and experienced man—from city council on up, someone who is the absolute antithesis of Trump and one of three Trumpsters.

    Keep America Beautiful-and Blue, Virginia!!!

  8. '' For republicans, the main event in the state is a United States Senate primary with three candidates each vying to be the most conservative...'' - You mean, the most ''extreme''.

    The country as a whole is moving soundly towards the Progressive policies that are wildly popular in poll after poll.

    The only thing missing are the candidates that need to demonstrably portray their solid positions and then the electorate will show up to support them.

    It has been shown in the special elections time after time that is people run smart and disciplined campaigns, that they can win anywhere. (even in bright red places)

    On to the blue wave !

  9. "suggest that the wave could be flattening to a ripple."

    Better said; the wave could be flattening to a "rip tide". You can't see the rip tide but the force is there!

  10. The reason Virginia finally got Medicaid expansion is because of all the Democrats elected to the Virginia House of Delegates last November. This was a wakeup call for Republicans. Also, with statewide elections, Virginia has been electing Democrats for years.

    We live in VA's District 10, in Fairfax County, which is represented by Barbara Comstock, but her district's largest counties voted overwhelmingly for Clinton over Trump in 2016: Fairfax County by 64.4% to 28.8%; Loudon County by 55.1% to 38.2%, and Prince William County by 57.6% to 36.5%.

    Many of us are looking forward to a retirement party for Representative Comstock, who succeeded the long-serving Republican Frank Wolf, come this November.

  11. Five state primary elections are being held today. Hopefully a majority of the citizens of those states realize what grave danger OUR United States is in and will vote and vote only for Socially Conscious Women and men who are not beholden to the Robber Barons' money.

    Robber Barons are trying to destroy OUR lives. Money, wealth and power are fleeting. WE THE PEOPLE must not let the socially unconscious, inherited/stolen wealth, power-demented Robber Barons destroy OUR lives and those of our children/grandchildren and other future generations. WE can stop them. NOW. Vote.

  12. Similar to the past two presidential elections, we will see a challenge this fall between the red districts of VA vs. the pull of blue districts in Northern VA. When I arrived at work to teach this morning, which is a polling place, I hardly saw any representation for Rep. Comstock's Democratic challengers. Her campaign, however, was out in force. People were stopping by to chat with them though, which is interesting, given the six-way Dem primary and the difficulty in knowing who they all are! I think people are trying to make informed decisions, just as they did with the VA governor. I seriously think Comstock's seat in district 10 will be in jeopardy come November though, especially with the continuing expansion and development of Loudon County. Although I'm not a VA resident (from just over the line in MD), it's interesting to follow their statewide politics.

  13. Get out and vote Virginia. But if Virginians vote Republican they are not listening to the real news. This administration is an embarrassment to American and global values.

  14. I voted Republican, but only so I could vote the weakest GOP candidate onto the ballot for November.

    Of course, my Senator and Representative were both running unchallenged, but any Democrat in a similar position should do the same.

  15. This type of piece is a space filler since the actual results will be known tomorrow morning.

  16. So people think Donald is a vulgar, dishonest, ignorant bigot they wouldn't have in their homes, but as long as the economy hasn't tanked yet from his tariffs, it's okay?

    I prefer to believe most voters put country above party.

  17. All Democrats in states with open primaries where the Democrat is unchallenged (or the incumbent) need to vote in the GOP primary and vote for the weakest candidate. I just voted for E.W. Jackson to go up against Tim Kaine.

    If Republicans want to keep telling Democrats that the popular vote doesn't matter, we should just start choosing their candidates for them.

  18. "Hoping" is not a strategy. Other than a passing reference to gun carrying rights, it is telling that no mention at all was made regarding what POLICIES democrats are heralding as improvements. Higher taxes? More illegals? Don't you hate Trump?... In the face of the President's many economic and diplomatic achievements, the Dems better find something fast or there is going to be another red wave this fall.

  19. "...the President's many economic and diplomatic achievements..." You mean attempting to take credit for Obama's economy, enabling Iran to restart its nuclear program, and begging a tinpot dictator to meet with him?

    The fact is, Democrats aren't in charge right now, so what improvements are they supposed to tout? What improvements can be touted by ANY party that isn't in power? And yet, the opposition party always seems to take back at least part of Congress during the midterms.

    Democrats could run on fiscal responsibility (the GOP doesn't own that anymore), net neutrality (a BIG misstep by the Republicans), voter rights (a SCOTUS win for Republicans and no one else), fixing Trump's lethal debacle in Puerto Rico, proper treatment of families under deportation (1500 kids just "missing" is unacceptable)...and that's just the stuff before the effects of Trump's other policies come home to roost.

  20. With regards to primary elections, if you narrow in on Virginia, I think you'll see a blue wave coming (this from a local who sees the discourse going on at the moment). Candidates are actually talking about issues that matter to Virginians and not just playing to the anti-Trump base.

  21. BearBoy, in VA we extended Medicaid to 400,000 needy people. I'd say that is quite significant. What specific accomplishments has Trump actually achieved beyond rescinding things in place before he came on board?

  22. Reckless is an understatement.
    Again I say Democrats need a strong mssage. Less than 6 months out, nothing of substance.

  23. You aren't listening. I live in California, like you, and I hear Democrats talking about the issues I care about, and not just about the traitor in the White House, which in and of itself is a reason to vote out the enabling Republicans.

  24. I'm so disappointed in the Democrats, my party! What is their message? They have so much meat, and yet they say or do much of nothing, just as the last election, what are they doing? Hoping the big money will follow them like Trump and the Republican led Congress, in the meantime they get the we the majority get..If only they could get clear eyed and lead us back to freedom!
    In the meantime I'm done with them, I want a clear message of rebellion against this madness!!

  25. The Democrats are for protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, making sure all people have affordable healthcare, safeguarding consumer protection, protecting environmental regulations that keep our air and water clean, dealing with climate change, improving education and making access to college more affordable, investing in our crumbling infrastructure, creating jobs, protecting the American worker and standing up for social justice, LGBT rights and immigration reform that's compassionate and reflects our identity as a nation of immigrants, addressing the problem of gun violence and finally doing something to help those addicted to opioids.

    I'm sure I've missed other issues- please feel free to add to the list.

  26. You’re not paying attention Kim. And frankly you’re repeating a tired criticism of Democrats. Take a look at L’s reply. If the items he/she lists aren’t of importance to you, you’re no Democrat.

  27. I thought of a few more issues to add to my previous comment.

    The Democrats want to improve the VA and are against its privatization. They support a woman's constitutional right to choose. They also support net neutrality.

  28. I have unshakeable confidence in the Dems ability to fight each other, take victory for granted, put up lacklustre candidates who are yesterdays people and fail to realise that the world has changed fundamentally. They know only one thing - how to lose, lose, lose. They, as much as Trump, are to blame for the catastrophe now unfolding.

  29. The Reps have not won a statewide race since 2009!! This state is turning blue and all the better. Here in Richmond I can not wait to see Rep. Brat lose his seat. If the Reps keeping electing the likes of Corey Stewart they can expect to keep losing!

  30. To believe that any President has a significant impact on economic growth is absurd. The current economy is cresting on a wave that started many years ago.

  31. The problem is that voters have historically given credit for a strong economy to the incumbent President, whether it is warranted or not. The “ If the economy is good, why should we change anything?” attitude.

  32. My polling place in a red-seated incumbent Congressional and Senate Southwestern VA primary was entirely entirely empty this morning. I fear that political fatigue is setting in since every day the news seems to get worse.

  33. Maybe you can get Hillary out to drum up votes.

  34. As addictive as DTs antics and mistakes are, progressives need not go dormant until November. There is much to do on the local level where politics is not a spectator sport. If you have time, patience and commitment to work for a better country here’s a political action plan:
    1) Be sure you’re registered to vote, and get those you know to register too. Then help others to register voters or to re-register those who’ve been wrongfully evicted from the rolls
    2) Work locally. If you can't find your local party committee, contact your state party and ask them to refer you. The links for all the state parties are here: Then phone bank, door knock, and door-bell for local Democrats and for issues of merit. I’ve done them all, and it’s rewarding, sometimes fun, and you’ll meet other progressives too.
    3) Run for local office, school boards, town councils, etc. Get, read, and re-read a book like "The Campaign Manager: Running and Winning Local Elections." You'll be smarter than the rest of the field, even on your first try.
    4) Join a group that helps train future candidates for office.
    5) Do something actively progressive. Don't just pout-‘n-post. Doing anything active is better than going all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ & sitting back with a big bowl of popcorn and a drink and watching it happen again.

    Feel free to pass this information on to other progressives via email or social media postings. Democracy takes real work, patience, and endurance. Ready?

  35. Democratic candidates keep the focus on Trump in order to divert the voters attention from what the Democrats real number 1 agenda item is: Amnesty for millions and millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom have been living in the US for decades while never paying a dime in income or Social Security taxes. The Democrats can't wait to put them at the front of the line, give them a reward and instantly create millions of new Democratic voters while ignoring the concerns of actual American citizens. Wait and see.

  36. Your claims are far from accurate, but you do tow the right-wing news outlets line very well.

  37. In VA the priority this year was expanding Medicaid coverage to 400,000 people, thereby reducing strain on the health care system and helping those in need. It was only made possible by voting out the Repubs. You forgot to mention that a lot of illegals and their employers pay significant amounts of taxes, while our Commander and Chief has likely paid zero taxes in 20+ years, and after promising to show his tax returns has not done so.

  38. I happen to know some Republicans who employ illegals to work on their farm. (They claim U.S. citizens won't do the work.) I know for a fact that their illegal immigrant employees have fake SS numbers, so they pay into SS even though they will never collect a dime of SS when they retire because of those fake SS numbers. My friends also take federal taxes (WA state has no state income tax) out of the paychecks of their illegal immigrant employees. You really should learn the facts about illegals and taxes before you spout off such nonsense.

  39. The "Democrats don't have a message" line is a Fox News talking point, and It's highly suspect that any Democrat who's paying attention (and most of us are) would say such nonsense.

  40. So what is their message then?

  41. The true spirit of '17 is that a majority of the registered voters in Virginia -- not to mention eligible voters -- even bothered to vote. That group is up for grabs in November. Democrats would do well to give them a reason to vote this year than is different from '17. The same message, largely consisting of NO TRUMP, will not work now if it did not work then.

  42. The true spirit of '17 is that a majority of the registered voters in Virginia -- not to mention eligible voters -- even bothered to vote. That group is up for grabs in November. Democrats would do well to give them a reason to vote this year that is different from '17. The same message, largely consisting of NO TRUMP, will not work now if it did not work then. In any case, it is usually much easier, especially in a polarized echo chamber environment, to get a non-voter to vote than it is to reverse the voting preference of a voter.