by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There have been three big elections since 2016. The Democrats have won all of them, but it is the way that they won and the people they won with that give them some reasons for hope.
In purple Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam’s seven-point win was not unexpected, but it was larger than expected. In Alabama and in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District — a state and a district that Trump had won easily — Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., had to overcome deficits in the 20 point region to win.
Granted, Jones ran against a racist and child-dater who had been banned from a mall in the city of Gadsden. But he was in one of the deepest red states in the Union, and Trump had run hard against both. Northam and Jones are not clones of each other, and Lamb is like neither, but all of the three have some big things in common. They are wholly unlike Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and the rest of the noisy and aging and prominent Democrats. They have no use at all for identity politics. And they are throwbacks to the Democrats as they were many years earlier, a continental and vibrant majority party of the kind we don’t see any more.