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Opinion: The crucial point we are missing after the Virginia election

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by Glenn Youngkin victory in Virginia, which would have been surprising two months ago when Terry McAuliffe was considered the narrow favorite – suggests there is a way for Republicans to campaign and win without former President Donald Trump. After Tuesday’s election, it is clear that voters will respond to a candidate who talks about issues that affect everyday families and sets out a positive outlook to move forward. But Trump still hangs over the GOP like a sword of Damocles, as Youngkin sees it. resistance to campaign with him. Trump’s willingness to play in primaries — or, as we saw in Georgia, in schools — can ruin Republicans he doesn’t like. It is part of his DNA and has not changed.
On the other hand, the Democrats ’conclusions from last week’s loss appear to be this Congress necessary to pass the “Rebuild Better” legislation to show results with which they can run, while at the same time pushing back the increasingly leftward tilt and “awakening” of their progressive wing.
All this is true. Youngkin’s campaign points to a successful, albeit tenuous, way out of the shadow of Trump, one that focuses on the problems virgins experience on a daily basis, from grocery taxes to school closures. instead of Trump. Virginia voters, from the Trump base of the GOP to suburban white women Democrats lost en masse, rejected a Democratic Party that they see as not yielding positive results and continues to move more and more to the left.

But all this makes no sense.

There’s one main reason Democrats had a tough Tuesday night and will potentially have a tough 2022. Many are missing the obvious blinding forest as they study each individual leaf of each tree: President Joe Biden is unpopular.

An NBC News poll At the end of last month, Biden showed 42% approval, with 54% disapproving of his job as president, compared to 39% in April. Exit survey in Virginia showed that the majority of voters disapproved of Biden.
A Reuters / Ipsos survey at the end of October, only 26% of the public believe that the United States is going in the right direction, compared to 60%, a 34-point differential, which they believe we are on the wrong path.

This is manifested in issues.

The same NBC News poll showed last month Republicans with great advantages on issues ranging from border and national security to the economy and, as the survey says, “doing things”. This is doomed for Biden and Democrats, and explains why the enthusiasm of Democratic voters simply wasn’t there last week.
Efforts to diagnose Democrats' biggest problem are off the mark
With a lot of talk about Tuesday and the upcoming 2022 legislatures echoing 2009 and 2010, it’s important to remember that after Barack Obama’s inauguration and high popularity, the GOP was left for political death. A cover of May 2009 TIME magazine declared Republicans an “endangered species.”
But as Obama’s popularity dwindled, the GOP’s hopes rose. I led communications for the Republican National Committee in 2010. Our “magic number” for Obama was 46, meaning if his approval was below, we believe we would regain the House of Representatives. On top of that and we just didn’t know it. Our job, on a daily basis, was to do everything we could to keep it at 46 or below. he was 45 years old the week of the 2010 midterm legislature, and the GOP had an electoral wave.
Obviously, Biden’s numbers are well below that, and he doesn’t own Obama’s oratorical or political gifts. Still, regardless of whether it signs the now-approved $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill, Biden has good news: 531,000 jobs added in October with strong revisions from last month and the announcement of one Pfizer experimental antiviral pill which according to studies reduces death and hospitalization for Covid-19.
Considering how many issues of last week’s elections were Covid-related: school closures, jobs, inflation, supply chain, this is a lifeline that Biden and Democrats desperately need.

The other lesson from Tuesday’s election is that we just don’t know where Biden will be yet. Some saw a takeover of the GOP in the House and Senate as inevitable even before last Tuesday night. A colleague told me the week before the election that he was “in the bag.”

But nothing is ever guaranteed in politics, and a year is very long. As we absorb the results of Virginia’s race, Republicans should not measure the curtains but focus on their task of building the house where the curtains will hang.

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