Any takes on Pennsylvania? Right next door to NJ and we really didn’t move at all compared to 2020 , Republicans won Supreme Court race 51-49 which is really close to their state auditor and treasurer wins

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Hi Elliott,

I've been seeing several takes from the VA election.

1. Not passing BIF cost Democrats the VA election.

2. The party that holds the Presidency takes loses during non-Presidential elections.

3. Not passing BBB depressed Democratic turnout.

4. Voters dislike BBB because it is too liberal and costs too much.

5. Critical Race Theory cost Democrats votes by alienating voters.

Would getting good media coverage by the passage of BIF really have made a difference?

Voters want Democrats to deliver. A potential boost to Biden's approval rating could have helped McAuliffe. Would that move voters towards Democratic candidates like McAuliffe and would it have been enough for him to win. Maybe.

Did the fact that Democrats hold the White House cause them to do poorly in Tuesday's election?

Historically this makes a lot of sense. Maybe people are overreacting with their takes?

Would the passage of BBB help turnout Democrats?

I think Democrats are frustrated with the lack of progress with core Democratic priorities. Much like voters who were frustrated with BIF not passing, would they boost Biden's approval rating and turnout for Democrats.

Do voters dislike BBB because it is too liberal and costs too much?

From the polling I've seen, BBB has the support of a majority of Americans. I'm not convinced that BBB was the problem.


Did Critical Race Theory alienate rural white voters?

If voters vote on social/cultural issues this is a possibility. I'm not sure if there is enough evidence to make this conclusion.

I'm not entirely sure on what conclusion to draw. Maybe it's a combination of all five?

I hope you are having a good weekend!


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It seems to me we unnecessarily search for complex answers whilst more mundane answers are at hand. McAuliffe didn’t appear to give voters sufficient reasons to vote for him and continually tried to portray Youngkin as Trump redux. He was also running against 48 years or so of observable outcomes wherein the winner of this race comes from the party opposed to the winner of the presidential election concluded one year prior. As for Murphy and NJ you didn’t expound much on that but it seems voter enthusiasm against Murphy reared it’s head as Murphy lost big in two large population counties (Ocean and Monmouth) that are traditional Republican bastions and growing more so. Murphy did buck the 48 year old trend which accounts for something. Hard to say if Covid played a role in NJ but I wouldn’t discount it. Thanks for your post!

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Doesn't McAuliffe deserve some credit? A former incumbent should be able to run on his record or at least demonstrated competence but McAuliffe had negligible edge over a newbie on handling of key issues, the economy and coronavirus.

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But did younger voters care about the BIF (seen as road and bridges and very necessary) or about expanding the safety net? And that's not there yet. I suspect Biden needs both and to advertise them.

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