Discover more from The Signorile Report
Defying pundits and pollsters, Democrats surge to victory (again!)
in Virginia, Youngkin caused even deeper losses for GOP, as Ohio voters backed abortion rights and Kentucky re-elected Democrat Andy Beshear
Going into it, much of the corporate media billed Election Night 2023 as a sign of what would happen in 2024. And they did this just after they uncritically promoted polls showing President Biden and the party in deep trouble in next year’s race. The implicit message was that it was going to be a bad night for Democrats.
But last night’s real-world elections showed that once again the corporate media was completely off in the polling and prognosticating, not just of 2024 but of last night’s results. They had for the past two years embraced Virginia GOP Governor Glenn Youngkin as an “alternative to MAGA,” as one CNN pundit put it, who was poised last night to create a blueprint for the GOP with a “reasonable” 15-week abortion ban.
Apparently, Youngkin’s plan was to have the GOP take control of the state Senate from the Democrats in last night's legislative elections and keep the House of Delegates. Then they’d pass his abortion ban, his radical education policies, and anti-LGBTQ legislation, and he'd jump into the presidential race, with the billionaire donor class behind him, and take down Donald Trump, and then Joe Biden. (At least, that's what we kept hearing was the plan from the billionaires who were backing him, even as Youngkin stayed hush on the whole thing.)
It all crashed and burned last night. And if the GOP is smart—a big if—they will now see Youngkin as radioactive, telling him to hang up his fleece vest and go away. His abortion ban plan energized Democrats so much that they not only kept the state Senate; they took control of the House of Delegates. A spectacular backfire.
The Signorile Report is free and reader-supported. If you’ve valued reading The Signorile Report, consider becoming a paid subscriber and supporting independent, ad-free opinion journalism. Thanks!
In Ohio, once again, voters came out in full force for abortion rights, voting for Amendment 1, which enshrines abortion rights, as defined by Roe v. Wade, in the state constitution. It dealt a blow to Governor Mike Dewine and the GOP, who’d passed horribly extreme anti-abortion legislation over the years, including a six-week abortion ban after Roe was overturned. Dewine’s entire legacy unraveled in a night.
Ohio, now a red state won by Donald Trump twice, voted for the very thing Trump and Republicans rail against, albeit grotesquely distorting the truth: the right to an abortion even late in a pregnancy. In reality, no one is, of course, electing on a whim to get an abortion five minutes before birth, a week before, or whatever, as the GOP claim in its “up until the moment of birth” rhetoric.
But in less than 1% of abortions, wrenching decisions are made late in a term by a patient and their doctor surrounding fetal viability and terrible abnormalities, as well as the life of the mother. And that’s what Ohio upheld: leaving it to women and their doctors, not legislators. Ohio’s voters, even in counties where Trump won big, saw through Trump’s demagoguery and lies on this issue, and voted to uphold this right.
Ohio as well as Virginia don’t bode well for Trump—who back in May stated clearly, “I’m the one who overturned Roe v. Wade”—running on the distorted and sensational claim, nor for the GOP House and Senate candidates running in 2024 on passing a federal abortion ban.
Even in red Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear sailed to victory against Trump-embraced Daniel Cameron, the attorney general, who supported banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest—something Bashear made a cornerstone of his campaign.
And the fact that ruby-red Mississippi—where Republican Gov. Tate Reeves won re-election against a spirited challenge by Democrat Brandon Pressley—was even in play, and that we were watching it late into the night, showed how far Democrats’ reach went, riding on the issues Americans support. The wins also happened in less high-profile races, such as school board races—where Moms for Liberty and anti-trans candidates lost in Iowa—and in Pennsylvania, where a liberal won a key Supreme Court seat.
All of this was another pathetic failure of predictions by the corporate media and pundits who’ve spent days pushing dire polls about President Biden. And it was a disaster for Republicans. I loved the right-wing Drudge Report rubbing it in with “MAGA ELECTION NIGHTMARES” because that’s what it is.
I imagine a poll taken a year out from the Virginia legislative races would have said something very different than what happened last night. Democrats have prevailed in special elections in battleground states and districts since January 6th and certainly since the fall of Roe v. Wade. People may be airing their grievances or moods to a pollster a year before an election (and as I’ve said, polls of the presidential race mean almost nothing a year out). But when it comes to actually voting on their lives in the moment, they know what the stakes are.
It’s hard to imagine, for example, that all of the young people who turned out to beat back smiling, fleece-vested Glenn Youngkin in Virginia are going to vote for the abominable Trump in 2024, as the breathless New York Times polling claims, for example, showing Trump with a 1-point lead among a group Biden won by 23 points.
Last night was another real-world example that should help all of us too, as we’re easily provoked into anxiety by the sensational corporate media. As I’ve been saying in pieces here over and over again, follow real-world elections, stay focused, and work hard to get out the vote.