Nearly one year after Donald Trump took up residence in the White House, the failures and petty squabbles of the new president are already having an impact on voters, causing Republicans to be concerned how much damage he can do to the party before the 2018 midterms.
Case in point: the recent election in Virginia that saw a traditional GOP stronghold flip for a Democrat.
According to the Washington Post, Chesterfield County backed a Democrat for governor for the first time since 1961 and the GOP is looking for answers to stop the bleeding in a county that is seeing more women voters going to the polls in the age of Trump.
“That’s a huge red flag for Republicans and an opportunity for Democrats,” explained Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist. “There’s opportunity in these traditionally conservative suburbs with college-educated white voters who are unwilling to back a Republican candidate. It’s a function of and proof that Trump has tainted the rest of the Republicans running for office.”
GOP election analyst Chris LaCivita agreed, saying this a warning sign with the midterms one year away.
“Midterm and off-year elections are defined by whose base is more animated and engaged and right now it’s the Democrats,” he stated. “You’re going to have to work harder than ever if you’re a Republican in this environment.”
One Virginia woman was motivated to become active after the election of Trump after being a political bystander for years.
“I wouldn’t have done this every day for the past year if I hadn’t gotten so angry about Trump,” said Kim Drew Wright,a mother of three who helped form the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County after the 2016 election. “Once you wake up and see how important local elections are, it’s hard to go back to the shadows and stick your head in the sand. Now we have our eye on everybody, from dogcatcher on up.”
Flush with success in moving a GOP stronghold to elect a Democrat, the group has now set their sights on Virginia Republican Rep. Dave Brat.
“Everybody loves to hate Brat,” Wright said. “There’s something about his smug little face.”
You can read the whole report here.