Dem Loss in Virginia Governor's Race Hurts Biden's Image, Shows Voters Disillusioned
03:15 GMT 04.11.2021 (Updated: 08:38 GMT 04.11.2021)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Democrats lost control of the governorship and one legislative chamber in the US state of Virginia because of the focus on wedge issues in a setback that will hurt public perception of President Joe Biden, political analysts told Sputnik.
The governor's race in Virginia held on Tuesday was one of the most watched, with many feeling it could serve as a referendum on Biden's performance to date, and could set the tone for next year's midterm elections.
Earlier on Wednesday, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe finally conceded after losing by a narrow margin to Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, who focused on educational issues such as parents having more control of school curricula. Meanwhile, New Jersey's incumbent governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, held on by the narrowest of margins over underdog Republican Jack Ciattarelli.
Earlier this year, former President Donald Trump publicly endorsed Youngkin while Biden was campaigning hard on behalf of McAuliffe just days and weeks in the run up to Tuesday's vote.
Although only a few states went to the polls to choose new governors and state legislatures, some experts say the patterns of voting clearly bode ill for both Democrats overall and especially Biden.
"On the larger scale, it shows how disillusioned the general public is with Joe Biden", Trend Research Institute Director Gerald Celente told Sputnik.
The setbacks, Celente added, will also make it more difficult for Democrats and the administration to push through their agenda.
3 November 2021, 13:55 GMT
New York City-based political commentator Jillian Jonas agreed that the outcome of the governor's races, especially in Virginia, would prove damaging to the president less than a year into his first term.
"It has hurt the perception of Biden", Jonas said.
Moreover, McAuliffe was a Democratic Party insider and intimate of former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State and failed 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Jonas pointed out.
Those well-known associations and McAuliffe's lucrative ties to huge mega-corporations damaged him with independent voters and helped mobilise the Republican base against him, Jonas explained.
"Corporatist Terry McAuliffe was never a strong candidate, even for a more moderate state like Virginia", Jonas added.
Jonas also said Youngkin ran a divisive campaign focusing on narrow wedge issues like critical race theory despite it "being irrelevant", Jonas said.
University of Houston Professor of African-American History Gerald Horne found the election outcome in Virginia troubling given a key subtext of the race was Republican efforts to discredit initiatives to reduce or end racism.
"Worrisome results especially in Virginia where Biden won by 10 points a year ago and a Republican running a proxy campaign against antiracism ‘Critical Race Theory’ - which is not taught in schools as he suggested - was able to prevail", Horne said.
Celente said the Democrats have to get more coordinated with messaging among other things.
However, aside from wins and losses, there is a much deeper message the election itself sends, Celente said.
"The only lesson to learn is that two political mobs control America's government and if you don't have mega-corporate money and the media behind you when running for office, you lose", Celente said.