The 2017 Elections – Much Ado About Nothing?

Election Day and it’s aftermath is always one of the most humorous times in the calendar for this author. Reading all the ‘evaluations’, the panic attacks and the victory crows as well as seeing the so-called ‘analysts’ trying to understand voters’ motivations is a true cause for amusement and mirth. These politicians, along with the so-called ‘experts’ and ‘opinion-molders’ are so far out of touch with the reality of the everyday man’s struggles and way of life that when that reality manifests itself, they are left looking like fools, though, more often than not, they are oblivious to the fact that they look like fools.

This is very apparent in the aftermath of the 2017 off-year elections. The out-of-touch media and political pundits are making a huge deal over the fact that the Democrats won the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia. They claim that their victories symbolize that the country has ‘rejected President Donald Trump’ and that ‘the tide has turned in favor of radical liberalism (translation – socialism)’ and that the Democratic Party has every reason to be very optimistic going into the 2018 mid-term elections.

This claim is as laughable as it gets. To begin with, the media personalities and political pundits seem to be completely ignoring the fact that the Republicans have swept the five competitive special congressional races during the year and look poised to hang on to the U.S. Senate seat in the special election in Alabama. If the country was truly turning against Trump and his policies, the Republicans likely would have lost at least a few of the congressional races in addition to the gubernatorial races over the course of the year.

Another very important point that the media and pundit types are seeming to ignore is the history of the two states holding gubernatorial elections as well as the vote percentages. Trump did not win Virginia or New Jersey in the 2016 election and a closer examination of the vote totals from the 2016 and 2017 races shows something rather striking. In New Jersey, the vote percentages between 2016 and 2017 were almost identical which can lead one to logically conclude that whatever difference there was between 2016 and 2017 was due to lower voter turnout because of the off-year rather than anger and rejection of Trump. Virginia is a bit more complicated to analyze, but research of the parties’ voting numbers from 2016 and 2017 shows that a lower vote turnout affected both parties in the 2017 election and that the difference in the vote drop between the two parties was a mere 20,534 votes in the Democrats’ favor. Considering Virginia boasts around four million voters, a 20,000 vote margin is hardly a conclusive number on which to base an argument that the country is ‘rejecting’ Trump in a state that Trump didn’t even win in 2016.

In addition to an analysis of the numbers, the electoral history of the two states involved needs to be invoked. New Jersey has been solidly Democratic since 1988 at the latest and Virginia, thanks to it’s proximity to ‘the swamp’ (Washington D.C.) has been steadily filling with one of the Democratic Party’s main constituencies (government bureaucrats) and so has electorally been becoming a solid Democratic state since the 1990s. Faced with these historical facts as well as the numbers, for anyone to claim that elections held in two solidly Democratic states can be held as the harbinger of elections to come the following year in states all across the nation is a foolish and naive conclusion to proclaim.

So what will happen in 2018? That is a whole year away and so is impossible to predict. Many things, both good and bad, can happen. The only thing that can be said for certain, based on the way America has been unraveling, is that America is likely to remain a very divided country and the status of the country, barring a great change of heart on the part of the people and their government, will likely be much worse than it is today.

© 2017 Grant Dahl & On This Terrestrial Ball. All rights reserved. This material may not be re-published, re-broadcast, re-written or re-distributed without permission from the author of this piece.