Right after the Democrats lost Virginia to the Republicans in an off-year gubernatorial race, Joe Manchin said that the “unbelievable” results validate his narrative that voters did not like the social spending bill of Biden.
However, the rigidness of the same Manchin, who is the senator from the neighboring state of West Virginia, is the reason behind intensified infighting between Democrats which resulted in them losing to Republicans in an all-important race.
Biden won Virginia by a ten-point margin in the 2020 presidential elections. But this downfall of Democrats in the state can directly be attributed to Manchin’s efforts, where he made voters alienated from Democrats through his radical agenda.
Joe Manchin in Action: Conspiring against Democrats in Virginia Governor Elections
Joe Manchin’s refusal to vote in favor of Biden’s social spending bill just one day before the elections may seem a coincidence to many.
However, his approach of accepting the proposal earlier just to deny it at the eleventh hour has cast shadows on his loyalties.
His rigid attitude toward passing legislation alienated many voters, who must have thought that their vote could be wasted going to the Democrats.
And Manchin does have incentives to do it as well. A big share of his political donations come from Republican donors who find him a GOP plant in Democratic ranks.
Lost in Virginia, Won Everywhere Else: An Unjustified Pattern
The off-year election results elsewhere have validated this stance that Manchin is the reason behind Democrats’ loss. While Virginia was considered to be the test case of Biden’s presidency, it could have helped bring transparent results only without the indirect intervention of Joe Manchin in the elections.
It is true that Biden’s popularity got a hit in the latest nationwide polls, but Democrats’ ability to save their seats elsewhere in the US depicts a well-planned conspiracy behind the scenes.
Democrats have successfully managed to cross the winning line in New Jersey, albeit by a razor-thin margin.
Not only this, but they have also won mayoral elections in New York City and Minneapolis. This depicts that even if Biden lost some voters, as also indicated by the polls, they were not enough to cost him the Virginia race.
The Virginia election plot was pre-set to bring Glenn Youngkin on top. Before elections, he was leading nearly all polls which gave Democrats alarming signals.
Manchin is Playing with Fire
The Virginia race could have shown completely different results had it not been about Democrats infighting inspired by Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
Biden relied on his economic agenda, and the failure to pass it even after ten months of assuming presidency gave a poor signal to voters.
But for mainstream Democrats, it is an eye-opener that they lost a state that they won by a ten-point margin in 2020 They reduced their landmark social spending bill by almost half of its original amount, but Manchin’s coal stock remains high, which he vows to protect by opposing the legislations of the ruling party.
Just to get high returns on stocks and win donations from Republican donors by ignoring the matters of national interests, Manchin is risking his political career.
Post-Trump GOP: Republicans Have Finally Started Moving
The GOP has also finally realized its post-Trump dream. Although right after winning the Virginia elections, Trump tried to take credit for the win, the governor-elect never leveraged the former president to win votes for himself.
At times, he distanced himself from Trump, which indicated his sentiments toward Donald Trump.
However, all in all, the new governor still remains a vibrant advocate of the voter suppression laws and flooding guns on Virginia streets, which is an epitome of the fact that although he did not campaign on Trumpism, he still can extend Trump’s agenda in Virginia.
Democrats Should Have Seen a Pattern Earlier
The Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe also served a term as a governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. The state laws do not allow anybody to serve two consecutive terms, which is why the former governor took four years off to enter the race again.
The dwindling approval rating of the incumbent Ralph Northam can also be attributed as one of the reasons for Democrats’ loss. Almost 48 percent of voters approved of him in the latest poll, which is roughly equal to the number of voters he won in the elections.
A part of the blame for Democrats’ loss lies on the shoulders of the pandemic as well. The unfolded events made the supply chain crisis worse for Biden, which ultimately drove prices up to an unprecedented extent.
With the spark of inflation, the voters had no choice other than to put their wrath on Democrats.
Democrats Habit of not Defending Their Own Policies: Enough of Them Letting Republicans Run their Campaign
The Democrats’ unassertive approach in defending themselves also cost them the Virginia elections. By this time, it is no surprise that Republicans define Democrats’ policies in their own words, which makes the social construction of Democratic ideas possible through Republican hands.
For instance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued a memo, according to which the violent threats against school boards would be countered by federal agencies.
Republicans made a claim out of this that this memo is intended to sideline parents from getting involved in their children’s education.
The Republican candidate voiced his concerns about parents’ rights and forced them to believe that this new memo was intended to snatch away parenting rights from them. Amid all of this chaos, Democrats did nothing.
They let Republicans build a narrative against them, assuming that people won’t buy the narrative just because it is false.
This tragic episode should also serve as an eye-opener for Democrats, where they need a counteroffensive public relations strategy to make sure that their agenda is not being misinterpreted by voters.
While off-year elections most often end up unexpectedly, Democrats have much to learn from it if they want to save their majorities in the upcoming midterm elections.
First, they must pass Biden’s stalled economic agenda by hook or by crook. Second, Biden needs to ensure that Democratic infighting ends as soon as possible.
Lastly, they need to mend their reputation in front of the voters who are being misguided by Republicans lies often.