Democrats are elated and Republicans, again, have some soul searching and some strategizing to do following an Election Day that went heavily blue. Democrats won key battles in states like Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky with abortion a top area of concern for voters. This was a terrible night for Republicans. I’ve seen a lot of Republicans out there saying ‘it’s not that bad,’ ‘here’s some silver linings.’ It was a bad night.
Reports suggest that Democrats also made big gains in local elections, including school boards. I’m sorry, but that’s a nightmare. That’s how we got into a lot of this trouble with the indoctrination of our children. What sane person is trying to get more Democrats on school boards right now? Truly, who is doing that?
Virginia and Kentucky
The Virginia loss for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin was significant. It wasn’t a landslide, but he did not gain control in the Virginia Senate and he lost the Virginia House. The pundits had been expecting him to emerge with both under Republican control and have a victory akin to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) in 2022 that could catapult him into the 2024 race as the underdog savior. It’s not happening.
Then you look at Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a rising star that is considered to be sort of the next-generation Republican. He lost to the incumbent Democrat, Andy Beshear, notwithstanding his overreaches on COVID. They did not make that Democratic governor incumbent pay. They kept Daniel Cameron out, even with the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
I have no faith in Republicans to come up with a winning message in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. It continues to haunt them at every single election.
In Kentucky, Beshear ran on trying to paint Cameron as an extremist on abortion. In Virginia, Youngkin said we’re going to lean into the 15-week ban because it happens to be where most of the country is on the issue. But the Democrats in the state ran dishonest ad after dishonest ad, and the Republicans were outspent. It was a messaging issue.
Ohio voters, meanwhile, decided by a 13-percentage point margin to enshrine abortion in the state constitution. It was a clear margin in favor of abortion rights with one in five Republicans and nearly two thirds of independents supporting the amendment according to early exit polling.
The amendment is a pro-life nightmare that basically makes abortion legal all the way up to birth because it not only has a life exception for the mother, it also has a health exception for the mother. That means you can find any OBGYN in the state who says ‘your mental health requires you to abort your nine-month pregnant baby’ and you’re good. That’s in the Ohio – a red state – constitution thanks to this vote last night. To me, that is a messaging failure. That is the Republicans’ failure to explain to the electorate what was really at stake.
In The New York Times/Siena College poll that came out Sunday, abortion was literally the only thing that Biden beat Trump on from an issues perspective. He had a nine-point advantage. The Republican Party, I understand, is a pro-life party. But they’re too extreme for the voters. That is irrespective of how any of us may feel on the life-choice issue.
The GOP is too extreme for the voters even in states like Kentucky, and they’re going to keep losing unless they come to that realization. This is going to be a gradual fight that they’re going to have to win bit by bit. They cannot win by saying ‘no abortions and no exceptions.’
Looking Ahead to 2024
The question now is what does this mean for 2024 and what are Republicans going to do? Do they seem like a group that’s got their act together and really is going to coalesce to turn things around?
Exit polls show voters are not thrilled about the prospect of four more years of President Biden, but they don’t seem to want another Trump administration either. We just saw that massive Times/Siena poll showing Trump crushing Biden in five of the critical six swing states. But when you drill down and go to places like Ohio that are not supposed to be so swing-y anymore, they say they want someone else. Well, is the Republican Party about to offer an alternative? Not from the look of it.
It’s like I have no faith in our electoral system and I have no faith in the Republican Party to turn any of this around. I am not optimistic today. You can be a Democrat, you can be a Republican, or you can be with me and Chris Stirewalt in what we call the “I Want to Puke Party.” Come on in. The water is fine.
You can check out Megyn’s full analysis by tuning in to episode 665 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.