It was a disappointing day for Republicans in Virginia on Tuesday when Democrat Ralph Northam won the governor’s seat by about 200,000 votes.
Frustrated Republicans were left asking “why?” President Trump gave the perfect answer:
Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2017
The president is dead on here- Gillespie never invited the president to campaign on his behalf, and didn’t mention him during his last speech before elections.
Considering President Trump has been wildly successful getting voter turnout and creating exciting campaigns that speak to a wide audience, it was foolish for Gillespie to hold the president at arm’s length. Instead, Gillespie campaigned with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.
Nevertheless, the president tried to help Gillespie during the day of the election, recording a robocall that said:
“Like me, Ed is tough on crime and on the border. Ed will protect your family from crime, drugs and violence — something Northam will never do. With your help, Ed Gillespie will help make America great again, a phrase that I like a lot. Vote Ed Gillespie.”
At the end of the day, this is just one state governorship and Northam’s win will not broadly affect national policy that the president puts forth. However, this is a good lesson for Republicans in 2018- ignore Trump and his base and you may just be out of a job.
(h/t The Hill)