US Democrats win big in Virginia because Republicans ran a Jeb! campaign in a Trump world

US Democrats win big in Virginia because Republicans ran a Jeb! campaign in a Trump world, by J. Christian Adams. Democrat Ralph Northam yesterday won Virginia’s acrimonious governor’s race against Republican Ed Gillespie.

Ed Gillespie is certainly a good fellow. But his race used messages from 2004 and tactics from 1996. It seemed to exist outside of the ferocious upheavals of the modern polarized political world. …

Four years ago, Virginia conservatives were told you couldn’t win with a candidate who excited the Republican base. Conservatives were told that candidates like Ken Cuccinelli spelled certain doom, that the answer was a moderate establishment candidate. Tonight we now know that that candidate Ed Gillespie did worse than Ken Cuccinelli did. And Cuccinelli performed better without the support of the Virginia GOP establishment. …

Gillespie even sent out campaign mail to voters quoting MSNBC — why would a non-leftie ever quote a PC “news” outlet? Because Gillespie is from the pro-PC, establishment end of the Republican Party.

Other material in support of Gillespie cited the loathsome Richmond Times and the even more loathsome DNC public relations firm known as the Washington Post. …

Let’s be clear. Unlike plenty of other candidates, Gillespie is a good fellow. But Gillespie ran a Jeb campaign in a Trump world. In fact, he avoided the president and the president’s supporters noticed. …

Trump defeated plenty of candidates who didn’t, who thought the messages and tactics from decades ago still worked. They don’t, and Republicans need to adapt to this new rough environment of smashmouth ideological politics, at least if they want to win.