Very recently, now writing for CNN, political commentator, Chris Cillizza wrote that “Donald Trump Was the Big Loser” in Virginia’s election for Governor. He clearly states that “Republicans have Donald Trump to blame” for election losses in a state like Virginia which didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016.
This narrative seems to be perfect for Democrats desperately trying to breathe new energy into their party that happens to be in complete organizational disarray right now as they struggle to find a message to resonate with voters.
However, when we flash back to 2010, Cillizza seems to have a complete opposite view in the case of President Obama. Most of us remember the special election to fill Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat in the deep blue state of Massachusetts. Obama was called in at the last minute to save Democrat Candidate Martha Coakley. Not only did Obama endorse Coakley, but he actually flew to the deep blue state to rally and campaign for Coakley.
As we all remember well, Martha Coakley lost the election to Republican, Scott Brown.
Chris Cillizza responded back then while writing for the Washington Post:
Yes, the president made a last-minute campaign stop in Boston for Coakley. And no, it didn’t change the direction of the race. But declaring that the political phenomenon known as Barack Obama has hit a brick wall isn’t the right conclusion. Obama remains a potent political force among the Democratic base; internal polling conducted for both parties after his visit to Massachusetts last Sunday showed that his presence had helped energize the most loyal Democrats about a race that had generated little enthusiasm until then.
He also went on to make a really bad prediction regarding the 2010 midterm elections:
In the immediate aftermath of Brown’s win, Republicans were jubilant and even a bit cocky. “No Democrat is safe,” one House Republican strategist told me Tuesday night. (Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) echoed that sentiment later in the week, telling reporters that “every state is now in play.”) The Democrats are probably headed for losses in the House and the Senate this fall, it’s true. But it’s not yet clear whether those losses will be consistent with the historical norm in a president’s first midterm, which is 15 to 20 House seats and two to five Senate seats, or will amount to something larger that could endanger the Democrats’ majorities in Congress.
Sure, maybe if you took Cillizza’s “15-20 House seats” and multiplied it by about three. As we all know, Republicans went on to win 2010’s midterms by historic numbers.
There are some stark contrasts as well. Obama actually won Massachusetts in 2008. He should have had more influence there. Trump did not win Virginia or New Jersey.
But speaking of New Jersey, Obama won that state as well in 2008. Yet, his endorsement of Corzine didn’t make a difference either.
Now to be fair, Cillizza isn’t the only Trump-hating left-winging writer to make this incredible 180 turn. We expect it. Their party frankly needs any narrative it can hold onto. But Virginia and New Jersey didn’t get Trump to the White House. And they’re not likely to keep him there in 2020. States like Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, etc….those will be the states to decide as they always do.
Nevertheless, Never-Trump “Republicans” are using this narrative in a desperate attempt to regain relevance. Doing so says so much more about them than it ever will about President Trump or the people who support him.