The news on the electoral front has not been good for Democrats stretching back into the summer. We first saw results out of Texas hint at a major shift among Hispanic voters toward the GOP. Then November’s election dropped and sent shockwaves through the political landscape.
Glenn Youngkin’s defeat of Terry McAuliffe to become the next governor of Virginia was the biggest headline, but Republican wins across the country pointed to something more than just a change in the Commonwealth. For example, Republicans flipped a Biden +14 district in the San Antonio area and saw an unexpected win in Seattle.
But if Democrats thought that passing their infrastructure boondoggle was going to change the dynamics, an election in South Carolina last night delivered some bad news.
Tonight, South Carolina Republicans flipped the mayorship of the state capital of Columbia – the state's second largest city – 52-48%. While ostensibly non-partisan, Barack Obama made a robocall for the "Democrat" in the race. Biden won the city with 71% of the vote last year
— Blake Allen (@Blake_Allen13) November 17, 2021
ABC 4 described the runoff in terms of race, serving as another piece of evidence that these people have learned absolutely nothing.
Columbia’s election was technically nonpartisan, although the runoff showdown drew familiar partisan divides: Rickenmann, a white man, drew broad support among conservatives, including the state Republican Party.
Devine, a Black woman, had backing from many of the area’s notable Democrats, including U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and former President Barack Obama.
This was a city that went for Joe Biden by 71% just a year ago. Last night, the Republican in the race won with 52% of the vote.
You’ll also notice that the obvious Democrat in the race gained nothing from the “non-partisan” makeup of this election. Voters didn’t seem to be influenced by that bait and switch, with a late robocall from Barack Obama not paying dividends. That’s important because it shows that the backlash isn’t just toward the overtly leftwing. Rather, the electorate is skeptical of anyone associated with the Democrat Party, even in a highly liberal area like Columbia, SC.
What that tells us is that any plan to tack to the center by some “moderates” in the 2022 election is unlikely to fool anyone. Voters know that these Democrats are ultimately beholden to the radicals, whether it’s someone running for mayor or Congress. Also of note is that Rickenmann ran on strengthening policing and promoting public safety, another issue that is kryptonite for the left.
Now, maybe there’s some reality where Democrats are losing mayorships in deep-blue cities but still retain the House and Senate in 2022, but that reality is not the one we live in. This result, as localized as it may seem at first, points to a coming catastrophe for Joe Biden and his party next year. Identity politics are not working anymore, and people are sick and tired of being gaslit about the economy, schools, and a myriad of other issues that Democrats are underwater regarding.