Eric Adams waves a thumbs up at an election night party in Brooklyn, New Yo
American voters headed to the polls to cast their ballots on Tuesday night for off-year elections, and Democrats suffered a devasting political blow.
From Virginia to New Jersey, it’s fair to say that Democrats were in for a shock as more and more ballots came in. Republicans served a tight race in Virginia before ultimately pulling forward and handing Glenn Youngkin the win for governor.
Perhaps more surprisingly, however, is the nail-biter that is governor’s race in New Jersey. Democrats have watched anxiously as the closer-than-expected race between Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican candidate Jack Ciatarelli. As of now, the race is too close to call (though it looks like Democrats might be able to pull off the win anyway).
The several stunning losses Democrats faced immediately resulted in widespread panic online among blue voters, with many declaring they’ve lost faith—but there’s actually quite a bit to remain hopeful about. Yes, it’s true: the Democrats lost in places that should have been a relatively easy win. While this is obviously extremely disappointing, there are valuable lessons that can and should be taken away from the results. More importantly, there are multiple silver linings.
Below, we’ve listed six reasons why Democrats should remain optimistic and what we’re able to celebrate about the monumental night.
It’s a wakeup call for midterms next year
Win or lose one thing is clear: the sense of urgency that took place among Democrats throughout the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency just isn’t there at the moment. After President Joe Biden defeated Trump, many worried voters finally were able to exhale and took a step back from politics.
With the midterm elections next year, it’s clear Dems need to get their head back in the game and recognize the need to show up for every election just as enthusiastic as the last.
GOP wins are mostly the result of a depressed turnout among Democrats, not new Republican voters
Along the same lines as before, Democrats just didn’t show up this time around and have no one to blame but themselves on the outcome. The inability to deliver landslide wins is mostly due to the depressed Democratic voter turnout. Republicans showed up, Democrats did not—plain and simple.
Bill de Blasio is gone
The NYC mayor’s reign of disappointment is finally over. Bill De Blasio was elected as mayor back in 2013, and though he threw his hat in the ring in a (failed) 2020 presidential run, he’s increasingly lost support among voters for being seen as ineffective and often downright stubborn.
Democrats won their mayoral races in several major cities
Sure, it would be ideal to win them all but Democrats delivered wins in New York, Boston, Buffalo, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Detroit, Minneapolis, Dayton, and St. Petersburg. Plus, Michelle Wu will be Boston's first female and first person of color elected mayor—and that’s definitely something to celebrate.
Phil Murphy appears to be headed for victory in New Jersey
The race in New Jersey has kept everyone on their toes, but recent Wednesday morning numbers show that Democrats might take the win after all.
There are three years to prepare for the 2024 presidential election
This big one hasn’t isn’t here just yet. If Democrats want to ensure a win the next presidential election, and prepare for you-know-who to possibly run again, things need to change. Democrats have three years to shape up, and the responsibility lies in the hands of both political figures and voters.