The leadup to Election 2022 was a period of self-induced intoxication for politicians and pundits of the American right, citing Republican polls predicting a “Democratic blood bath” come election day. With the votes being counted, however, much blood on the floor comes from the GOP’s internal battles.
As well, the “red tsunami” predicted by the likes of Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich hasn’t even turned out to be a red tide.
The election will hopefully stir the blood of Democrats and inject new blood particularly in the party’s leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The mass media has had a fixation with Donald Trump and his potential GOP rivals. It’s high time they devote some attention to emerging Democratic talent.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro was elected governor of Pennsylvania in a landslide. Okay, he beat an ultra MAGA extremist abandoned by the Republican Governors Association, but Shapiro courted Pennsylvania voters who had turned away from the Democratic Party.
He won over blue collar workers, promising that a college degree will no longer be prerequisite for a state government job. Look at his big margin in Erie County.
An observant Jew, he talked of his faith and faith issues. He held down Doug Mastriano’s margins in conservative counties that were big for Trump.
We know Shapiro in the Northwest, as collaborator with our Attorney General Bob Ferguson in dozens of lawsuits against excesses of the Trump Administration.
Coming from a battleground state, he was not afraid to do battle with a President who had carried Pennsylvania in 2016.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has been a target, of Trump and armed demonstrators protesting COVID-19 restrictions, and of a botched kidnapping and assassination plot. She proved fearless before the wrath of the right and won a 170,000-vote victory on Tuesday.
Attorney General Maura Healey was elected governor of Massachusetts by a landslide margin.
Sure, the Bay State leans Democratic, but has a habit of putting Republicans in the statehouse. Healey was another Bob Ferguson compatriot in thwarting Trump regime bids to roll back environmental and worker protection laws.
Healey is the first “out” lesbian to win a gubernatorial election.
Defying predictions of a Republican breakthrough in New England, Democrats appear to have swept all twenty U.S. House seats from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Senator-elect John Fetterman of Pennsylvania is a larger-than-life figure, with his hoodies and tattoos and populist politics.
What a fighter he turned out to be, overcoming a stroke and besting celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz, despite a $30 million injection of money by Mitch McConnell. If McConnell is to remain Senate Minority Leader, it is because of Fetterman.
Fetterman is unabashedly of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. He does not, however, come from a solid “D” district, and stresses economic justice over self-defeating cultural causes. He took his progressive politics to counties that had turned away from the party. He also won in affluent counties around Philadelphia, despite a deluge of advertising by Dr. Oz and Republican PACs.
Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado has now won elections in three difficult years for the Democrats. He went nowhere as a presidential candidate in 2020, but has been a major force in turning a purple Western state blue.
If Arizona Senator Mark Kelly wins reelection – he’s 220,000 votes ahead at this writing – he deserves a national spotlight.
Kelly and his wife Gabby Giffords (a former U.S. Representative) have been frequent Northwest visitors boosting our gun safety initiatives. Kelly is a former Navy officer and astronaut who has won tough elections in 2020 and 2022.
Class acts and worthy public servants, all.
It’s disappointing that candidates Cheri Beasley (North Carolina) and the bold Tim Ryan (Ohio) won’t be joining them in the Senate.
In the House, keep an eye on Hakeem Jeffries, D‑New York, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s probable successor as House Democratic leader.