One of the peculiarities of the political business is that after elections often all sides are declared winners. So it is now in the US, after a series of regional and local polls in Kentucky, Virginia, Mississippi and some other states have produced interesting results that allow some conclusions about the political sentiment in certain parts of the country.
Democrat Secretary General Tom Perez proudly proclaimed his party's great victories as proof "that Democrats can win everywhere". But US President Donald Trump proudly said: "Many victories in Kentucky, just look at the numbers."
In principle, both are right. And not again.
In fact, the success of their governor candidate Andy Beshear in the old Republican stronghold of Kentucky and the conquest of the majority in the regional parliament of the state of Virginia for the Democrats, first of all, offers some reason for optimism. Both elections show that their supporters are extremely committed and enthusiastically marching to the polls to cross the line for democratic candidates. There is no trace of election or political fatigue.
Video for the slump for Trump in Kentucky
As in the Midterm elections last year, Democrats are able to score points in certain areas, as there seem to be overrun voters and frustrated Republicans. These are above all the classic metropolitan suburbs with a well-educated and better-paid clientele. This time, for example, these were constituencies near Cincinnati on the Ohio-Kentucky border, or the so-called suburbs at Richmond, Virginia.
Particularly noteworthy: Even in some local elections around the metropolis of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, the Democrats were able to score in electoral districts that were for a long time in Republican hands. This is especially important to them, because in Pennsylvania, they must win exactly those districts in the presidential election next year if they want to recapture the state of Trump. Pennsylvania is one of the key nations in the White House race in 2020.
Revolt in the suburbs
All this can lead one to conclude that the Democrats are pursuing the right strategy with their investigations into possible impeachment proceedings against Trump. Apparently they not only mobilize their own people, but also ensure that Trump increasingly loses support in certain groups of voters, who previously tended to tend to the Republicans. The democratic strategists speak of a "rebellion of the suburbs" against Trump. And the Washington Post slightly ironically proclaims the Cheesecake Factory Revolt, an allusion to a chain of restaurants popular in the malls of the better American suburbs.
Nevertheless, the democrats and their supporters should not be too euphoric, because from a republican point of view, there are also some positive aspects to these elections. In Mississippi, the Republican governor's candidate has won sovereign. This confirms that the conservative electorate in the southern states continues to be a clear Republican – and thus Trump too.
The outcome in the governorship election in Kentucky is also not necessarily representative of the mood in the old republican stronghold. It is more likely to be seen as an anomaly. The defeated Republican governor, Mark Bevin, was considered extremely unpopular even before the election because of some wrong decisions at the regional level. Among other things, he had worked with the teachers in the country and cut important parts of health care. With Bevin's possible defeat had been expected. Trump or not.
Trump remains popular in Kentucky
The president himself is still popular in Kentucky, according to polls – and the Republicans are otherwise generally well. One indication is that Republican candidates in five other regional polls in Kentucky on Tuesday were able to win with the usual high scores.
For example, Republican Daniel Cameron scored a staggering 57 percent in the race for the post of Attorney General. Other candidates even reached over 60 percent. Trump will also regain the state in the 2020 elections, as things go. In 2016 he was almost 30 percentage points ahead of Hillary Clinton.
Two parties, two worlds
For example, this week's election results in Kentucky and elsewhere – at least for now – are unlikely to change Trump's support for Congressional Republicans: in the impending impeachment process, the overwhelming majority of MEPs continue to support Trump. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell just said that if the Senate were to vote on Trump now, it certainly would not lead to a presidential condemnation.
Also, the ever-new details that come to light on the Ukrainian affair, most Republicans do not seem to dissuade from this attitude. Once again, the two major parties in Washington live in two different worlds: Democrats, on an almost daily basis, bring tangible evidence that Trump has put massive pressure on Ukraine to hurt its political rival, Joe Biden the republicans as if nothing bad had happened.
Even the written testimonies of key witnesses such as the diplomats Bill Taylor and Gordon Sondland, who are now public, seem to make little impression on them. He does not read all that anymore, says Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. The whole investigation of the Democrats in the matter was anyway a single "fraud".