Charles Schumer, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate, was loving the recent election results.
“Our Republican friends better look out,” Schumer said. “This was a rejection not only of President Trump but of the policies that he and the Republican Party seem to be adopting.”
Not so fast, Chuck.
First, we don’t believe what happened is indicative of a Democratic “wave” — as Schumer called it — pending for the 2018 midterms that could change the balance of power in Congress.
Only the midterm elections , still a year away, will tell us if some swing states that turned red in 2016 are ready to go blue in 2020.
And the 2018 race for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats might be the best litmus of how the voters are feeling about Trump, especially since it could pit Donnie loyalist Lou Barletta, of Hazleton, against staunch Trump critic Bob Casey, of Scranton.
Now, back to Tuesday, when voters in Virginia and New Jersey elected Democratic governors.
The national media seems to be trying to use this as proof the electorate hates our president and is going to take it out on the GOP at every opportunity.
But don’t believe that narrative for one minute.
Yes, voters in Virginia did elect Democrat Ralph Northam as governor to replace another Democrat
And yes, New Jersey chose Democrat Phil Murphy over Kim Guadagno, lieutenant governor for outgoing Gov. Chris Christie.
But, as most observers know, Christie has become the least popular politician in New Jersey history. His job-approval rating stood at a mere 16 percent at the end of August, according to NJ.com .
It’s true Christie is a Trump crony, but there are many reasons to dislike the one-time Garden State star. Remember BridgeGate? What about the photos of Chris relaxing on a state beach — right at the time he ordered state beaches closed during a government shutdown?
Voters rejecting someone tied to Christie can hardly be seen as a repudiation of the president.
We also had to laugh when we heard about Democrats picking up legislative seats in Virginia.
What does that have to do with Trump and what happens at the federal level, where Republicans have yet to lose one of their seats in special elections since the billionaire set up shop in the Oval Office?
Some of the more liberal media organizations are searching desperately for justifications to push the narrative that Trump and the Republicans are in trouble
But like we mentioned before, what happens in 2018 will be a real barometer of the prevailing political mood.
If Trump pal Barletta gets the GOP nomination for Senate — by no means a guarantee — and dethrones Democratic stalwart Casey, it would be something the Republicans could point to as a mandate.
But if Barletta gets thrashed by Casey, then the Attack Trump crowd will really have something to crow about, especially since Trump won Pennsylvania.
Until we get to that point, however, let’s stop trying to predict what may happen and instead hope for a gradual cooling of the intense partisanship coloring our politics.
— Times Leader