Here’s a rule of electoral analysis: The longer the analysis is, the more spin it includes.
You can go state by state in 2016’s Presidential Election and write a one-sentence analysis of why each state went for Trump or Clinton. You’d leave out many details, but what made the difference would be pretty clear. Some states, Trump won because Clinton underperformed Obama while Trump matched Romney. Some states Clinton surged, but Trump surged more. Books don’t need to be written except if the writer is trying to sell a narrative.
I’m seeing that dynamic with the analysis of Corey Stewart’s outperforming nearly all expectations, and my analysis is this one sentence:
The Republican electorate wants someone who will fight for them.
That’s it. It’s that simple. If anyone thinks confederate statues are what drove voters to Stewart, they need some serious professional help.
I’m convinced that Stewart voters were willing to put up with his shenanigans as long as he was a fighter who would shake things up and defend them for once.
Let’s look at where Stewart did well. Let’s look at what government has done to them over the years. First, government killed the tobacco industry. Then, government killed the coal industry. Government also mocks their traditional morals and values with the help of their Hollywood elites. Church-going, marriage-faithful, hard-working Virginians have seen their economic, social and moral institutions attacked, mocked and in some cases destroyed because of liberal politicians and their media buddies.
If they didn’t vote for someone who would start a throwdown fight with the government, the press and the elites, I’d be surprised.
They also tend to ignore pollsters. They won’t tell strangers that they’re voting for someone who is castigated publicly, even by his own party. They won’t say “Corey Stewart” in polite company. But they’ll vote.
This race wasn’t about single issues, statues in Charlottesville, or Enron. It wasn’t a low turnout dynamic, since turnout was higher than anyone was willing to say they expected.
Corey Stewart almost pulled off an upset because a significant number of Virginia Republican voters have been pummeled and ridiculed by government elites and they want someone who will fight back and fight back hard.
Each November candidate should remember that.