ELECTION NIGHT: The Democrat won the governor's race in Virginia and Democratic candidates took 15 seats in the Virginia Assembly from Republicans, "an upset that stunned members of both parties and arrived with national implications." The Democrat won the governor's race in New Jersey. A black woman was elected mayor in Charlotte, North Carolina, a first. A black man was elected mayor in St. Paul, Minnesota, another first. A Sikh was elected mayor in Hoboken. A trans woman of color was elected to the city council in Minneapolis. A New Jersey county official who mocked the Women's March was defeated by a woman who was so angered by his comments that she decided to run against him. And, um, a lesbian was elected to the mayor's office in Seattle.
TWO VIRGINIA ASSEMBLY RACES WORTH HIGHLIGHTING: Danica Roem, a trans woman and first-time candidate, defeated the states biggest anti-trans and anti-gay bigot. The man she defeated in the state assembly race, Bob Marshall, was a 26-year incumbent and the author of Virginia's anti-trans bathroom bill. Marshall refused to use Roem's correct pronouns during the campaign, referring to his opponent as "he," but Roem refused to attack Marshall after turfing (terfing?) him out of office: "When asked about her opponent last night at her victory party, Roem said simply, 'I don't attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.'"
And then there was Chris Hurst:
A first-time politician who lost his girlfriend to gun violence has defeated the National Rifle Association-backed incumbent in a state house race in Virginia. Chris Hurst, a former television journalist, ran on a platform that included gun violence prevention. Hurst’s victory, just two days after a mass shooting at a Texas church left 26 people dead, was hailed by gun control advocates as proof that it is possible to make progress on America’s gun violence crisis at the local level.
A GREAT NIGHT FOR DEMS: "Democrats won races large and small Tuesday, starting with the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races. The party won hotly contested mayoral races in Charlotte, North Carolina, and St. Petersburg, Florida. In Maine, voters approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act," Eric Bradner writes at CNN. "It all gives Democrats a huge psychological boost that could help their fundraising and candidate recruitment. It could also accelerate the pace of Republican retirements."
THE BLUE WALL: With Manka Dhingra's victory on the Eastside, Democrats are now in control of the Washington State senate and in charge of everything all up and down the West Coast. The Stranger's pre-election coverage of Dhingra is here, here, and here.
IT'S THE WOMEN, STUPID... "A stunning wave of first-time female candidates won races for the Virginia House of Delegates Tuesday night—and helped propel their all-male slate of statewide candidates to a decisive victory," Joan Walsh write at The Nation. "As of Wednesday morning, the state Democratic Party said it had picked up 16 seats, tying the GOP 50-50 — and 12 of the winners were women."
IT'S THE URBAN ARCHIPELAGO, STUPID...
VA GOP chair @JohnWhitbeck kind enough to pick up the phone. “Six months is an eternity in politics, but boy, we’ve got a lot of work to do in VA...It’s looking like the urban areas are just a huge problem for us and I don’t know what the answer is yet."
— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) November 8, 2017
The GOP urban strategy—attack cities, attack people who live in cities, attack the "values" of people who live in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and other big cities—is the Grand Old Party's other demographic time bomb. As the country gets browner, the GOP gets whiter. And as more Americans move to urban areas and rapidly urbanizing suburban areas, the GOP grows ever more hostile to urban Americans. When multiple demographic trends are stacked against you, voter suppression and demagoguery are your only paths to power. Those can be successful strategies in the short run, as the results of the 2016 election demonstrated, but those are strategies that turn democracies into demolition derbies. The question we face now is, What will the GOP destroy first: Itself or the country?
HOW BAD WAS LAST NIGHT FOR REPUBLICANS? Fox News pretended it didn't happen.
BUT DON'T GET COCKY: "Here is what I know: The Republicans will respond to this defeat by doubling down on their voter suppression efforts," Melissa McEwan writes at Shakesville. "And Trump is currently stacking the courts as quickly as possible with judges who will uphold such efforts. If we sit on our laurels, confident we'll destroy in 2018, what will happen is that we won't. Republicans will exploit our inattention for everything it's worth. So: Pay attention. And listen to people who sound the alarm on voter suppression efforts. And keep your eyes on cases like this. The road to 2018 begins now. Clink your glass, fill your lungs with air, and get ready to get back to work."
REQUIRED VIEWING: Samantha Bee on gun violence, domestic violence, and the boyfriend loophole...
FORTY YEARS AGO TODAY: Harvey Milk was elected to the board of supervisors in San Francisco.
SPEAKING OF EMBARRASSMENTS: "Syria has become a signatory of the Paris climate agreement," reports The Independent, "leaving the US as the only country in the world not to support the framework deal to combat greenhouse gas emissions." We are the rogue nation.
NEWS OF THE WORLD: Brexit is a disaster—and Russian meddling may have swung the vote to "leave." Twenty-six Nigerian women and girls were found dead off the coast of Italy; two men are under arrest. Gunmen stormed into the studios of a news network in Kabul yesterday, killing two and wounding twenty. Venice may ban large cruise ships. Germany moves toward recognizing a third gender.