11/8/2023

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Thoughts on yesterday’s election, next year’s election and getting older.

Instant reactions on yesterday’s election is that it was a good day for Democrats and, importantly, less government in people’s lives because of the results of abortion issues on the ballot. Interestingly, less government used to be the Republican Party mantra. But that was in the old GOP.

Of course, the Democrats held the Kentucky governorship (and, birthed another immediate potential presidential candidate because that’s what happens to governors who win elections — they become the new flavor of the week), gained control of Virginia’s legislature, thus giving Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, a slap in the face to his agenda (and also finishing off the flavor of last week to run for President. Younkin is young though. There will be other cycles).

Many hurrahs are being given for what yesterday means for the 2024 presidential race but not so fast. Former President Trump’s name wasn’t on the ballot, so it’s hard to really know how this will play a year from now. His base is, if nothing else, loyal and will turn out for him. Did those folks turn out yesterday?

That’s another thing, that New York Times poll over the weekend showed Trump ahead in key battleground states — take another poll today and you’ll see different numbers, just as you will until citizens actually cast ballots next November. They did cast actual ballots yesterday and that day goes to the Democrats.

Sill there’s a lot of time to go, a lot of campaigning to go and a long way until the choice is binary: Joe Biden or Donald Trump. That’s a different question because those are the two probable choices. You need to pick just one.

Plus, speaking for myself, I can’t tell you how many times in my life I cast my ballot for the lesser of two evils. That may hold true in the presidential next year for many people.

But abortion clearly was on the ballot yesterday and won big-time. Trump is the guy who, he’ll tell you, delivered the overturning of Roe v. Wade by putting three additional conservatives on the Supreme Court.

Now Trump, seeing how that issue is playing out, is saying Republicans shouldn’t be so strict on abortion and need to allow some reasons for abortions to be legal. A view not held by many who support him, like the Evangelicals.

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B. Jay Cooper

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.