RPV Chairman John Whitbeck sent out the following email this morning:
Before I rehash our efforts last night I need to give thanks. Thank you for your hard work, time, and treasure over the course of the election. I want to thank Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel, John Adams, and all our Republican nominees for putting their names into the arena.
I will be blunt: last night was a terrible night for our Party. We had an excellent slate of statewide candidates, every single one of them had a higher vote total than Bob McDonnell received in 2009, and we still lost. Four years ago, a Republican vote total of 1.17 million, Gillespie’s vote total last night, would have captured the Governor’s mansion with a margin of over 100,000 votes. Last night, that number was good for a loss of over 8 points.
With every defeat comes lessons and here are a few takeaways:
Inaction by the US Senate GOP is Killing Our Party. Two weeks before Election Day, the prices for the Obamacare exchange came out. As expected, the rates were truly horrific.
What does this have to do with the election or the Senate GOP? According to exit polls, healthcare was the most important issue to voters yesterday and we lost that voting segment massively: 77% to 23%! Failure to repeal Obamacare hurt us as a country and that inaction specifically damaged our Party with voters last night.
If no major items are passed in the US Senate over the next year, the 2017 elections will be a preview of 2018 elections.
Out-Of-State Money Made A Difference. RPV raised and spent a record for an off-year election in Virginia. Our Party had the largest field staff in history, set a record for the most mailers sent, and even had an ad get featured on Meet The Press the weekend before the election. Unfortunately, this paled in comparison to the amount of money spent by unions, Planned Parenthood, and out-of-state billionaires.
While such a funding disparity will likely be impossible for Democrats to maintain over the coming elections, it had a major impact last night.
Virginia Has Changed And Is Changing. Last night, 68% of voters under the age of 45 voted Democrat. Minority populations continue to climb as a percent of Virginia’s population and last night our nominees lost non-white voters 80% to 20%. If we do not find a way to appeal to these two groups the results will be grim.
We Must Prepare For 2018. The Democrats are motivated now more than ever and they will be coming for our Congressional District members in 2018. We must quickly regroup and prepare for next year.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have had hard times like this before and we always come back from them. This time will be no different. We have a choice, either quit and concede the Commonwealth to progressives or fight back and re-take Virginia. I choose to fight.
Republican Party of Virginia