Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 30, 2019
by Noreen Wise
There are two new Democratic governors arriving into office next week, one of which flipped the governor’s seat from red to blue. Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, stunned the GOP with an unexpected upset that outed Trump and McConnell ally, Matt Bevin. Louisiana’s John Bel Edward, held off a fierce rival backed by Trump, and will return to Baton Rouge to finish the progress he started four years ago. There’s so much positive energy for long awaited changes (sidelined by Mitch McConnell the past three years at the federal level, particularly in 2019 with the Democratic House passing nearly 400 bills that are currently stacked under McConnell’s desk), that constituents feel optimistic much needed legislation will soon follow.
In November 2016, the year Trump came into power through the electoral college rather than popular vote, the net outcome on the gubernatorial side of things was 33 red governors and 16 blue. But, after three years of Trump’s continued defiance of the rule of the law and our Constitution, Americans appear to be venting their frustration through their choice of governors. The tides have shifted significantly with Democrats picking up 8 governorships. After the 2019 election, there are 26 red governors and 24 blue. Just one away from being an even split.
Voters are hoping to see legislative movement with these gubernatorial pivots, particularly gun safety legislation and clean energy & sustainability. States with Democratic governors for more than a decade, are much further ahead with clean energy infrastructure and regulation, and their low carbon levels reinforce the positive impact legislation has on outcome. The states that have flipped from red to blue recently, now have to catch up. The ones that remain red will be left in the dust.
But all eyes should be on Virginia in 2020. The governorship, and both levels of the state legislature, are now blue. The Virginia legislative calendar begins next Wednesday January 8, 2020. Mom’s Demand Action and the NRA will both be descending on the state capitol in Richmond the first day to lobby the new arrivals about gun safety. Virginia is a state with two extremes. Charlottesville highlighted the tension. Trump has fueled the stormy division in the two years that have followed since that tragic day in Charlottesville, August 12, 2017.
One step at a time. Our Founding Fathers taught us that the way a democracy works is through the art of compromise. Let’s get this right! ~
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