Here are a few winners and losers from Virginia’s “Super Tuesday” 2016 primaries that I believe are worth highlighting. As always, this list isn’t meant to be even close to comprehensive, just a few things that jumped out at me, so please add winners and losers of your own in the comments section. Thanks.
1. Gov. Terry McAuliffe – A resounding win for his close friend and political ally Hillary Clinton last night, both in Virginia and nationally, has got to have McAuliffe in an even GREATER mood than he usually is this morning. Bottom line: McAuliffe can say he delivered Virginia to Clinton, and that’s always a good thing to be able to do in politics.
2. Sen. Tim Kaine – By all accounts on the “short list” to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Kaine – who campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton, making the case strongly both FOR her and AGAINST Bernie Sanders – might be as happy as McAuliffe this morning, as he just took a step closer to possibly becoming Vice President of the United States starting in January 2017.
3. Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Bobby Scott — All endorsed Hillary Clinton, and all saw Clinton win their districts by huge (2:1 or more) margins last night.
4. Robby Mook: Hard to believe that prior to Nevada, there were rumors that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager could actually be replace or demoted or something. After a series of victories – Nevada, South Carolina, a slew of big states last night – Mook can now turn a chunk of his attention to the general election, confident that his job is 100% secure and that his candidate has all but wrapped up the Democratic noimnation.
5. Susan Swecker: The Democratic Party of Virginia Chair and huge Clinton supporter saw her candidate win big in Virginia last night. The only concern for Swecker is that turnout among Democrats wasn’t as high as among Republicans, although that can be explained by two things: a) a lot of Democrats may have voted in the GOP primary; b) it was pretty obvious, even before last night, that the Democratic race is basically over.
6. Sarah Peck, Mike Henry — Sen. Tim Kaine’s Press Secretary took a leave of absence to help Hillary Clinton in Virginia the past few weeks. And her work paid off. Her boss, Kaine’s Chief of Staff Mike Henry, also must be quite pleased right now.
7. Lola Quintela and other pro-Clinton activists in Virginia — Grassroots activists don’t often get the credit they deserve. People like Lola Quintela are inspirations and should be lauded for their efforts. I’ve known Lola for years, and I can definitively say that she’s one of the most competent, friendly, outgoing, energetic Democratic political activists I’ve ever met. Nice job!
8. African Americans — Went overhwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton here in Virginia last night, giving her something like 84% (!!!) of their vote, and not surprisingly, Clinton won big time (both in Virginia and in other states with large African-American populations).
9. Latinos — Are showing increased clout (including for Hillary Clinton last night), and could really be crucial this November, assuming they turn out in droves to stop anti-Latino bigot/xenophobe Donald Trump. Two Latinos who were big winners last night: former Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada and Del. Alfonso Lopez, both of whom campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton, including at a Latinos con Clinton rally I covered the other day.
10. Virginia State Board of Elections website — Unlike many previous elections, it actually stayed up and running last night, ran well ahead of VPAP’s site (which I stopped using after the first few minutes last night, when I realized it was lagging badly ). Nice job by SBE on election night for a change!
11. John Fredericks – I couldn’t disagree more strongly with right-wing radio talk show host John Fredericks on his support for Donald Trump, who I consider (along with many Republicans) to be a dangerous demagogue, liar, bully, clown and even Mussolini-style neo-fascist. Having said that, Fredericks has been on top of this story for months (many interviews of Trump’s campaign people and family, for instance), and also has been a player, leading the charge to get rid of the GOP “loyalty oath,” a move that very well could have cost Marco Rubio the state yesterday and helped boost Trump to victory. Also, unlike many political pundits, Fredericks has been predicting Trump as the GOP nominee for a long time now — since May 2015, I believe. So yeah, Fredericks was a big winner yesterday, even if the GOP and the country are big losers.
1. Sen. Bryce Reeves, House Majority Leader Kirk Cox, Del. Kathy Byron, Del. Tim Hugo, Former Senator George Allen and other Virginia Rubio endorsers: The somewhat good news is that Rubio finished a strong second in Virginia to Donald Trump. The bad news is that Rubio didn’t do well in the rest of the country, nor did he gain any ground on Trump, who Rubio has called a “con artist” who should never be the party’s nominee (let alone president).
2. Prince William County Board Chair Corey Stewart – The Virginia chair of Donald Trump’s campaign, also infamous for being a rabid, anti-immigrant xenophobe, saw his neo-fascist friend win Virginia last night, although only by 3 points. Trump also lost Prince William County, albeit by a small margin, to Marco Rubio. So…a mixed bag for Stewart last night.
3. Jerry Falwell, Jr.: He totally sold out everything he purports to believe in his endorsement of Trump, who is certainly NOT a religious man, certainly NOT an evangelical or fundamentalist Christian, and certainly has NOT been a conservative for most of his life. However, Trump DID carry Virginia last night, so that’s a win for Falwell. On the other hand, “Trump won only about 8 percent of the vote in Liberty’s voting precinct, compared to 44 percent for Rubio and 33 percent for Cruz.” That almost puts Falwell in the “Losers” column, but since Trump won Virginia and took another big step towards the GOP nominatee, Falwell stays (barely) in the “mixed” column.
4. Rep. Barbara Comstock — Although Marco Rubio — who Comstock endorsed and campaigned heavily for — didn’t win Virginia, Rubio DID win Comstock’s 10th CD handily (37.1%-29.4%) over Donald Trump. So…Comstock’s a loser in a gazillion other ways, but just barely not a loser in this list. LOL
1. Ken Cuccinelli – A major endorser and campaign surrogate for fellow theocratic, far-right-wing extremist Ted Cruz, watched as his candidate got stomped (or to use a bizarre Trump-ism, “shlonged”) last night in Virginia, picking up just 16.7% of the vote. That’s some clout you’ve got there, Cooch! LOL
2. E.W. Jackson – The second member of the 2013 Virginia “Extreme Team” to endorse Cruz saw his typically over-the-top, typo-ridden pleas (e.g., “The way out of presidential election mess is Christians rally to Ted Cruz en mass. Or Repubs may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”) go unanswered. Apparently, Jackson’s communications with his Creator must be a bit fuzzy these days. To make matters worse for Jackson, his exhortations for African Americans to abandon the “Democrat Party” not only didn’t work, but in fact African Americans are turning out in droves all over the country – including here in Virginia yesterday – to help prople Hillary Clinton to the nomination and the White House. Nice job, “Bishop.” Not.
3. Virginia Republican bloggers – From what I’ve seen, most of them oppose Trump, several of them even vowing not to vote for Trump if he’s the GOP nominee. Now what?
4. Rep. Scott Rigell — Poor Rigell. He’s no “moderate,” but he’s a relatively sane conservative Republican who’s been driven from Congress by the total crazies and extremists in his party. Yesterday morning, Rigell wrote a scathing letter in which he said, among other things: “I am convinced that if Donald Trump becomes our nominee, the harm done to our party would be nothing short of catastrophic….I reject Trump as our nominee based on his judgement, temperament and character, all of which point to a reckless, embarrassing and ultimately dangerous presidency….Trump is a bully, unworthy of our nomination. My love for our country eclipses my loyalty to our party, and to live with a clear conscience I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgement, temperament and character needed to be our nation’s commander-in-chief. Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should he become our Republican nominee.” Unfortunately for Rigell and for the country, Trump took another step closer to the GOP nomination last night, including here in Virginia, and also including Rigell’s district (which Trump won 40%-32% over Rubio). Not good…