Lessons for the Democrats from the 2021 election

Listen 49:00
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, left, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy center, and LeRoy Jones, chairman of the state's Democratic committee, right, celebrate at Convention Hall after winning gubernatorial race against Jack Ciattarelli. 
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Asbury Park, N.J. 
(AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, left, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy center, and LeRoy Jones, chairman of the state's Democratic committee, right, celebrate at Convention Hall after winning gubernatorial race against Jack Ciattarelli. Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Asbury Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Tuesday’s election results sent shudders down the spines of many Democrats. There were heavy losses, including the Virginia governor’s race and a surprisingly narrow victory by New Jersey incumbent Governor Phil Murphy. It seems the ire that drove many Democrats to the polls when Trump was in office has faded, and the fighting over Biden’s legislative agenda in Congress isn’t exactly inspiring turnout. However, the Republican focus on culture wars and issues around schools – Critical Race Theory, masks and vaccine mandates, and anger over pandemic school closures – did mobilize their voters to the polls. This hour, with the midterms just a year away, President Biden’s poll numbers slumping, and razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate, just how alarmed should Democrats be? Our guests are TOM MORAN, columnist for the New Jersey Star-Ledger, BASIL SMIKLE, former executive director of the New York Democratic Party and TJ ROONEY, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal