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Column: Danica Roem Shows Democrats Can Win

The Trickle Down

The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine‘s weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula.  The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena. Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week.

Roem’s win shows limits to Trumpism.

The midterm elections after Donald Trump was elected were to test America’s acceptance of his policies.  Virginia Democrat Danica Roem became the representation of bucking Trump.

Roem is the first openly transgender women elected to VA’s state legislature.  A pretty remarkable feat in itself.  What makes it more noteworthy is that her opponent, Bob Marshall, was the embodiment of anti-LGBT.

Marshall nicknamed himself “chief homophobe”.  He also literally wrote the bill that would restrict Roem’s ability to use a bathroom.  The VA Republican was seen as an extension of Trump and his transgender policies.  (Trump rolled back federal guidelines for transgender students and tried to ban transgender people from joining the military.)

“Discrimination is a disqualifier,” Roem said after learning of her likelihood of winning. “This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias… where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”

Virginia became a hotspot for politics after the August Charlottesville white nationalist protest ended in one fatality.

Let that sink in: a state that had white supremacists openly protesting elected an openly transgender official over an anti-LGBT candidate.  That is a huge step forward for progressivism and a braggable win for Democrats.

Democrats won more than just a state seat – Virginia maintained it’s Dem gubernatorial status by electing Ralph Northam, while New Jersey flipped to blue with Phil Murphy.  Both seats had Republican ties to Trump.  Virginia’s Republican candidate Ed Gillespie had Trump’s support.  New Jersey’s previous Governor was Chris Christie, who endorsed Trump during the campaign and joined the Trump’s administration.

Is electing representatives like Roem, Northam, and Murphy showing America bucking Trump’s policies?  Nate Silver thinks so, and so do his stats.

“[G]ubernatorial races usually do a pretty good job of reflecting the national mood when you aggregate enough of them together. In 2006, for example, Democrats won the average open-seat gubernatorial race by almost 10 percentage points, close to their 8-point victory in the total popular vote for the U.S. House that year. Four years later, in 2010, it was Republicans’ turn for a wave. They won the average open-seat gubernatorial race by 8 points, similar to their 7-point margin in the House popular vote.”

So, yes, Nate Silver may have gotten our hopes up with his numbers (showing that Hillary Clinton was likely to win the presidential race), but nothing about the 2016 political year was normal.  Let’s say 2016 was the exception, not the rule.

Electing Democrats might be the indicator that Trumpism does have a ceiling.  (Comments on sexually assaulting women apparently was not it.)

Roem is the example of what you do with discrimination – you get organized and run.

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