Democrats Hope Virginia Will Show Them How To Defeat Trump

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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Democratic leaders still don’t know how to defeat President Donald Trump, but they hope to test different approaches in the Commonwealth of Virginia, according to a Thursday statement.

“Virginia is a good proving ground and petri dish for our politics, because the state has a little bit of every type of congressional district that will be a battleground in 2018,” said former Clinton aide Jesse Ferguson.

“There’s a little bit of everything, so you’re able to see which types of districts respond most successfully to which messages,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election in 2017, and Democrats are running for most of them, granting the party a very easy way to test different approaches.

So far, the party tested strong messages against President Donald Trump in the 2017 special elections. Georgia candidate Jon Ossoff’s first fundraiser was titled “make Trump furious,” and he managed to raise tens of millions in the effort.

Other candidates are focusing on intensely local issues that matter to the people in the district. Transgender candidate Danica Roam is running on fixing traffic jams on local route 28, a stretch of road in her district that sees too many traffic jams, according to her. She hasn’t mentioned the president at all in her official campaign literature.

Comparatively, Karrie Delaney thinks the easiest path to victory includes a strong rebuttal of Trump’s potential policies.

“Localizing these races, that’s not the right answer for this moment in time,” Delaney told The WSJ. “The civility and temperament of the current administration does not reflect the values of this district. People are looking for leaders to take a stand against it.”

Perhaps the most obvious test of the party’s direction was the state’s gubernatorial election. Former Rep. Tom Perriello ran on a strong progressive agenda that featured a strong environmental agenda, but he lost in the primary to Ralph Northam, a former doctor who’s taken campaign donations from energy and oil companies.

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