But the lesson of Tuesday’s elections is bigger than the political fallout from Dobbs decision. Across the country, voters rewarded experience, rejected extremism – in both parties – and sought balance in government. In Virginia, where the popular Mr. Youngkin was not personally on the ballot but campaigned hard for a Republican legislature, Democrats succeeded by presenting themselves as a check on possible overreach. In Kentucky, where lawmakers were up for re-election, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) positioned himself as governor — in the mechanical sense of speed-regulating — over ultraconservative majorities in both chambers.
Former president Donald Trump carried the Bluegrass State by 26 points in 2020, but many Republicans voted to re-elect Mr. Beshear because he ably governed through the 2020 pandemic and civil unrest, a deadly 2021 tornado and devastating flooding in 2022. Kentuckians also recognized Secretary of State. Michael Adams (R), during the primary and general elections, for his strong stance against election denial. He blew up the “demagoguery” and “rubbish” of those who claim the 2020 election was stolen from Mr. Trump. He worked with Mr. Beshear to expand mail-in and early voting. Mr. Adams also declined to join other conservative election officials who withdrew from a bipartisan consortium called the Electronic Registration Information Center, also known as ERIC. which helps fight against electoral fraud but was the target of a pro-Trump party campaign that falsely accused the group of being a left-wing plot to add more minority voters to the rolls.
Voters appreciate serious leadership. This also happened in Fairfax County, where Supervisor Patrick S. “Pat” Herrity (R-Springfield) beat the odds in a blue district to survive as the only Republican remaining on the 10-member board of Virginia’s most populous county. Mr. Herrity was rewarded for its budgetary responsibility and pragmatic side.
Another lesson Tuesday: public safety remains a primary concern. Democrats who distanced themselves from slogans about defunding the police and took citizens’ concerns seriously did well. In Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker won by promising to hire hundreds more police officers and restore stop-and-frisk strategies, within constitutional limits. She will be the city’s first female mayor. Meanwhile, in suburban Loudoun County outside Washington, D.C., progressive Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj (D) is trailing a GOP challenger. Ms. Biberaj lost significant support after filing suitfollowing an altercation at a school board meeting, against the father of a girl who had been sexually assaulted in a high school bathroom. Many in Loudoun saw her focus on that rather than what they saw as higher law enforcement priorities.
However, typical of the pattern that prevails statewide in Virginia, Loudoun also argued Russet Perry, pro-choice Democrat for the Senate in one of the the most expensive races in the state. The result is that Virginia will remain the only Southern state not to restrict abortion since Dobbs. Divided government could be a blessing in disguise for Mr. Youngkin. The last time they had a three-way race, 12 years ago, Virginia Republicans decided to impose invasive measures. transvaginal ultrasounds to dissuade pregnant women from resorting to abortion in the name of “informed consent.” Then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell withdrew his support after massive protests and pushed Parliament to vote. revise the measurement. If the Republican Party had gained enough of a majority next year, the General Assembly might have attempted to roll back gun control, voting access and limits on carbon emissions.
Mr. Youngkin now has the opportunity to focus more on governance rather than speculation about a possible late entry into the presidential race. Democrats should work with him to find common ground on vital issues like raising education levels, improving mental health, upgrading infrastructure and combating fentanyl. A budget surplus allows the State to make strategic investments compatible with a competitive tax structure.
There is also a national lesson in this, but to be sure there is no federal budget surplus. With a partial government shutdown looming on November 17, leaders in both parties must find a way to make divided government work for their constituents. Tuesday was a mandate for moderation.
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Editorials represent the views of the Post as an institution, as determined by discussions among members of the editorial committeebased in the Opinions section and separate from the newsroom.
Members of the editorial board: Opinion editor David Shipleydeputy opinion editor Charles Lane and deputy opinion editor Stephen Strombergas well as the writers Mary Duenwald, Christine Emba, Shadi Hamid, David E. Hoffman, James Homann, long heather, Mili Mitra, Edward Porter, Keith B. Richburg And Molly Roberts.