The Washington Post’s headline today is a brutal one for liberals: “From coast to coast, conservatives score huge victories in off-year elections.”
But that’s not really right. Conservatives did win big victories in Virginia, Kentucky, and Houston. But Ohio’s marijuana initiative most likely went down because it was too raw a giveaway to a bunch of rich donors, and San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarim was plagued by scandals that had nothing to do with his support for sanctuary cities. (The winner, Vicki Hennessy, was endorsed by SF mayor Ed Lee. She’s hardly a conservative insurgent.)
Elsewhere, liberals won public financing initiatives in Seattle and Maine. Pennsylvania elected three Democrats to the state Supreme Court. Movement conservatives lost big in two of Colorado’s largest school districts.
I don’t want to go all Pollyanna on you, but the basic result of yesterday’s elections is that conservatives won big in the South, while liberals did OK everywhere else. Losing Kentucky was a kick in the gut, but I can’t work up a lot of surprise when Democrats lose ground below the Mason-Dixon line. It’s unfortunate, but it’s hardly big news.