The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Feehery: The GOP could have done better

Associated Press/Andrew Harnik

Last Tuesday’s elections surprised me.

I thought Glenn Youngkin was going to win by 7 points in Virginia and Jack Ciattarelli was going win by a nose in New Jersey. 

I know both Virginia and New Jersey have been classified as blue by all the pundits out there, but I still had faith that the voters would see how badly they had been scammed by the political elite, come to their senses and boot out the lockdowners, the mandaters, the fear-mongers and the power-grabbers.

Many voters did vote in favor of freedom, but not enough of them to meet my expectations. 

With all the incompetence of the school boards in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, I was shocked to see those former Republican bastions vote overwhelmingly for Terry McAuliffe. I have given up hope that people in Arlington County and Alexandria would vote the right way, but still, given how completely messed up the schools have been there, I would have thought that some of the white liberals who make up the vast majority of the voters there would have woken up from their woke stupor. But alas, I was wrong.

Republicans are rejoicing in their election victories, but I am nervous. We should be doing even better, especially in the suburbs where the GOP used to reign. 

And if we don’t do better there, we need to pick up votes in other places.

I have been happily surprised by how many Hispanic voters have rejected the progressive ideology of modified socialism. They have worked very hard to come to this country, and they don’t want it to become like the places they left. They want a country that values free enterprise and hard work, a country that promotes family values and protects traditional beliefs, they want a country that promotes sanity and rejects madness. They also want the borders protected, criminals prosecuted, and law and order restored. 

I am not sure if we will ever make significant progress in the working-class African American community in urban America, mostly because so many of them rely on robust government for their livelihoods. But we must try. And Republicans have a great roster of emerging Black leaders, from Reps. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) in the House, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and hopefully Herschel Walker in the Senate and now Winsome Sears, who won as lieutenant governor in Virginia.   

Democrats are embarking on a risky redistricting strategy in several states that would disperse the African-American vote to expand the map in places like Illinois and New York. This means that the Black vote will be even more crucial when it comes to winning House seats in battleground districts. If the choice in some of these districts is between a white progressive who talks moderate and a black conservative who talks conservative, many African-Americans just might swing the elections to the Republican. There is increasing evidence that many Black voters, especially Black male voters, are growing tired of the empty promises of the elite liberals. 

In this past election, especially in Virginia, college-educated white women stayed loyal to the Democrats, while those who didn’t attend college voted for the Republican candidates. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising in a world where “White Fragility” is a best-seller amongst the progressive crowd. And I assume that abortion politics had something to do with that result, given how many ads Terry McAuliffe ran on that subject. But exit polls also showed that the pro-life vote outperformed the pro-abortion vote for the first time, so it is unlikely and unwise for Republicans to change their position on that issue.

I see the Joe Biden’s latest horrible polls and that gives me some comfort that Republicans have a very good shot at taking back Congress. But there is still a lot of time on the clock and the GOP shouldn’t rest on its laurels. Joe Biden has been terrible and we should have done even better last Tuesday.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).

Tags COVID-19 Dennis Hastert Glenn Youngkin Joe Biden Lockdown public schools rising crime school board Terry McAuliffe Tim Scott Virginia governor election

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Campaign News

See All
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video