A murder of Tea Party governors was elected four years ago and they immediately went about destroying their states’ economies. (I wasn’t sure what word to use to describe a group of Tea Party governors, and a “murder of crows” came to mind for some reason.) In Maine, Michigan, Kansas and Pennsylvania, these governors went on to become the most unpopular governors in the country.
Governor Wolf (artist’s approximation)
“We will put our economic policies in place and the economy will boom!” they promised. Of course, when they did, their states all suffered. Pennsylvania dropped to 49th in job creation, for instance.
in the 2014 election, they were all vulnerable, with negative rankings higher than their positive ones. Yet they were all re-elected, save for Governor Corbett here in Pennsylvania. What made the difference?
Tom Wolf ran as a Democrat. A real Democrat.
In every other state, political advisers told their candidates to tone down the talk about taxes, to distance themselves from Obama, and to appeal to a more conservative base. They said to attack the other side relentlessly, and use negative campaign ads.
Not Wolf. He emphasized his liberalism. He stood for reasonable gun control, reproductive rights, marijuana decriminalization, Obamacare, and environmental protection. He invited Obama to travel the state and campaign with him. And he immediately responded to every negative ad that came at him, without becoming negative himself.
Now there are other reasons those other Democrats lost as well — Voter turnout was the lowest it had been in 75 years, so that always hurts Democrats. But turnout was low in Pennsylvania, too.
I think there is a lesson here that Democrats should heed: You need to give voters a reason to come out and vote for you. You have to stand for something.
As a wise man once said, if you give the people a choice between a Republican and a republican, they will chose the Republican every time.