The voters are over it. There is hope that Trump fever will break.


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The system works. There is one thing that everyone can be happy about: the election results are largely unquestioned. That may have a lot to do with the Republicans being okay. But the results should prove to them that Trump’s myth of voter fraud is indeed a myth.

From then on it becomes more situational. Republicans and Democrats should take that away from the results.

Leave Trump behind. Perhaps Republicans didn’t have to change electoral laws, as they did in key states, to lower the Democratic turnout. Perhaps they just had to drop Donald Trump, as Republican Glenn Youngkin did on his way to winning the Virginia gubernatorial race and defeating Democrat Terry McAuliffe. It wasn’t a bomb-throwing wannabe strongman who won over the voters in the blue state. It was a smiling, rich guy in a zippered waistcoat who toned down but didn’t give up racial issues that appealed to Trump supporters and embraced the notions of so-called “parenting choice” that appealed to suburbs. His other big topic was the abolition of a food tax. These are literally kitchen table problems. Moderate Republican running for New Jersey governor Jack Ciattarelli took a more impressive swing against progressive Democrat Phil Murphy, who is barely leading than the votes seep in. Ciattarelli rejected Trump’s electoral conspiracy theories and encouraged Republicans to vote.

Compare these results to California’s September recall election, when Republicans gathered around a fire-breathing candidate, Larry Elder, a talk radio host. They lost hard and handed a victory to Democratic governor Gavin Newsom.

Primaries are a problem. The Republicans in Virginia were more likely to win over Youngkin than a more Trump-friendly politician by making a final run for their own voters. They took power from the GOP base and elected Youngkin using a nontraditional process of delegates who went to drive-in locations as early as May.

In Buffalo, four-time mayor Byron Brown lost the primaries to Democratic Socialist India Walton earlier this year. He’ll keep his job.

The voters have a choice. Democracies do not reflect the will of the people; they reflect the will of the voters. It’s a different group of people who show up in an off-year election like this than in a general election when the White House and Congress are up for grabs. It is an even smaller subgroup that participates in off-year primaries.

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Grassroots voters on the right and left are the voters who appear for primary elections, and they are also often the ones who hold the most extreme views and drive American politicians into partisan nooks and crannies.

Politicians have to listen to what people want. “It sounds old-fashioned, but you go out, you talk to people, you build a platform based on what they have to say,” said Republican strategist and CNN commentator Scott Jennings, who is not a fan of Trump. He noted on Tuesday that the GOP hadn’t had a platform for the past few years.

“The platform was what Donald Trump woke up that day and what he was thinking about.”

However, Youngkin’s campaign was based on issues that people care about, Jennings said. That is the way to victory. “This campaign had a platform and schools, and crime and quality of life were at the core of that platform.”

RELATED: Independent voters prefer Youngkin as he claims victory in Virginia, shows CNN poll on Brexit

Youngkin took critical racial theory, currently not taught in Virginia schools, and made it a strong campaign topic by making voters feel that schools, many of which were physically closed during the pandemic, were not doing their jobs. Anyway, as governor, he probably won’t have the power to do much about it.

The slogan “Defund the Police” has not aged well. Perhaps the Democrats need to think long and hard about how to pool their efforts to reshape American policing, especially in the suburbs.

Given the pain and suffering revealed over the past year, there is a clear need for police reform. But finding the answer won’t be easy.

Even in Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked a national protest movement, voters rejected a plan to end the city’s police force.

Jacob Frey, the mayor targeted for his refusal to radically change policing, ran for re-election based on unofficial results.

Eric Adams, the new mayor of New York City, will not be a radical liberal; he is a former police officer who, in addition to the need for accountability, ensures law and order.

Democrats may have to break away from Trump even if they want to account for his attempted coup in Congress.

Voters are clearly over it, as McAuliffe built his campaign on painting Youngkin as a mini-Trump, rather than on issues like keeping schools open in Virginia.

The Democrats will pan now. You can feel the freak out among the Democrats. Its moderate members, already concerned about the GOP’s historic advantage in next year’s midterm elections, will be even more nervous about the massive social spending being driven by President Joe Biden on Capitol Hill.

Conversely, if they fail to pass a version of it, they have wasted a large portion of their probably only years holding full power in Washington.

They too could take Jennings’ advice and talk to voters about what they want instead of continuing to talk about Trump.

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