Rachel Maddow says Biden had best election night of any president for 30 years

‘Ronald Reagan is the last president who pulled this off, the last time a president managed to lose only one of those governorships’

Andrew Feinberg
Friday 05 November 2021 13:43 GMT
(Getty Images for NBC)

Two days after Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s defeat of Terry McAuliffe sent Democrats into a panic over the implications for next year’s midterm elections, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has a message for them: Don’t panic.

Speaking during her 9pm show on Thursday, Maddow suggested that Democrats’ performance in the first statewide elections held since Mr Biden took office was on par with how the GOP fared during Ronald Reagan’s first term because of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s single-point win over Republican Jack Ciattarelli.

Mr Murphy’s victory, which made him the first Democratic governor of the Garden State to win re-election in decades, means that Democrats haven’t dropped both off-year gubernatorial elections for the first time since 1981, Maddow explained.

“For the past 30 years, every single time we’ve had a new president, that first year of the new president, the president’s party lost both the Virginia governor and New Jersey governor, every single time, except this time the Democrats didn’t lose New Jersey. In a rational world, this would not be a cause for democratic panic. Quite the contrary. Democrats have beat the odds,” Ms Maddow said. 

“Ronald Reagan is the last president who pulled this off, the last time a president managed to lose only one of those governorships — the great communicator Ronald Reagan. You would think this would be cause for celebration in the Democratic Party”.

Continuing, Maddow said Democrats have performed well in most of the contests that have taken place since Mr Biden was sworn in on 20 January, including a June special election for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s New Mexico House seat and the September California recall election, in which Governor Gavin Newsom defeated conservative talk show host Larry Elder.

“For the first time since the 1980s, Republicans weren’t able to flip those two governorships like the opposing party has been able to do in the first year of every new presidency going all the way back to [George HW] Bush. They only got one. Dems held onto the other,” she said. “Why this scenario should be cause for Democratic freakout is beyond me … rationally, big picture, you would rather be the party of Joe Biden than the party of Donald Trump right now”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in