A primary contest in Virginia offers clues to the future of the Democrats

TO HEAR Tom Perriello on the stump, you might think his main opponent in Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, due on June 13th, was not Ralph Northam, the state’s respected lieutenant-governor, but Donald Trump. “A big turnout in this primary will be a massive statement against Trump!” Mr Perriello, a diminutive former congressman, with a slightly doleful but intense demeanour, told a Democratic crowd in the leafy north Virginian town of Arlington. “It will signal that this contest is a firewall against the hate and bigotry of the administration.”

Traditionally the first big electoral contest following a general election, Virginia’s gubernatorial race is accordingly an early verdict on the president. Virginia—unlike New Jersey, a reliably blue state which will elect a new governor on the same day, November 8th—is big, competitive and responsive to national politics, especially in the northern part of the state, bordering Washington, DC, where almost half of primary voters live. A tradition of anti-incumbency…Continue reading
Source: http://www.economist.com/sections/united-states/rss.xml

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