Virginia Rejects Anti-Immigrant Politics and Embraces Diversity on Historic Election Night

Article ID: 684867

Released: 8-Nov-2017 2:05 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Northwestern University

Expert Pitch
  • Credit: Northwestern University

    Alvin Tillery Jr.

  • Credit: Northwestern University

    Laurel Harbridge Yong

  • Credit: Northwestern University

    Jaime Dominguez

Newswise — EVANSTON, Ill. --- Alvin B. Tillery Jr. is an associate professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University. His research and teaching interests are in the fields of American politics and political theory. His research in American politics focuses on American political development, racial and ethnic politics and media and politics. He can be reached at (mobile) 574-514-5758 or alvin.tillery@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Tillery
“There are three big points to take away from the Democratic Party’s victories in the elections in New Jersey and Virginia last night. First, President Trump’s sagging approval ratings are a drag on Republican candidates outside of the solidly red states where his core supporters live. Gillespie’s underperformance in the suburbs of northern Virginia should be giving Republican pollsters very real concerns for the 2018 midterms. Second, Americans proved once again that they value diversity over divisive racial and gender politics. The historic victories of LGBTQ, Asian-American, Latino and African- American candidates across the country last night show that the Obama coalition of urban progressive white voters and voters of color is the future key to electoral success in America.

“Indeed, the results reinforce the fact that without the Electoral College -- which inflates the values of the votes of white voters in the solidly red states -- President Trump would have never been elected in 2016. This means that candidates like Gillespie, who tried to inflame racial divisions through a Trump style campaign strategy, will face a tougher road to victory as the nation continues to diversify. Third, the election shows that when Democrats speak plainly and confront racially divisive campaigns, as the ones that were run against Northam in Virginia and Bhalla in the Hoboken mayor’s race, American voters respond positively.” 

Jaime Dominguez is a lecturer in the department of political science at Northwestern University. His research interests include race and ethnicity, coalition politics and urban and minority politics. He is one of the principal architects of the Chicago Democracy Project, a 30-year (1975 to 2005) online political database that provides citizens, community groups and religious organizations with information on campaign finance, electoral outcomes, government contracts and more. He can be reached at (mobile) 312-375-4868 or j-dominguez@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Dominguez
“This election was a referendum on immigration reform and the Dream Act. And, voters flatly rejected (Ed) Gillespie’s anti-immigrant tactics. White voters and voters of color demonstrated that they are progressive on immigrant integration practices; and Blacks, Latinos and Asian-Americans overwhelmingly supported (Ralph) Northam and made a difference in this competitive election.” 

Laurel Harbridge Yong is an associate professor in political science. Her teaching and research focuses on partisan conflict and the lack of bipartisan agreement in American politics. She can be reached at (office) 847-467-1147 or l-harbridge@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Yong
“State elections yesterday gave Democrats several key wins. In states like Virginia, the election was seen as a referendum on President Trump and his policies and rhetoric. Suburban and urban voters rejected the Trump-esque tactics of the Republican candidate, giving the Democrat a solid win. If voter approval of Trump remains low and Republican candidates are tied to him by policy or strategy, we could see more victories of Democrats in 2018.”


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