State and local elections this week caused upsets in key swing states, namely Virginia, where incumbent Governor Terry McAuliffe was ousted by Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. This is the first time a Republican has won a state-wide election in Virginia since 2009.
Here’s a brief round-up of other election results from this past Tuesday.
- New Jersey was another close race with the dependably blue state giving the barest of margins to incumbent Governor Phil Murphy over challenger Jack Ciattarelli.
- In Minneapolis, voters rejected a proposal to replace the city Police Department with a new agency.
- Eric Adams wins the NYC Mayoral election and is the second black Mayor in the city’s history.
Why It Matters
Moderates in states that went to Biden in 2020 now voting Republican could point to Congressional races doing the same in the 2022 elections. Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in Congress and any upsets there could mean Biden is a sitting duck for the last two years of his term.
Currently, Congress is using budget reconciliation to push through their Spending Bill (if moderate Dems can be appeased). Without holding a majority, this wouldn’t be possible. They’d have to get the votes to pass it like every other proposed bill. So Republicans retaking either the House or the Senate could derail any future plans the administration has.
Recent stats show that less than 15% of eligible voters turn up for local elections in the 10 largest US cities. The US trails behind much of the world in general when it comes to voter turnout. 2020 saw the highest participation since before 1900, and it was only 67%. Most other countries are closer to 80-90%.
Politics influence culture whether you like it or not. Politics is also messy whether you like it or not. For that last reason, many Christians have abdicated the realm in search of calmer waters.
Something to think through: do Christians have a responsibility to help shape whatever nation they live in to one that honors God? That question alone might cause controversy, but before you start thinking we are suggesting establishing a theocracy, give some thought to the alternative. If every Christian leaves the political sphere because it’s tricky to navigate, what type of people might be left to steer the ship? Proverbs 29:2 says that “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”
Not everyone is called into political leadership (phew). But if you choose to vote, you can do so according to your conscience that is shaped and directed by God and the Holy Spirit.