News, Politics

US Democratic “Election Wave” In Virginia

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Image: Nick Youngson – via

Last week, some elections were held in the U.S. state of Virginia, to choose a new governor and other leaders.

There were some surprising results in that election; some key Republicans lost their positions to Democrats.

The new governor, Ralph Northam, was elected on Nov. 7. He is a Democrat.

Republicans are currently in power in the United States; the president, Donald Trump, most of the leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and most U.S. governors are Republican. The Democrats are the other major political party in the United States.

Daniel Dale, a journalist who reports on Washington for the Toronto Star, wrote an article about what the election may mean for the United States. Here is some of what he said in his column* about the election:

“Democrats won races for governor. Democrats won races for state legislature. Democrats won races for mayor. Democrats won a referendum on health insurance.

Trans Democrats won. Bland Democrats won. Black Democrats won. Latina Democrats won. Even an honest-to-goodness Democratic Socialist won.

In Virginia.

President Donald Trump has dismissed, as “fake,” polls that suggest he is deeply unpopular. That will now be harder. One night before the one-year anniversary of Trump’s own victory, voters in state and local elections in several states delivered an unmistakable [rejection] of the president with a series of sweeping Democratic triumphs that suggest Trump and his Republicans are in serious electoral danger.

The results could immediately affect federal politics [in the United States]. More Republican congresspeople may be convinced to join a growing number of their colleagues in retiring rather than running again. More Republicans could … begin to detach from Trump on matters of policy.

Regardless, analysts across the political spectrum said Democrats should be favoured to retake the House of Representatives in the 2018 congressional mid-terms.”

A diverse array of Democrats earned a series of demographic firsts, including first transgender and Latina representatives in Virginia, first black mayors in Montana and St. Paul, Minn., and first black female mayor of Charlotte, N.C.

Democrats lost a smattering of other races, and there is no guarantee that other states will behave the same way these states did. (Virginia and New Jersey both went for Democrats in 2016, too.) But the night was hard to read as anything other than a disturbing sign for Republicans and Trump, himself.”

*column: A column (unlike a news article) is based on an opinion, in this case, the opinions of Daniel Dale, a reporter who works for a Canadian newspaper (the Toronto Star) and who covers events that happen in Washington, DC in the United States.

Some content in this article was adapted with permission from Torstar Syndication Services, from an original story by Daniel Dale/Toronto Star.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Canadians often pay close attention to American politics. Why is that?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
Talk with a friend about what today’s article is about. When you’re done, try to write a one sentence summary? Compare your summary with your friend’s.

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety
of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Language Feature: Citation
Much of today’s article comes from another source. In order to give credit to the original author (Daniel Dale, Toronto Star), our TKN reporter included several pieces of information.

Reread today’s article and underline all the information that tells who wrote the article originally published in the Toronto Star.