For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction.
That's a basic rule that's worth remembering. And it's all too easy to forget in politics.
Republicans have achieved major growth by targeting working class whites who were once the Dem base. The flip side of that is what happened tonight in Virginia. Some blue states may be turning purple, but some purple states are turning blue. Triangulation doesn't make for passionate commitment. And so you trade voters. And Republican gains in the Rust Belt will be offset by Democrat gains in the Government Belt.
That happened in Virginia.
As you change your brand, you will lose some voters and gain some voters.
And then there's the passion factor. These days, Trump is always on the ballot. And that means even races that once would have mattered less, will lead to injections of cash and larger turnouts. Republicans have to adapt to this new normal. Democrats have. This time around they effectively mobilized the passion of their base.
Republicans will have to get better at doing that.
The Dems are making every election about Trump. And this time around it worked. It may not work as well next time. Or the time after. But for now, Republicans running from Trump is clearly not the answer. 2016 and 2017 are coming down to passionate turnout. The Dems had no candidate in 2016 to be passionate about. Or, for that matter, in 2017. But they're compensating with passion against Trump.
But beyond all that, there's a political realignment underway. And that means the Dem and GOP territories are changing.