We are now one year away from the levers being pulled in the 2024 presidential election.
The 2023 elections were going to serve as a measuring stick for anticipations for 2024, and it now seems quite clear that GOP leadership is failing conservative voters.
Before the election, there was a lot of hope for the GOP to take some blue-state gubernatorial elections as well as some state legislatures, such as Virginia.
The expectation by pundits on both sides was that Biden's failures would leave little excitement on the left to get out and vote.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich stated:
This is a fascinating test, first of all because Gov. Youngkin has done a great job, he's at about 57% approval, so he's bringing a lot to the table, and he has raised a fair amount of money.
The Democrats understand if they lose badly tonight in Virginia that's a terrible omen for 2024 and will increase the demand that Biden quit running for reelection.
The complete opposite of what Gingrich thought would happen did happen.
For all his popularity within the state, Youngkin had the state senate remain blue, and the state House flipped from Republican to Democrat, leaving him as a lame duck for the remainder of his term.
This is just a crushing blow to the GOP in a race that party officials were positive they were going to win.
Youngkin leaned heavily into abortion during this cycle, promoting a 15-week abortion ban, which should be a wake-up call to the party that they are going to have to rethink their policies on this if they want to hold the House and win back the Senate.
To that point, Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won re-election against Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Cameron, it should be noted, is yet another Trump-endorsed candidate in a key race, not to mention a deep red state, that has lost his election bid.
Joe Biden was ecstatic with the night's results, stating:
Across the country tonight, democracy won and MAGA lost. Voters vote. Polls don't. Now let's go win next year.
Based on the election results and Joe Biden's comments, it is a fairly safe assumption that we can table any talk of Joe Biden dropping out of the race now.
It is pretty clear that despite his failures, the hatred for Donald Trump and pushback against abortion bans are mobilizing Democrat voters to continue to pull the handle for Democrats, even in red states.
This also points to the horrific failures of leadership in the GOP.
Voters begged Republicans to start anew on this front, but McCarthy was made Speaker, McConnell was given control of the Senate, and McDaniel was again elected as the Chair of the Republican Party.
The party failed in 2018, 2020, and 2022, yet all three of them were put back in charge. McCarthy has now been ousted as Speaker, but he clearly still holds a leadership role.
This should serve as a wake-up call for the GOP in terms of presenting better candidates to voters who can actually win elections.
This was about as bad as it gets for the Republican Party, only one year out from the general election.
This party has done nothing but lose since 2018, but they continue to bring the same formula to voting season time and again, refusing to change, and now conservatives are paying the price for leadership hubris.