The biggest lesson of the election: Voters rewarded Republicans in statewide races who battled COVID lockdowns and vaccine mandates

Ron DeSantis is getting the lion's share of national attention for his  sweeping victory that has turned Florida into a Republican bastion, adding almost 20 points to his margin of victory in 2018, when he barely won the governorship.  Among his pillars of support was his strong opposition to COVID shutdowns of businesses and schools and his opposition to vaccine mandates.

But two other statewide races on Tuesday featured incumbent candidates who vigorously fought COVID shutdowns and mandatory vaccines.  And in both races, the incumbents won victories with even bigger margins than DeSantis.

In Kentucky, with 87% of the vote counted, Rand Paul is winning re-election to the Senate with a 22.8% margin, according to the AP:

Senator Paul's spirited questioning of Dr. Fauci, using his expertise as a medical doctor who actually treats patients (unlike Fauci, who is a pure bureaucrat often masquerading in a lab coat), no doubt was on the mind of Kentucky's voters.

In South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem, who kept schools and businesses open in Siouth Dakota and saw the economy boom, had an even bigger margin of victory: 26.8% with 97% of the vote counted, according to the AP.


It's pretty obvious that a lot of Republicans failed to understand the depth of the public's opposition to and anger over COVID authoritarianism.  Since President Trump's stand on whether or not he will run for president again is on many people's minds this morning, consider that he bought in to and relied on the advice of Drs. Fauci, Birx, Walensky, and company.

This does not position him well for re-election, and if Ron DeSantis is his principal opponent for the GOP nomination, it will become a major issue for GOP voters.

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