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midterm election … There will be a sitting Republican president. If his- tory is any indication, regardless of the president, in the [following] midterm elections, there’s buyer’s remorse [by voters, resulting in the opposing party gaining seats]. I think there might be a good chance of that in 2018.


Saxman: A number of Republicans were already lining up for the possibility that they were going to run for the open seat in ’17 and ’18 if Tim Kaine [and Hillary Clinton] won, and I’ve had con- versations with many of these candidates. The quality of that candidate — whether they have the organization, the message, and the money in ’18 — will determine that. I think Kaine is strong going into ’18 because of his name ID. I think he [relates] well to the population


in Virginia. I don’t think he plays the prosecutor as well as he does the defense attorney, and that showed up in the debates because it’s not authentically him. Hopefully he’ll correct that course. But he’s got a great team underneath him, and I think he’ll do well in ’18 if he decides to run again.


VB: Do you think this election will have any implications for the 2017 gubernatorial election here in Virginia?


Clement: Virginia has a tradition of going the opposite way after presidential election years. Now, the exception was with Governor McAuliffe’s election in 2013 following Obama’s re-election in 2012. But, if I had to predict, I would say that the very strong Republican showing in December throughout the country will be more beneficial to Ralph Northam and his running mates than it would have been if Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine had won. A year is a long time, and it’ll be interesting to see how Trump starts his presidency, but I think inevitably it’s got to help the Virginia Democratic ticket.


Dendy: I think a key piece of it is going to be turnout, and I think the difference between whether the Demo- crats carry Virginia, in almost any election, is whether Northern Virginia and the core cities turn out. That will be the challenge. If the president is unpopular, if there are issues between the president and federal employees, maybe you would have a good turnout in Northern Virginia. If you don’t, downstate, the Republicans outside of the core cities tend to be favored.


Farnsworth: I think it’s important to appreciate the challenge of on-the-job training for a new president when we think about 2017. It seems to me that both Barack Obama, who had been a senator four years, and George W. Bush, who had been a governor for six, would have benefited from additional training before they ended up president. Of course, with Donald Trump, his on-the- job training in government starts the day he becomes president. That high bar requires extraordinary movement very rapidly to be successful, because issues don’t wait. It seems to me that one of the


challenges that any CEO would face … is this question of how to work collaboratively with others. When you think about working with Congress, Congress is not interested — even from a member of one’s own party — in taking instruction, and similarly the NATO allies are not all that interested in taking instruction. Donald Trump seems throughout his career to be focused on giving instruction, and I think that kind of challenge that Trump faces creates an environment that can be used to Democratic advantage. If you think about the issues that


would animate and motivate Northern Virginia voters, a Trump presidency would be pretty high on the list, it seems to me, and so the successful fortune of the Democratic ticket in 2017, I think, depends on how the White House handles things with a new president in that first year, and that’s really going to be so crucial to whether or not the Democrats or the Republicans win in 2017.


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