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Deterred by surprise losses, Democrats sound alarm for 2022


But Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had no doubts.

“Glenn Youngkin got away with being everything to all people, and we can’t let them do that,” said Maloney, adding: “House Republicans have voiced their fate with Trump’s toxic agenda of lying about the elections, from minimizing the pandemic, from ignoring the attack on the Capitol.”

Though more unexpected, Tuesday’s Democratic defeats weren’t as overwhelming as the last time the party controlled the presidency and congress, in 2009, when Republicans won the governorship of Virginia by 17 percentage points and also the governorship of New Jersey. Increasing polarization has entrenched Democrats in some suburban jurisdictions, such as Fairfax County in Virginia, which carried Mr. McAuliffe by 30 percentage points in his comeback bid.

These suburban voters, who despise Mr. Trump, may not be available to Republicans next year. However, there are two sides to the country’s increasing polarization, and the massive losses suffered by Democrats in rural Virginia and New Jersey showed they were at high risk of losing even more states and districts with scarce resources next year. population.

What gives Democrats some optimism is the idea that while their candidates this year faced an unsightly backdrop of legislative bickering within the party, there will be big achievements to trumpet next year.

“If we talk about the process, we lose, but once the process is done, we’ll have a lot to say about what we’re doing for real people,” said John Anzalone, Mr. Biden’s pollster.

Of course, by the 2010 midterm elections, the Democrats had a chance to promote the Affordable Care Act and still suffered huge losses — in part because they weren’t seen as sufficiently focused on reviving the economy after the recession.

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