‘Ben Cline must resign’: And the way the Sixth might actually flip in the 2020s
“Ben Cline must resign” has a nice ring to it, in terms of messaging; it rhymes, anyway. Bad news, though, for those who’d like to see it happen: no, he’s not going to, not in this current environment.
Protestors gathered at the Augusta County Courthouse in Staunton on Saturday to make their case, highlighting Cline’s votes to reject election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, his support of a Texas lawsuit aimed at overthrowing those and other state results, his remarks at a rally at the Staunton Mall in November framing the 2020 election as a “fraud.”
All reprehensible on the part of Cline, who won re-election in the Sixth District in that same November election with 64.6 percent of the vote.
If you need to know why Cline votes to overturn election results and throws around fiery rhetoric about Democrats, that 64.6 percent is 100 percent of the reason why.
Donald Trump received 59.1 percent of the presidential vote in the Sixth District in the 2020 cycle.
Just over the Blue Ridge, in the Fifth District, Trump notched 53.4 percent of the vote, but his presence flipped that seat back in the spring.
Bob Good, running to the right of the sitting Republican congressman in the Fifth, Denver Riggleman, somehow made the case that Riggleman, who voted with Trump 91.9 percent of the time, according to fivethirtyeight.com, still wasn’t pro-Trump enough.
Good wrested the Fifth District GOP nomination from Riggleman, who subsequently has found his conscience, and has morphed into a never-Trumper.
Good won the general election in the Fifth against a well-funded Democratic challenger, Cameron Webb.
It was a tight race. Good received 52.4 percent of the vote, and unlike Cline, who ran five and a half points ahead of Trump in his race, Good ran almost a full point behind Trump in the Fifth.
Which is to say, he knows where his bread is buttered.
Good doesn’t get the nomination, and then the win in November, without his appeals to the pro-Trump far right.
Which means, you can bank on Good being more of the same in terms of what you’ve seen from him.
Cline, too, has voted with Trump 100 percent the past couple of weeks, which you should expect.
Sixty Democrats protesting in Staunton on a Saturday aren’t going to make him go Riggleman.
Republican electeds only develop a conscience when they lose.
The Sixth District hasn’t gone Democrat since Jim Olin’s last re-election in 1990.
The best showing by a Democrat since: Jennifer Lewis’ 40.2 percent in 2018.
Cline isn’t going to resign, and again, credit for the catchiness, the stickiness, of the phrasing there.
Politics in the Sixth moderates one of two ways: redistricting makes the district more competitive, or moderate Republicans in the district outflank Cline from the center-right.
Not saying it’s a waste of time exercising your First Amendment right to assembly.
It’s fun, energizing, enervating, to protest.
Just that, it may be more effective to reach out to your center-right Republican friends, to help them get their party back.
Story by Chris Graham