Protest votes come in all shape, sizes, and educational levels



We have seen it all. In recent elections, voters across the world have been telling the do-gooder, globalist, elite no - it's their time now.

The protest vote of middle England telling the cosmopolitan elites of London they have had enough, and they want out of the European Union.

The protest vote from the Catalonians that want more say and leave the support of Madrid to go their own independent way.

The protest vote from salt of the earth Americans living in the Great Lakes region who believe wearing a football jersey is a proper air travel outfit telling those who crafted multilateral trade deals and forged a more multicultural nation they do not get to pick the winner of the White House this time.

But last night was different.

Finally the do-gooder, globalist, elite had a chance to cast a protest vote.

The suburban citizens of NoVa who have more in common with those living in New Jersey and commuting into Manhattan than their fellow Old Dominion citizens voted in a protest wave to send a message to the bloviator in chief and the do nothing congressional members - you ain't getting it done.

The protest vote that sent a Democrat to the governor's house in Richmond will be embraced and applauded by Team Obama and those who wished HRC be their president - and they should feel good and elated. It has been a horrible 365 days for them. Last night was their first real feel-good moment to halt the Trumpster since their disastrous performance the previous election day.

But, as is frequently done, believing they have found the secret sauce of winning in the age of Trump will be a loser. They haven't found anything. Ralph Northam is no way the future of the DNC. His only unique skill-set was that he was on the ballot last night.

Just like the Brexit referendum, the Catalonia vote for independence, and Trump's candidacy, all were only vehicles to send a protest, a message, a reminder, to those in power that the ways things are operating aren't working.

When voter data goes into a deep drive, analysists will find scores of suburban NoVa Republicans with dual incomes, hefty tax bills, jumbo mortgages, outstanding student loan debt, passports, multiple college degrees, Economist subscriptions, Class Pass memberships, Whole Foods shopping trips powered by InstaCart, and Patagonia jackets in their closets voted Dem for the first time in their lives. Finally, they had a vehicle to send a protest vote to Trump's Republican-controlled Federal government.

The protest was against the shameful and petulant behavior emanating from the Oval Office. The protest was against a Ryan and McConnell led Congress whose only success is sending Neil Gorsuch to SCOTUS. The protest was against the complete failure to pass infrastructure spending, to reform healthcare, to legislate a tax system that is entrepreneurial, global, and fair.

Waking up this morning, you have to believe the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives next fall. Not only will we see more GOP members say adios to walking the hall of RHOB, but funding will become a challenge, and there will be more talk of Trump getting legitimate primary challengers.

If you are a Republican Member of Congress with a Whole Foods in your district you probably barely slept last night. As you wake-up to Playbook and Morning Joe, you know you have a decision to make this morning - be silent on Trump's behavior and leadership or do what is right and vote for legislation that is best for the long-term success of the nation.

Either way - it might not be enough.

A protest vote is coming.

About the author: Marc A. Ross is the founder of Caracal Global, a strategy firm specializing in global business communications working with boardrooms and the C-Suite at the intersection of politics, policy, and profits. Ross holds an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.