How a Trump-Era trend is impacting local politics

Left-leaning Jim Shulman’s recent triumph over self-described “fiscally conservative” Sheri Weiner echoes a growing political trend that has swept across the states since Trump took office: though the White House and Capitol Hill have steadily been under conservative control, Americans around the country are putting liberals in local office, and outing conservatives.

Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman

In August, St. Louis voters unseated 27-year conservative incumbent Bob McCulloch, in favor of Wesley Bell — a black man — for county prosecutor. Back in February, Democrats unseated two Republican state representatives in New Hampshire and Connecticut.

In a Pennsylvania special election in March, Rick Saccone, a man who proclaimed himself to be “Trump before Trump was Trump,” conceded to Conor Lamb. As of June, Republicans had lost 42 seats to Democrats. The Boston Globe calls this silent revolution a “blue wave,” and it may be knocking on Nashville’s door.

Even when campaigning for a nonpartisan position like Vice Mayor, Shulman highlighted distinctly liberal plans and policies as a part of his platform. He expressed concern in regards to meeting set goals for women and minority-owned businesses, spoke openly about the need for affordable housing, and supported a countywide referendum to create a civilian oversight board to investigate grievances against police officers.

He bet on the fact that, in the era of Trump’s right-wing policies, Nashville voters would favor liberal approach—and he was right. He won 65 percent of the vote over Weiner in the September election.

Even Nike caught on to the trend and bet on its less conservative supporters when the company made Colin Kaepernick, the forerunner of the NFL National Anthem protests, the face of their new ad campaign. Since Nike sales have increased by 31 percent.

If this national trend comes to Tennessee, gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean may become the first Democrat to win a statewide race in the past 12 years.

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