Last year there was a closely contested city council race where I live. Back then when I discussed this race with friends, several of them planned to vote for one of the candidates because they felt the candidate was more aligned with them on local issues, even if they had potentially strong disagreements with this candidate on broad, national issues. “Why does it matter,” the logic went, “what they think about Supreme Court appointments or the like? It’s not like they’re going to be in a position to exert influence on those issues.”
Now there’s a good chance that the next vice president of the United States will be someone who until two years ago was the mayor of a city less than half the size of the one in which this council race occurred. This may be an exceptional occurrence, but today’s city councilor is tomorrow’s state senator, and tomorrow’s state senator is the next day’s governor.