Democrats won major victories in Virginia. The GOP appears to be in trouble.

Simply put, election night 2017 was a fantastic night for the Democratic Party.

First off, the party won convincing victories in the two marquee governor’s races. In Virginia, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D) quieted pundits by defeating GOP operative Ed Gillespie. And in New Jersey, financier Phil Murphy defeated Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno to retake the governor’s mansion for Democrats.

But the good news for the party didn’t end there. In Virginia, Democrats also won sweeping victories downballot, particularly in the state’s House of Delegates — including in races that weren’t even on the radar of most electoral analysts. All sorts of Democrats picked up seats there, from conventional establishment times to a democratic socialist to the first openly transgender person to win a state legislative seat in the United States. The Republican brand was simply toxic.

All of this is dreadful news for the GOP and President Donald Trump. Even in normal times, it’s difficult for an incumbent president’s party to defend seats in midterm elections. These are not normal times. Virginia’s results suggest Democratic voters have grown extraordinarily energized, particularly in the suburbs. And they suggest GOP control of the House of Representatives will be in real danger in 2018.

Winner: The Democratic Party

All year, it has seemed that Democrats were in disarray. The party’s shocking 2016 defeats had reduced it to a smoking ruin. Bitter wounds from that year’s presidential primary still hadn’t healed. The party fell short in several dramatic House special elections. Its leadership appeared out of touch with its voters. People knew they were against Donald Trump, true, but what were they for?

On Tuesday, though, the Democratic brand appeared to be doing just fine.

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