A wave is building
Despite all the hand-wringing, Ralph Northam didn’t blow it. And it seems that neither did Virginia Democratic candidates Justin Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor and Mark Herring for Attorney General. Dems also won the New Jersey governor race in a landslide, and seem to be in position to pick up a bunch of seats in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Off-year gubernatorial elections are only weak predictors of future midterm results, but tonight’s outcome is yet another sign that the GOP really is in electoral peril. Donald Trump’s flukey, narrow win in the 2016 presidential election did not inaugurate some crazy new era in which the rules don’t apply and nothing matters. If you have an incumbent president who’s unpopular backed by a congress that’s pursuing an unpopular agenda, you’re going to be in trouble.
And Republicans are definitely in trouble.
Republicans have been ignoring warning signs
Across a series of special elections held over the past year, Democratic candidates for House and state legislature have been outperforming Hillary Clinton’s 2016 margin by 11 points and Barack Obama’s 2012 margin by 9 points.
It’s not a completely uniform trend. Cuban-American Republicans running in South Florida continue to do far better locally than the national GOP does even when, as in Florida’s 40th Senate district, they ultimately lose. And Democrats are struggling in Connecticut where the local economy is bad and the incumbent governor unpopular. But nationally it’s clear that the traditional trend against the incumbent party is, indeed, in effect.
Eight state legislature seats flipped from R to D in special elections, with none going the opposite direction. A couple more have flipped already tonight, and it seems likely that a state senate special election in the Seattle suburbs will flip the entire Washington State Senate when those votes Read More Here