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Democrats' big election victories may be a bad sign for GOP in 2020

Democrats won unified control of Virginia’s state government, picked up a governorship in deep red Kentucky, and flipped state and local elections in historically GOP areas.

By Emily Singer - November 06, 2019
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Kentucky Attorney General and democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Andy Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman, the candidate for Lt. Governor, wave to supporters after victory speechs at the Kentucky Democratic Party election night watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Louisville, Ky.

Election night 2019 was a success for Democrats, who turned a number of historically Republican areas Blue with the help of suburban voters.

The biggest wins of the night came in Virginia and Kentucky. Democrats took over the Virginia legislature for the first time in more than two decades and ousted a Republican governor in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state.

The results in Virginia could be an indicator of just how toxic the Republican brand has become with suburban voters. Meanwhile, the Democratic gubernatorial win in Kentucky came a day after Donald Trump held a rally for the GOP governor, telling voters in the state that a Republican loss in Kentucky would be an embarrassment for his presidency.

“You gotta vote because if you lose, it sends a really bad message,” Trump told voters at a rally for Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin on Monday night. 

“You can’t let that happen to me,” he added.

But those weren’t the only big wins for Democrats on Tuesday night.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats swept local offices in Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties — historically Republican suburbs of Philadelphia that are turning Blue thanks to voters turning against Trump. For example, Democrats have not controlled the Bucks County government in 30 years, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.

Taking a step back from KY and looking at all the elections last night, GOP should be most concerned about what happened in local elections in Chester, Delaware and Bucks County, PA last night,” Josh Holmes, a former McConnell aide, tweeted Wednesday morning. “That is genuinely alarming if you know the voting history.”

In New Jersey, Democrats now control 54 of the 80 state assembly districts — the biggest Democratic advantage in the chamber since 1978, according to the New Jersey Star Ledger.

Other bright spots for Democrats included picking up the mayorship of Wichita, Kansas, yet another historically Republican city that is trending Blue in the Trump era. It’s a good sign for Democrats, who are hoping to pick up an open Senate seat in the Sunflower State in 2020.

And Democrats also picked up a GOP-leaning state House seat in Missouri. The suburban St. Louis seat swung 19 points toward Democrats, according to election analyst Nathaniel Rakich.

Democrats are celebrating the victories, and warning Republicans that the results from Tuesday are bad news for GOP candidates up and down the ballot in 2020.

“Democrats’ resounding victories across the country make loud and clear that we are in a strong position to protect and expand our House Majority in 2020,” Rep. Cheri Bustos, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement. “These results are a warning sign for Republicans: Voters are not interested in a rubber stamp for President Trump, and the Republican agenda of higher health care costs and handouts to powerful special interests continues to be deeply unpopular.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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