When you’ve lost the suburbs…
by Tom Sullivan
“If you lose, it sends a really bad message,” Trump told his Kentucky rally. “You can’t let that happen to me!” They did.
Virginia Democrats have a lot to crow about this morning. Elsewhere, some interesting results too. Too many to capture this morning, but let’s have a go with some headlines.
Democrats gained full control of the state government for the first time in a generation, flipping at least two seats in the state Senate and at least five in the House of Delegates. They were aided in part by strong turnout and by court-ordered redrawing of state House districts earlier this year. Republicans have not won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009.
An upset in suburban Richmond makes Ghazala Hashmi, a former college literature professor, the first Muslim woman to win a seat in the state Senate:
“I didn’t know if I actually had a home in this country,” she said in an interview before the voting. “My anxiety was caused by wondering if other people would speak up and support the assault we were seeing on civil liberties.” She decided to speak up and represent herself.
Other notable winners on Tuesday included Shelly Simonds, a Democrat who lost a House race in 2017 in a random drawing after the votes produced a dead tie. In a rematch, Ms. Simonds defeated the Republican incumbent, David Yancey.
Last night Simonds won the seat in Newport News by 18 points.
Juli Briskman, the cyclist who two years ago lost her job after flipping off Donald Trump‘s motorcade, won a seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. She defeated an eight-year Republican incumbent.
Looking forward to representing my friends & neighbors in #Algonkian District who backed me up today! So proud that we were able to #FlipLoudpun #FlipVA #LOCO219 Thank you Loudoun! https://t.co/vRcDUih1AP
— Juli Briskman (@julibriskman) November 6, 2019
Democrat Andy Beshear, Kentucky’s sitting attorney general, narrowly defeated unpopular Republican Gov. Matt Bevin by a mere 5,100 votes (0.4%) in a state President Donald Trump carried in 2016 by 30 points:
Bevin, elected governor in 2015, is a deeply unpopular figure in Kentucky. He has faced backlash for seeking to undercut the state’s Medicaid expansion and calling teachers “selfish” and accusing them of a “thug mentality” when they protested after he threatened to cut their pensions.
Still, Democrats’ victory in a state that Trump carried by 30 percentage points in the 2016 election could be seen as an ominous sign for the President heading into his 2020 reelection bid. The result showed that Trump wasn’t able to carry his preferred candidate over the finish line. It was also a potential sign that Democrats’ start of impeachment proceedings against Trump has not yet triggered enough anger within the GOP base, or backlash among independents and moderates, to benefit Republicans.
Or it simply could be Trump, like Bevin (who campaigned on his close connection to Trump), has worn out his welcome even in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state, and the effects of the impeachment have already begun to eat into Trump‘s base. Bevin has not conceded. He has several options for contesting Tuesday’s results.
Here’s Trump saying at his rally in Kentucky last night that Matt Bevin losing “sends a really bad message” and pleading with his fans, “you can’t let that happen to me!”
Welp, it happened. pic.twitter.com/LUHSUAgSnB
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 6, 2019
Republican Tate Reeves handily defeated the state’s attorney general, Democrat Jim Hood, to win the governor’s race in Mississippi. Republicans maintain their control of the governor’s mansion and majorities in both legislative chambers.
“The blue wave crashes down on Pennsylvania again,” blares the Philadelphia Inquirer headline:
The political forces that shaped last year’s midterm elections showed no signs of abating Tuesday, as voters turned on Republicans and establishment Democrats alike in races from Philadelphia and Scranton to the suburbs of Delaware and Chester Counties.
You probably don't understand the significance of Dems taking every single county race in PA's Delaware County, but I do. Home to the most corrupt GOP machine in the U.S., this win tells me Donald Trump and his asskissers have nowhere left to hide.
— Suburban Guerrilla Ω (@SusieMadrak) November 6, 2019
Delaware County in suburban Philadelphia has been under Republican control since the Civil War:
Democrats declared victory in three races Tuesday night for Delaware County’s five-member council, sweeping Republicans entirely from what had been an all-Republican panel just a couple years ago.
Brian Zidek says that since the Civil War, in order to get anything done in Delco, you had to be a Republican. “Well, that shit stops today.” pic.twitter.com/qddoYFp4bj
— Vinny Vella (@Vellastrations) November 6, 2019
Working Families Party candidate Kendra Brooks won an at-large seat on Philadelphia City Council in a historic victory, taking a seat held by Republicans for the last 70 years, the Inquirer reports:
“We broke the GOP,” Brooks said at a victory party in North Philadelphia. “We beat the Democratic establishment. … They said a black single mom from North Philly wasn’t the right person but we have shown them that we are bigger than them.”
Democratic turnout in the suburbs in 2018 and 2019 could spell trouble for Trump in 2020:
Democratic pickups in Virginia occurred in Washington, D.C., and Richmond suburbs that already had trended in the party’s direction in recent years. In Kentucky, Beshear gained considerable ground on Bevin in Kentucky’s suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, counties that had helped propel the Republican to office four years ago. Other statewide GOP candidates in Kentucky won by comfortable margins. But the dip at the top of the ticket still offered another example in the Trump era of suburban voters’ willingness to abandon established Republican loyalties – even with the president making a personal appeal on behalf of a GOP standard-bearer.
One can hope.