Fueled mainly by gains in urban/suburban areas, Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, providing a potential check and balance next year on President Donald Trump, especially with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation.
Fueled mainly by turnout in rural America — especially in states Trump won by significant margins in 2016 — Republicans expanded their Senate majority, picking up what looks like two seats (and it could be three if Rick Scott hangs on in Florida).
And in the gubernatorial races, Democrats picked up governorships in blue/purple states (Illinois, New Mexico, Michigan, Maine, Nevada and Wisconsin), while Republicans — thanks to that turnout from Rural America — won the crème a la crème of the presidential battlegrounds (Florida, Ohio).
As GOP political strategist Tucker Martin put it, last night was a realignment, not a wave.
Indeed, much like Virginia’s gubernatorial contest from last year, Democrats won big in highly educated urban/suburban areas up and down the ballot. The problem for them is that not all states are Virginia, where those urban/suburban areas mathematically crush the rest of the state.
Yes, Dems flipped the governor’s mansion in Kansas. And they pulled off a surprising congressional win in Oklahoma.
But as we wrote yesterday, we are living in extremely volatile and divided times. And what we are seeing is a further realignment of our politics — with urban/suburban going Democratic, and with rural and red areas going more Republican.
Also, how important is party in this realignment? So important that party trumps indictments (Duncan Hunter, Chris Collins) or Bob Menendez.
Where Trump was above and below 50 percent proved decisive
Yes, the House results served as a rebuke to President Donald Trump. But also note how he — and his campaigning — altered the composition of the electorate in key Senate/gubernatorial states. Despite his overall job rating of 45 percent, per the exit polls, his rating was much higher in some very important states last night:
- Indiana: 55 percent
- Georgia: 53 percent
- Missouri: 53 percent
- Arizona: 52 percent
- Ohio: 52 percent
- Florida: 51 percent
- Texas: 49 percent
- Nevada: 49 percent
- Wisconsin: 48 percent
- Minnesota: 46 percent
- Pennsylvania: 45 percent
- Michigan: 44 percent
- Virginia: 43 percent
So draw a line at 50 percent: Any place where Trump was at 50 percent or above, the GOP did very well. Any place where he was below 50 percent was dangerous for Republicans, including in Wisconsin, where GOP Gov. Scott…