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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Off-Year Blues

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update -- recently published -- looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.


Catherine Lucey at WSJ:
President Trump tried an 11th-hour rally, a battery of tweets and a personal plea for help. But, as he acknowledged in a tweet late Tuesday, his efforts didn’t appear to be enough to get a Republican running for governor in Kentucky over the finish line late Tuesday, suggesting some limitations to his political pull at a key moment for his presidency.

Just three years after Mr. Trump won the state with wide margins, Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory over incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin Tuesday night, though Mr. Bevin didn’t immediately concede and the Associated Press has yet to call a winner. Republicans prevailed in other statewide races in Kentucky and won the governor’s race in Mississippi, another red state where Mr. Trump campaigned, but suffered losses in Virginia, where Democrats seized control of the statehouse.

Patrick Wilson at The Richmond Times-Dispatach:
Fueled by President Donald Trump’s unpopularity, Virginia voters on Tuesday handed control of the state’s General Assembly to Democrats, setting up the most progressive legislature in modern times.

Democrats have not held both the state House and Senate and the governor’s mansion in 26 years, and Tuesday’s results give them power to pass an agenda and allow Gov. Ralph Northam to sign his party’s bills into law.
Democrats celebrated across the state Tuesday night. Their momentum began two years ago when Democrats flipped 15 seats in the House of Delegates. They outraised Republicans this year to finish the job, doing well in Northern Virginia and the Richmond suburbs. Results were mixed in Virginia Beach, where Republicans held some key seats.
At Roll Call, Nathan Gonzales says that Trump probably helped Bevin more than he hurt him, but...
Suburbs continue to be a problem for Republicans. Tuesday’s results continued to demonstrate GOP problems in the suburbs since Trump took office. The latest was in northern Kentucky in the Cincinnati suburbs, where Bevin won in 2015 and Beshear won in 2019. Or in northern Mississippi, in the Memphis suburbs where the GOP margin in DeSoto County dropped from 61 points to 20 points, according to Ryan Matsumoto, a contributing analyst to Inside Elections. These are just the latest pieces of evidence after Democrat Dan McCready’s overperformance in the Charlotte suburbs from 2018 to the 2019 special election in North Carolina’s 9th District. It should be particularly concerning for President Trump in his efforts to win Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, and Texas in 2020.