Democrats are gleeful over Tuesday’s elections. They should be. They won all three statewide races in Virginia—capturing the governorship by a wider than expected margin—and won impressive state legislative gains. They switched New Jersey’s governorship from Republican to Democratic
Next year’s mid-term elections may, in fact, produce a massive repudiation of Trump.. Tuesday’s election returns, indeed, offered cautionary tales for both sides.
New Jersey’s Rebuke
Last year, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the Garden State by 14 points. On Tuesday, Democrat Phil Murphy beat Republican Kim Guadagno for the governorship by 13 points. On top of the state’s normal Democratic inclination, Lt. Gov. Guadagno had another really big millstone around her neck—and that was the stratospheric unpopularity of her boss, GOP Gov. Chris Christie.
From one perspective, the Virginia election was less than earth shaking. All five statewide elected officials were Democrats before the election—and all five are Democrats after the election.
The fact of the matter is that Virginia has become a Democratic state. It was the only Southern state that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. It went with Barack Obama twice.
Another reason for Democratic delight is the potency of the healthcare issue. Exit polling indicates that healthcare was the top voting issue in Virginia.
Ever since Congress bungled efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, healthcare has taken on a new dimension as a campaign issue, giving Democrats the advantage.
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