The Tuesday night rout of Republican candidates up and down the ballot has triggered alarm bells in Republican circles that a deteriorating political environment could set in motion a Democratic wave in the 2018 midterm elections.
The most dramatic results unfolded in Virginia, where Democrats swept up victories in the governor’s race and delegate contests across the state, fueled by suburban voters who once favored Republicans. But it wasn’t just Virginia: Democrats won the New Jersey governor’s mansion and in several suburban Philadelphia counties, where they nabbed local offices that have long been controlled by the GOP.
For Republicans, who have won all of the marquee special congressional elections of the Donald Trump era to date, Tuesday’s results across the country were a reminder that Democrats are, in fact, capable of translating liberal anti-Trump energy into actual votes. It was evidence of the environmental perils that often await a president’s party in the midterm elections—especially when that president has historically low approval ratings.