October 22, 2018

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What They’re Saying: ‘Democrats Mount a Midwestern Comeback’ in Gov Races

‘Grim’ Prospects for Republicans in Midwest governors races

With 15 days to go, Democrats are in strong position to flip multiple Midwest governor’s seats. Democrats’ message of investing in education and expanding health care are winning over voters, fueled by massive grassroots enthusiasm.

But don’t take our word for it. Read more about coverage on Democrats’ prospects in the Midwest.

Buzzfeed News: Trump’s Beloved Rust Belt States Look Grim For Republican Governors

Two years after Trump piled up victories and raised expectations of a rising red tide in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest, Republicans could be shut out entirely in gubernatorial contests there.

The map started with four states where Republicans governors have ruled for the last eight years — Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin — and two attractive pickup opportunities in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Trump won all but Minnesota in 2016, and he came close enough there to convince Republicans their prospects were improving. All six states have shifted in Democrats’ favor in the last four months, according to the Cook Political Report.

 

Reuters: State of Play: Democrats threaten Trump’s grip on the Great Lakes

Two years ago, Ohio and other states in the former industrial heartlands of the Great Lakes region catapulted Donald Trump into the White House.

Today, in the final stretch to November’s congressional elections, they are showing that Trumpism has its limits as Democrats make surprising gains in races across the region, according to opinion polls.

[…]

The reasons why Democrats now have an edge in these states are complex and go beyond Trump’s standing, party sources and analysts say. It is a mix of historical midterm election trends, well-known Democratic candidates with reliable constituencies facing weaker Republican opponents, enthusiasm among Democratic voters, deepening concerns on issues such as healthcare, and yes, some push-back against the president.

 

Wall Street Journal: Democrats Have Shot at Reclaiming Several Midwest Governorships

States where governorships could flip from red to blue in the November midterms include Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Iowa. Recent polls have shown Democrats in each state pulling even or ahead. Nationwide, 33 states have Republican governors, while 16 have Democrats. Alaska’s governor is an Independent. Thirty-six of those seats are up for grabs this year.

The gubernatorial races are critical, because the winning party will have more control during the next round of Congressional redistricting after the 2020 census. In states such as Pennsylvania, courts have redrawn districts recently, following charges of Republican gerrymandering.

“We feel really optimistic about the Midwest,” said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association. This year “is an opportunity to elect governors to ensure fairer maps in 2021.”

 

McClatchy DC: Democrats mount a Midwestern comeback

From the Senate and House to the gubernatorial and state legislative level, Democrats are sensing widespread opportunity to make significant gains in an area of the country that until this year they feared shifted decisively to the Republicans.

That advantage has extended to other statewide offices. Democrats appear likely to hold onto governor’s mansions in Pennsylvania and Minnesota (a state Trump narrowly lost) while flipping Michigan’s. They also are running even or holding small leads in races for three other GOP-controlled seats: Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa, a state Trump won by nine points.

 

New York Times: G.O.P. Candidates Struggling in Key Battlegrounds, With House at Stake

Republican leaders are increasingly worried that their candidates for governor and Senate are in political trouble across Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and other states that the party prizes, and that the difficulties could spill into House races that the G.O.P. needs to win in November to keep control of the chamber.

[…]

“Governor’s races lead the off-year ticket so they work like a big snowplow, clearing the way for the party offices below them,” said Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist. “If you have a weak snowplow, a lot less gets through behind you”

 

Washington Post

The Midwest is poised to be the epicenter of Democratic gains in the midterms, just as it was for Republicans during the 2010 tea party wave.

Across the Midwest, Democratic candidates for governor are campaigning less on turning the car around than changing lanes.