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DGA Statement on Last Night’s Record Breaking Cycle

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Today, at a press conference at Democratic Governors Association headquarters, DGA Chair Jay Inslee (D-WA) announced the results of last night’s historic election. Highlights include flipping SEVEN governor’s seats, representing 38 million more Americans, and potentially expanding health care coverage to 319,000 more people.

 Here are some highlights of Gov. Inslee’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Last night was a historic night – the biggest Democratic gubernatorial pickup in 36 years. We picked up 7 seats, the largest number for Democrats since 1982.
“One year ago today, Democrats were at an all-time low of 15 governors. Now, we will have 23 governorships.
“After last night’s results, 38 million more Americans will have a Democratic governor. That means that Democratic governors now represent a majority of Americans – more than 175 million people.
“No party has flipped more than six seats in the last 24 years. And yet last night, we flipped SEVEN GOP seats to Democrats—a record.
“We made major strides to rebuild the so-called “blue wall” of Midwestern states that Trump won in 2016. We flipped a critical open seat in Michigan, defeated a well-known incumbent in Wisconsin and re-elected a Democratic incumbent in Pennsylvania.
“Not only does this have huge implications for the people of the Midwest, but it also is a major game-changer looking ahead to 2020’s presidential race.
“This isn’t just about politics either – it’s about policies that impact people’s lives.
“We added Democratic governors in 3 new potential Medicaid expansion states: Kansas, Wisconsin and Maine. That could mean health care for another 319,000 Americans.
“And in the 7 pickup states alone, there are 6,081,000 people with pre-existing conditions who are going to breathe a sigh of relief now that they have a Democratic governor.
“It also means better roads in Michigan, better education funding in Nevada and fiscal sanity in Kansas.
We went into this cycle defending 9 Democratic seats. Republicans aggressively targeted seats like Connecticut, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
And yet we held all 9 of our seats.
We protected all 5 of our incumbents on the ballot this year.
We also kept every single Democratic open seat.
Republicans at various points had talked a big game about picking up Minnesota, Colorado, and Connecticut, but we kept all of our open seats in the D column for the coming term.
That means we’ll have 11 new Democratic governors who we welcome next year: 7 pickups and 4 open-seat winners.
We ran an incredibly strong class of candidates who are well-matched to the states they will serve.
One of the highlights of the night is that we elected the largest class of Democratic women governors in American history –six.
We also made some historic firsts: Janet Mills will be the first woman governor of Maine, Jared Polis will be the first openly gay man elected governor, and Michelle Lujan Grisham will be the first Democratic Hispanic woman governor in American history.
Last night was also huge for redistricting and unrigging the map.
We have won seven of the ten 2017-2018 Unrig the Map targets: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, and Maine.
Thanks to these wins, these seven states will have fairer maps for a decade to come, helping Democrats pick up around 20 seats once these fair maps are implemented.