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What They’re Saying: Republicans Should Be Worried About 2018

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In light of the huge Democratic victories in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday, Republican candidates for governor around the country are growing uneasy about their chances heading into 2018. President Trump remains very unpopular, and Democratic voters showed they are fired up and prepared to turn out in record numbers.

Here’s the recent coverage on Republican uncertainty heading into 2018:

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times: Virginia and N.J. Dem win gov seats, not good news for Rauner

The question: After Democrats snared the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey, and won down-ticket spots in those and other states, should Illinois Republicans now be more worried about re-electing Gov. Bruce Rauner? The answer, as of Wednesday: Yes.

Washington Post: Jubilant Democrats to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan: You’re next.

Jubilant Maryland Democratic leaders had one clear message for Republican Gov. Larry Hogan after Tuesday night’s Democratic sweep:You’re next.

Victories in Virginia, along with the ouster of Republican mayors in two Maryland cities, illustrated a powerful surge of opposition to President Trump, analysts say, and should serve as a warning sign to Hogan and the state GOP in 2018.

The popular governor “had to wake up this morning a heck of a lot less confident than he did Tuesday,” said Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College. “There is an in­cred­ibly energized Democratic electorate out there.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Democratic gains reignite debate over Georgia GOP embrace of Trump

That’s the debate among some Republicans after Democrats won a sweep of statewide and legislative races around the nation, including flipping three Republican-leaning districts in Georgia. And the talk is no small matter in a state GOP that has largely subjugated its Never Trump movement. 

…We know where Republican state Sen. Michael Williams, a candidate for governor, fits into the above debate. He argues that Republicans lost the race for Virginia governor because voters nominated establishment-friendly Ed Gillespie over a more ardent Trump supporter.

Columbus Dispatch: What do Virginia election results portend for Ohio?

If Trump’s approval ratings remain below 40 percent and GOP candidates continue to antagonize women, African-Americans and Latinos, they will face an increasingly difficult challenge in next year’s general election, analysts say.

Paul Beck, an emeritus political science professor at Ohio State University, said embracing Trump may help Renacci in next year’s Republican primary. But he warned that as Tuesday’s Virginia race demonstrated, that strategy may not work in a general election when more people vote.