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Jonathan Bernstein

Republicans Get Dragged by Trump's Unpopularity

Some of the specifics of Tuesday's elections were surprises. The overall result wasn't.
Ed Gillespie, GOP candidate for governor in Virginia, in defeat.

Ed Gillespie, GOP candidate for governor in Virginia, in defeat.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Winning the odd-year elections is far short of winning midterms or presidential years, but chalk one up for the Democrats: They couldn't have done much better on Tuesday.

They added a governor in New Jersey and protected an open seat in Virginia. They gained far more seats in the lower chamber of the Virginia legislature than anyone expected, giving them either a tie in that body or a slim majority. They appear to have won an open state Senate seat in Washington, giving them a majority in that chamber. They picked up three more legislative seats in New Jersey to add to their large majorities there, and added three state legislative seats in Georgia special elections and one in a New Hampshire special. Democrats swept several mayoral races, won the biggest ballot measure of the night and expanded Medicaid in Maine. And while I don't have comprehensive results on down-ballot races, there do seem to have been Democratic gains all over the place in local government