The results in some states were disappointing, and President Trump’s grip on the Republican Party was strengthened.
As important for the long term, the popular vote share for Democratic candidates was overwhelming — when all of slow-counting California’s votes are tallied, the Democrats’ margin will likely surpass the GOP’s in their 1994, 2010 and 2014 waves.
Most striking was Democratic success in the historically blue-collar states and counties that flipped to Trump in 2016 and led to his victory.
Especially significant was the defeat of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker by state schools superintendent Tony Evers.
His loss was part of Tuesday’s larger message: Many Democrats up and down the ballot, Evers among them, prevailed as pragmatic problem solvers opposing the GOP’s ideologues — a formula described by former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack as involving candidates “moderate in tone but progressive in thinking.”
Evers won back counties in southwestern Wisconsin that had strayed Republican, and this was a theme across the Midwest.
In Ohio, Mahoning County, home of blue-collar Youngstown, registered one of the larger anti-Democratic swings in the country in 2016: Obama had secured 63 percent of its votes in 2012; Hillary Clinton got under 50 percent.
But this year, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won 60 percent in the county, very close to his showing in 2012.
Even in defeat, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray secured 55 percent of Mahoning County’s vote.
The same Democratic math applied in Erie County, Pa., where Obama won 58 percent and Clinton only 47 percent.
On Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf earned 60 percent of the county’s vote, while Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. won 58 percent.
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