Solid gains for Democrats in the Midwest

The Midwest battle ground states that Donald Trump won in 2016 saw some solid gains for Democrats after yesterday's mid terms.

Republicans lost the governorships in Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as losing several House seats. The one bright spot for Republicans was in Ohio, where Mike DeWine won the governor's race and the GOP held on to several other statewide offices.

But even in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker has apparently narrowly lost his race to state education secretary Tony Evers, Republicans held on to both houses of the legislature.

Illinois proved to be a Republican disaster, largely because incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner was slaughtered by 15 points, losing to Democrat J.B. Pritzker. Rauner dragged down several incumbent GOP congressmen with him, further solidifying the Democrat's stranglehold on the state.

Walker has yet to concede his race to Evers, but an official recount at this point does not seem likely.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The race was so close that Walker's team said a detailed review of balloting and a recount were possible. But an unofficial tally had Evers winning by 1.1 percentage points — a margin that would be too large for a recount if it held. 

"It's time for a change, folks," Evers, the state schools superintendent, told supporters in front of a large Wisconsin flag on the stage of Madison's Orpheum Theater.

"I will be focused on solving problems, not on picking political fights."

Walker's lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, told Republicans gathered in Pewaukee that volunteers and donations would be needed for a likely recount. 

"The fight is not over," Kleefisch told supporters around 1 a.m. "I am here to tell you this morning that this race is a dead heat. It's too close to call."

Walker campaign adviser Brian Reisinger said Walker would wait until the official canvass and tallying military ballots before deciding what to do.

"Thousands of ballots were damaged and had to be re-created," Reisinger said in a statement. "Until there is a comparison of the original ballots to the re-created ballots, there is no way to judge their validity."

This was Walker's 4th statewide race in 8 years as enraged liberals had sought their revenge for his fight against public unions. Elected in 2010, the left mounted a recall effort in 2010 that failed. Walker then easily won re-election in 2014.

Evers, a colorless moderate, will now have to work with a Republican legislature. 

In Illinois, Rauner was doomed the moment he signed a Democratic budget that spit in the face of conservatives who elected him.

Chicago Tribune:

J.B. Pritzker, who toppled first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the governor race, played a significant funding role and boosted campaigns down the ballot.

All told, Illinois Republicans faced their biggest electoral wipeout since after the 2006 election.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners announced an unofficial turnout rate of 55.6 percent as of about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the highest midterm turnout in 32 years. In suburban Cook County, officials reported that more than 850,000 voters cast ballots — well above the roughly 696,000 ballots cast in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

Also going down to defeat were two prominent GOP suburban House members. Peter Roskam was defeated by Sean Casten, an ally of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. And Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren conceded defeat to his Democratic challenger Lauren Underwood in the close election for Illinois’ 14th Congressional District. 

But in Ohio, Republicans had a pretty decent night. DeWine's victory over over Richard Cordray continued the Republican domination in the state.

Cleveland.com:

DeWine, 71, the current Ohio attorney general, adds another political position to his more than four decades in Ohio politics and signals good times ahead for Republicans, who continue to hold all three branches of state government in Columbus. Democrats were hoping to flip the state with Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but couldn't capitalize on a friendly electoral environment.

"I want to thank the people of Ohio for the trust and confidence they've placed in us tonight," DeWine said in a statement to cleveland.com. "Tonight's victory is about moving Ohio forward. We are energized by the support you've show us, and we will not let you down!"

The victory did not come easily in a race that remained close throughout most of the election.

DeWine was considered the Republican front-runner from the onset of the race, but didn't become the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination until convincing then-primary opponent Jon Husted, Ohio's secretary of state, to join his ticket. The Republican Party hoped the super-ticket would clear the primary field and be too much for the Democrats to overcome. 

The key was a Republican turnout machine that not only pushed DeWine over the top, but also helped solidify GOP control of statewide offices from top to bottom.

And Ohio Republicans did not suffer losses in the suburbs, as was the case in Pennsylvania and Texas. Democrats have now been reduced to a few urban enclaves in the state, which bodes well for Trump in 2020.

It should be noted that Democrats who were successful in the Midwest largely ran away from their party. In Illinois, Casten and Underwood not only downplayed their ties to Springfield Democrats, but never mentioned national Dems like Pelosi, Sanders, Warren, and Schumer. They ran as "moderate" problem solvers who will work with Republicans in Washington to fix healthcare. Talk of immigration was muted, as were liberal social issues.

In short, Democratic success in the Midwest was largely the result of Democrats not running as Democrats. How successful a strategy that will be in 2020 remains to be seen.

The Midwest battle ground states that Donald Trump won in 2016 saw some solid gains for Democrats after yesterday's mid terms.

Republicans lost the governorships in Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as losing several House seats. The one bright spot for Republicans was in Ohio, where Mike DeWine won the governor's race and the GOP held on to several other statewide offices.

But even in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker has apparently narrowly lost his race to state education secretary Tony Evers, Republicans held on to both houses of the legislature.

Illinois proved to be a Republican disaster, largely because incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner was slaughtered by 15 points, losing to Democrat J.B. Pritzker. Rauner dragged down several incumbent GOP congressmen with him, further solidifying the Democrat's stranglehold on the state.

Walker has yet to concede his race to Evers, but an official recount at this point does not seem likely.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The race was so close that Walker's team said a detailed review of balloting and a recount were possible. But an unofficial tally had Evers winning by 1.1 percentage points — a margin that would be too large for a recount if it held. 

"It's time for a change, folks," Evers, the state schools superintendent, told supporters in front of a large Wisconsin flag on the stage of Madison's Orpheum Theater.

"I will be focused on solving problems, not on picking political fights."

Walker's lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, told Republicans gathered in Pewaukee that volunteers and donations would be needed for a likely recount. 

"The fight is not over," Kleefisch told supporters around 1 a.m. "I am here to tell you this morning that this race is a dead heat. It's too close to call."

Walker campaign adviser Brian Reisinger said Walker would wait until the official canvass and tallying military ballots before deciding what to do.

"Thousands of ballots were damaged and had to be re-created," Reisinger said in a statement. "Until there is a comparison of the original ballots to the re-created ballots, there is no way to judge their validity."

This was Walker's 4th statewide race in 8 years as enraged liberals had sought their revenge for his fight against public unions. Elected in 2010, the left mounted a recall effort in 2010 that failed. Walker then easily won re-election in 2014.

Evers, a colorless moderate, will now have to work with a Republican legislature. 

In Illinois, Rauner was doomed the moment he signed a Democratic budget that spit in the face of conservatives who elected him.

Chicago Tribune:

J.B. Pritzker, who toppled first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the governor race, played a significant funding role and boosted campaigns down the ballot.

All told, Illinois Republicans faced their biggest electoral wipeout since after the 2006 election.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners announced an unofficial turnout rate of 55.6 percent as of about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the highest midterm turnout in 32 years. In suburban Cook County, officials reported that more than 850,000 voters cast ballots — well above the roughly 696,000 ballots cast in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

Also going down to defeat were two prominent GOP suburban House members. Peter Roskam was defeated by Sean Casten, an ally of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. And Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren conceded defeat to his Democratic challenger Lauren Underwood in the close election for Illinois’ 14th Congressional District. 

But in Ohio, Republicans had a pretty decent night. DeWine's victory over over Richard Cordray continued the Republican domination in the state.

Cleveland.com:

DeWine, 71, the current Ohio attorney general, adds another political position to his more than four decades in Ohio politics and signals good times ahead for Republicans, who continue to hold all three branches of state government in Columbus. Democrats were hoping to flip the state with Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but couldn't capitalize on a friendly electoral environment.

"I want to thank the people of Ohio for the trust and confidence they've placed in us tonight," DeWine said in a statement to cleveland.com. "Tonight's victory is about moving Ohio forward. We are energized by the support you've show us, and we will not let you down!"

The victory did not come easily in a race that remained close throughout most of the election.

DeWine was considered the Republican front-runner from the onset of the race, but didn't become the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination until convincing then-primary opponent Jon Husted, Ohio's secretary of state, to join his ticket. The Republican Party hoped the super-ticket would clear the primary field and be too much for the Democrats to overcome. 

The key was a Republican turnout machine that not only pushed DeWine over the top, but also helped solidify GOP control of statewide offices from top to bottom.

And Ohio Republicans did not suffer losses in the suburbs, as was the case in Pennsylvania and Texas. Democrats have now been reduced to a few urban enclaves in the state, which bodes well for Trump in 2020.

It should be noted that Democrats who were successful in the Midwest largely ran away from their party. In Illinois, Casten and Underwood not only downplayed their ties to Springfield Democrats, but never mentioned national Dems like Pelosi, Sanders, Warren, and Schumer. They ran as "moderate" problem solvers who will work with Republicans in Washington to fix healthcare. Talk of immigration was muted, as were liberal social issues.

In short, Democratic success in the Midwest was largely the result of Democrats not running as Democrats. How successful a strategy that will be in 2020 remains to be seen.