When I arrived at the Minnesota Republican Party’s election-night headquarters on Tuesday night, I found a festive, crowded celebration.

Five hours later, I left a lightly attended wake.

Despite some important gains in the Senate, that was largely the story for Republicans nationwide, especially in the states that gave President Trump a surprise win two years ago — and that should have the GOP very, very concerned about 2020.

After a near-miss by Trump in Minnesota two years ago, the party believed it had momentum to return to competitiveness again. Instead, Republicans lost across the board, including control of the state House. Even in the contest that looked the most promising — the attorney general race against Keith Ellison, dogged by domestic-violence allegations — Democrats won by four points. They won the governor’s race by 12 points, and a special election to fill the remainder of Al Franken’s Senate term by 11. While Republicans did turn out better than four years earlier, increasing Jeff Johnson’s gubernatorial tally by 200,000 votes, Democrats turned out even more. Tim Walz added over 300,000 votes to Mark Dayton’s 2014 re-election bid.

Republicans didn’t get entirely skunked in Minnesota. They picked up a congressional district in northern Minnesota where mining remains a key industry, and another in the rural south, both of which went solidly for Trump in 2016. However, they failed to convert another district where Trump won big two years ago, and also lost two Twin Cities suburban districts that had been trending Democratic over the last several years. The big Democratic turnout reverted the state to where it had been before Trump — a Democratic stronghold.

Nor was this the only state that reverted back to its political identity. Trump won the presidency by winning the so-called “blue wall” states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Democrats had …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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