Sizable victories for the Democrats in a series of races offer cheer after a year of Donald Trump. But the party should not feel too reassured
It was the boost they needed. The jubilation of Democrats as they celebrated the results of Tuesday’s elections owed much to the despair of one year before, when they learned that Donald Trump was on his way to the White House, as well as to the extraordinary events since, which have amplified his unfitness for the presidency and the extent of Russian meddling in his favour. Though his name was not on the ballot this time, he loomed large in voters’ minds. In Virginia and elsewhere, suburban, college-educated and minority voters surged to the polls to defeat Republicans in an anti-Trump vote.
The Democrats scored hefty victories in gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, despite fears they could lose the latter, and grabbed a swath of seats in Virginia’s House of Delegates. They swept multiple mayoral races around the country and took control of the Washington state Senate. In Maine, voters approved an expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.