What They’re Saying About the Democratic Landslide and 2018

The Democratic landslide across the country is the latest sign of a wave coming in 2018. Republicans are divided and dysfunctional while working through an internal civil war that has already resulted in repeated legislative failures, a lost year of recruitment problems, and a wave of bloody primaries. Add in a new flood of retirements and you have a recipe for disaster in 2018.

To make things worse, Republicans have no strategy to move forward. For those who thought the key to success was to mimic Trump, Virginia proved otherwise, as voters roundly rejected Ed Gillespie’s race-baiting campaign.

For more about what the 2017 elections mean for Senate, House, and gubernatorial races in 2018, read American Bridge’s election night memo.

Here’s what people are saying about what last night’s returns mean in 2018:

CNN: “The race for Virginia governor on Tuesday night wasn’t very close. And Republicans have Donald Trump to blame for it.”

The Richmond Times Dispatch: “A wave of opposition to President Donald Trump”

Stuart Varney on Fox Business: “It was a rough night for Republicans, the Democrats win in New Jersey, win in Virginia and a referendum vote on Medicaid expansion won in the state of Maine.”

The Washington Examiner: “For GOP, Virginia reveals dangers of Trump and a do-nothing Congress.”

The Washington Post: “The result is a bad omen for the Republican Party nationally…Without faith that Trump’s base will match the enthusiasm of Democrats, many Republican candidates believe they will have to seek out a new political strategy to hold onto power.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “But as one top GOP state consultant put it, ‘Today, I’d rather be a Democrat running statewide in the Keystone State.'”

Politico: “‘It should serve as a wake-up call for any Republicans who are pretending there’s not a political problem going into next year. Republicans in Virginia and New Jersey worked hard and knew the challenges, but voters were sending a message,’ said Republican operative Mike Duhaime, outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s former top strategist.”

The New York Times: “‘We now know what a lot of us in the party already knew: The Trump message is a big loser in swing states and he hurts the G.O.P. far more than helps in those states,’ Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist and critic of the president, said in an email. ‘Suburban voters don’t like Trump and his antics energize Democrats. The myth of Trump electoral power will now start to melt. A wildly unpopular president is a big political problem for the G.O.P. in swing states.'”

Dave Jacobson on CNN Tonight“Well, it’s clear this obviously was a referendum against the President. Any Republican who’s running across the country, top of the ticket, bottom of the ticket, you’re running on Donald Trump’s coat tails. There’s no way to avoid that.”

John Heilemann on MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “There’s probably two dozen Republican incumbents who have been contemplating retiring and waiting to see what was going to happen in these off-year elections and kind of read the wind and weather more generally. I think most of those people now will retire. They will look at the situation and say, this is augers horribly for us. So we are going to see a bunch of Republicans in marginal seats and some even safe seats who are just going to say it’s not worth it.”

Business Insider“Dave Wasserman, a polling expert who edits the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, tweeted: ‘You can’t really look at tonight’s results and conclude that Democrats are anything other than the current favorites to pick up the U.S. House in 2018.'”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “A sweeping rebuke of Trump’s divisive politics that will reverberate nationally in the 2018 midterms.”

The Washington PostOn Wednesday morning, we know just how far outside its grasp the governor’s mansion actually was…Northam got a larger percentage of the vote than any Democrat since 1985.”

  • “But the extent of his victory, powered by strong turnout and improvements over Clinton nearly across the board, suggests that something more was at play. More than 2 million Virginia voters came out in the rain to vote for Northam and to erase the Republican majority in the House of Delegates.”
  •  “The Republicans were dejected seeing the results — left to question how much of a downballot effect Trump’s unpopular presidency will have on them next year, and unclear what they can do to appeal to voters.”

Los Angeles Times: “Northam’s victory sketched out a path that Democratic strategists hope other candidates can follow in next year’s contest for control of Congress.”

The Washington Post“Beneath the top-of-the-ticket races, in many fundamental places, the ground shifted against Republicans in ways that have properly struck fear in the hearts of GOP consultants.”

  • “The Republicans were dejected seeing the results — left to question how much of a downballot effect Trump’s unpopular presidency will have on them next year, and unclear what they can do to appeal to voters.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette“Ralph Northam’s decisive victory in the Virginia governor’s race delivers Democrats a much-needed win, a jolt of momentum heading into next year’s congressional elections and a taste of the potential energy that could be generated from President Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity.”

Talking Points Memo“After coast-to-coast victories Tuesday and a romp in a key swing state, Democrats smell blood in the water for a 2018 election that could deal a body blow to President Donald Trump and the GOP.”

  •  “Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) blowout victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial race — the biggest election since Trump’s victory one year ago today — was the capstone of an impressive night that showed Democrats’ burning hot hatred of Trump can translate into sweeping electoral victories across the country.”
  • “Republicans are as alarmed as Democrats are delighted after a bruising election night in which Republicans got swept. Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck told TPM Tuesdaynight that he was still getting his head around the GOP’s shellacking in the state.”