After hitting a historic low in the 2016 elections, Democrats have rebounded in a big way at the state level in 2017. With Democratic Phil Murphy’s victory in New Jersey’s gubernatorial contest and Democrat Manka Dhingra’s win in Washington’s pivotal 45th state Senate District, Democrats have gained complete control over both legislative chambers and the governor’s office in two more states, as shown on the map above (see here for a larger version).
Just as importantly, Democrat Ralph Northam won by a surprisingly large margin in the race to succeed outgoing Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. Even more shockingly, Team Blue’s double-digit gain of seats could even tip the state House of Delegates to a tie or narrow Democratic majority, overcoming an extreme Republican gerrymander that had left the GOP with 66 of 100 seats heading into this election. These Democratic victories denied the GOP its goal of gaining complete control of a key swing state.
These elections set the stage for further Democratic comebacks in the 2018 elections, when the vast majority of state legislative and gubernatorial offices will be on the ballot.
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