The only thing Donald Trump and the GOP have to celebrate the morning after Election Day 2019 is a single-digit win in a governor’s race in Mississippi, and that’s all you need to know about how bad a night they had when voters in three key states cast their ballots in a number of key contests.
A humiliation in Kentucky
Of course, the most headline-grabbing result of the night came in Kentucky, when incumbent GOP Gov. Matt Bevin lost to his Democratic challenger Andy Beshear.
There are two things in particular that make the Republican loss so humiliating: 1. Trump won Kentucky by 30 points in 2016; and 2. The president dropped into Kentucky the night before the election, a sign that he was certain he could sway voters in the deep-red state.
Trump and his blindfolded loyalists are playing damage control on Wednesday by pinning the loss on Bevin, saying it had nothing to do with the president. But the night before the election, Trump made it clear the race was about him, saying, “If you lose, they’re going to say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world. This was the greatest. You can’t let that happen to me.”
In other words, Trump knew the Kentucky race was a referendum on him – because he wanted it to be. Turns out that strategy gave Democrats an upset win a deep-red state.
The GOP bids farewell to Virginia
Before Barack Obama won Virginia in 2008, it was safe GOP territory. Ever since, it has been drifting toward the Democrats. On Tuesday, it became clear that the state is blue country.
With a Democrat already governor, the party took control of both the Senate and the House in the state, giving them complete control for the first time in decades.
As CNN points out, that doesn’t just give Democrats a chance to shape the agenda, but it also puts them in control of the redistricting process following the 2020 Census.
GOP win in Mississippi is nothing to celebrate
Donald Trump celebrated the GOP victory in Mississippi when Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood, but Reeves only won by less than six points.
In other words, since 2016 – when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 18 points – the state has seen a double-digit swing toward the Democrats.
So whether it’s losing in deep-red Kentucky, barely winning in GOP-friendly Mississippi and kissing Virginia goodbye for the foreseeable future, there is no other way to characterize election night 2019 than to call it an unmitigated disaster for Republicans.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.