Since 2016, there has been a slew of special elections and three general elections — 2017, 2018, and 2019. All have gone terribly for Republicans. Tuesday night was a mess for them. The deeply unpopular Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin -- who Trump rallied for, begging voters not to humiliate him by letting him lose -- lost to Attorney General Andy Beshear, whose father, as a former governor, expanded Medicaid.
Bevin went after the health care law, trying to roll it back, and also tried to strip teachers of their pensions. And people fought back.
If that wasn’t humiliating enough, remember Juli Briskman? She was the Virginia lady on the bike who famously flipped Trump’s motorcade the bird in 2017 and lost her job for it. Now she’s an elected official.
She was one of scores of wins in Virginia, as Democrats flipped the Senate and will now fully control the state government. Ralph Northam, who never resigned, now has a window to push through sweeping progressive change in the state.
In both Kentucky and Virginia, Republicans ran heavily on this “infanticide” nonsense, accusing Democrats of being literal baby killers. It is notable — and Democrats should take notice, but they probably won’t — that the anti-abortion messaging, despite how hard Republicans pounded on it, did not work for them. Abortion is now a losing issue for Republicans.
In Scranton, Pennsylvania — Joe Biden’s birthplace — an insurgent who refused to run as a Democrat, saying she didn’t trust the corrupt local party (a wise move in Scranton) beat the Democrat in the mayoral race.
In Philadelphia, the Working Families Party went all in, backing two candidates who ran third-party bids. Typically, WFP allies with Democrats, but this time they ran on their own, aiming for two spots the city charter reserves for minority party councilmembers. Since the ‘50s, those seats have been held by Republicans. It looks like at least one of those, Kendra Brooks, is going to win, knocking out a Republican and shifting the balance of power left in the city council. Here’s Akela Lacy on that race.
The Kentucky race has implications for Mitch McConnell, as one of the potential candidates who’d be most formidable against him, sports radio host Matt Jones, said he was watching Bevin’s race before deciding whether to get in. Amy McGrath, who’s already in, has more than $10 million but virtually no chance to win. Charles Booker, a a progressive Louisville state legislator, is also looking at the race. He told me tonight to “stay tuned!” when I asked if he was jumping in.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, spent the evening with a small group of ultra-wealthy donors, at a fundraiser hosted by a fracking developer and a health care industry executive. He used his time there to go after Warren for being “elitist.”
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is out with its first endorsements of the 2020 cycle: Kara Eastman (NE-2), JD Scholten (IA-4), Dana Balter (NY-24), Jessica Cisneros (TX-28), Arati Kreivich (NJ-5; running against Josh Gottheimer), Morgan Harper (OH-3), Marie Newman (IL-3), Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45), and Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49).
They also endorsed Stephen Smith, running a very interesting populist campaign for governor in West Virginia.
There are more results still coming in, including a key San Francisco district attorney race and a special election in a Trump district in Missouri that Democrats might steal. But that’s enough for tonight. If you want more tomorrow, sign up for The Intercept’s official newsletter, which you can find here.