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Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Republican 2015 Election Victories
TO: Interested Parties FROM: Chris Carr, RNC Political Director RE: About Last Night. . . DATE: November 4, 2015
One year after a historic midterm rout and 14 weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Democrats were defeated yet again in key races across the country.
In Kentucky, Republican Matt Bevin pulled off a 9-point come-from-behind win in the governor's race where Democrats were favored. Bevin's running mate, Republican Lieutenant Governor-elect Jenean Hampton, will become the first African American elected statewide in Kentucky's 223-year history. Republicans also had success winning a majority of the down ballot statewide races, which included defeating incumbent State Auditor Adam Edelen.
And in Virginia, Republicans won an intensely competitive battle for control of the State Senate in a key presidential swing state. Despite Terry McAuliffe and Clinton, Inc. throwing the kitchen sink at Republicans, the GOP maintained its majorities in the State Senate and House of Delegates by winning on the Democrats' turf while they campaigned predominately on gun control and expanding ObamaCare. In fact, Republicans won more than a dozen seats in the General Assembly that were carried by President Obama in 2012 and tripled the number of women serving in the State Senate. The failure of the Democrat message and the Clinton political machine to deliver victories on their own turf is a major warning sign for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
There were other bright spots across the map from deep blue New England to the South. Republicans won special elections for two Democrat-held seats in the Maine House of Representatives. In Mississippi, not only did every Republican statewide incumbent cruise to victory, but the GOP increased its majority in the legislature, where the Democrat House Minority Leader was among those defeated for reelection. And in New Hampshire, voters in Manchester reelected Republican Mayor Ted Gatsas in a hard fought race.
Last night's victories showed Democrats cannot expand the map in 2016 and that their campaign platform struggles to resonate even on their own turf. Meanwhile, Republicans showed the ability to win races in highly competitive areas of the country that have presidential implications like Virginia's 'urban crescent.' These results also prove that the RNC's retooled approach to voter turnout that delivered historic victories last November is continuing to pay dividends. Among other contests, the RNC coordinated with 45 General Assembly races in Virginia and with the Republican ticket in Kentucky to help deliver last night's big wins. Being a year-round, data-driven party is a winning proposition, and there is no other entity – Democrat or Republican – currently organizing get-out-the-vote efforts on the scale of the RNC anywhere in the country.
One cannot understate the decimation of the Democrat Party under Barack Obama. Governor-elect Bevin's victory brought the number of GOP-held governorships to 32, while Democrats now hold just 17 and stand to lose more next year. In total, Democrats have lost more than 900 state legislative seats, 13 U.S. Senate seats, 69 U.S. House seats, and 12 governorships since President Obama was elected.
Our party heads into the 2016 election with positive momentum and with the right vision to put our country back on track. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to face significant headwinds and Hillary Clinton's strategy to move further to the left on issues like gun control while embracing President Obama's legacy looks increasingly like a losing proposition.