Last week's elections, as everyone and their mother told you, were widely regarded as a bellwether (if there is an overused word in the age of Trump, it's that one) on Trumpism. And the Democrats made out pretty well. Gubernatorially, they scored a big victory in the Virginia and a more-predictable win in New Jersey, plus some surprising gains in smaller races.
There's the democratic socialist who beat a Republican incumbent for a Virginia delegate seat. The transgender journalist (and heavy metal singer) who knocked out the author of the state's bathroom bill. The New Jersey woman who ran against a county councilman after he made a misogynistic comment about the Women's March — and defeated him.
But for today's newsletter, let's look at some even smaller races — like, prothonotary small.
Delaware County's Democrats won competitive county races for the first time ever. In Chester County, Democrats swept races for row offices like county controller and clerk of courts. (When I said small, I meant small.) In Bucks, Democrats likewise scored row office wins for the first time in 30 years. In Philly, where everyone's a Democrat anyway, progressives outside the mainstream party like DA candidate Larry Krasner and controller candidate Rebecca Rhynhardt racked up easy wins.
In the burbs, where voters tend to swing red for local offices and blue in presidential elections, local pols on both sides of the aisle are chalking up the sweeps to a Trumpian backlash — GOP state chairman Val DiGiorgio told the Daily Local that the race "turned on things that happened outside of Chester County," and local Dems crowed that Trump was on the ballot, whether he liked it or not.
Trump isn't quaking in his oversized suits over a controller race. But national Democrats are taking notice, if my inbox full of celebratory tips and press releases is any gauge — and they're looking at Tuesday as a sign of things to come when the House is up for grabs in 2018. And, as the New York Times noted, Democratic sweeps in these little local races were replicated all over the country last week. We've long looked to the burbs as bellwethers (sorry, sorry) in presidential polling. It might be time to start paying attention a little earlier.
"Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!" — then-candidate Trump, tweeting last October, 15 minutes after Wikileaks DM-ed his son and asked him to plug their trove of Hillary Clinton's campaign emails.
"That's a real smart tough guy and the most famous australian [sic] you have!" — Wikileaks, trying to convince Don Jr. to convince his dad to pressure the Australian government to give Julian Assange an ambassadorship — and providing a script for what to say.
"I believe the women. I think he should step aside." — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to step down after allegations surfaced he had molested a 14-year-old (and after a week of Congressional Republicans waffling over the allegations — "if true, he should step down," was a common refrain).