A year after Republicans won big in the 2014 midterms, conservatives are once again waking up this morning to 2015 election results that will bring a smile to their faces. The day’s marquee race was the gubernatorial contest in Kentucky, where voters elected right-wing amateur Matt Bevin (R).
And while the GOP scored several other key victories yesterday, it wasn’t completely one-sided. Let’s unwrap some of the more notable results.
* Kentucky: State Republicans not only won the governor’s office with a candidate GOP officials used to hate, they also derailed state Auditor Adam Edelen, a rising star in Democratic politics who was expected to take on Sen. Rand Paul (R) next year. That said, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) won her re-election bid, and Andy Beshear (D) prevailed in the state Attorney General’s race.
* Virginia: Democrats in the Commonwealth needed a net gain of only one state Senate seat to flip control of the chamber, but they came up short and the state Senate’s makeup will remain unchanged. That said, in the state House, called the Virginia House of Delegates, Democrats appear to have added at least one seat with some races still undecided.
* Mississippi: Gov. Phil Bryant (R) practically ran unopposed for a second term, and won easily. Meanwhile, state Attorney General Jim Hood (D) won a fourth term.
* Texas: In one of the year’s ugliest elections, voters in Houston easily defeated a policy that would have created non-discrimination protections for LGBT residents.
Taken together, there’s obviously no denying the fact that Republicans have reason to be pleased with Election Day 2015. For Democrats, however, there were some silver linings.
* Mayoral races: Democrats desperately need to cultivate a stronger farm team, and so the party has reason to celebrate mayoral victories yesterday in Charlotte, Indianapolis, Orlando, and Philadelphia.
* Pennsylvania: In an expensive, statewide fight, Democrats won three state Supreme Court elections, which “locks in a [Democratic] majority on the seven-member court for at least a decade.”
* New Jersey: Democrats in the state Assembly were already in the majority, and yesterday, that majority grew even larger.
* Colorado: Voters in Jefferson County ousted three far-right school board members who demanded changes to the district’s AP history course. The trio enjoyed support from the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, but lost anyway.
* Ohio: Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional districts led Democrats to push a redistricting measure to create a fairer process. It passed easily.
And finally, there was one fight in which both parties ended up with the results they wanted:
* Michigan: Former Republican State Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat – remember them? – tried to reclaim their own seats. They failed.
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Election results offer a little something for everyone