It is tempting to read into the 2019 campaign results, so-called off-year elections, for signs of what’s to come in next year’s big political brouhaha. Political prognosticators beware!
But while we don’t want to look too much into what happened in high-profile gubernatorial and special elections that President Donald Trump campaigned in, there are a few key data points to consider, particularly a growing rural-suburban partisan divide that showed up in places as disparate as Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky and Virginia.
Oh, and also: The president tends to make things about himself. “The biggest concern Republicans should have with what’s happened over the last couple of months is that the president always makes everything about him. He wants to be on the stage. He wants to be the center of attention,” CQ Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales says on the latest Political Theater podcast.
That strategy is a solid one, according to the president’s team. And they are not about to change now, says CQ Roll Call White House correspondent John T. Bennett. In addition to reporting from the executive mansion, Bennett also covered a rally the president held for Fred Keller, the Republican who won a May special election in a mostly rural Pennsylvania district to replace GOP Rep. Tom Marino. The enthusiasm and support there for the president was obvious. It’s one of those data points we can point to as evidence of Trump’s popularity in such parts of the country.
The question is whether that will be enough for him to win reelection in 2020, and what it means for his Republican colleagues in the House, Senate and in state races for legislature and governor. While both sides can take some solace from this year’s election results, Democrats can point to higher-profile statewide wins, at least this month, as a show of momentum.
- Lessons from Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia elections may not be what you think
- Democrats lean into 2019 victories to build case for 2020
- Tuesday elections show Trump coattails are mostly rural, experts say
- Going all in on Louisiana governor’s race, Trump tries to ‘thread a needle’
- 3 takeaways after Trump rallies in Louisiana: President takes ownership of governor’s race
- Trump goes after Adam Schiff at Louisiana rally for GOP governor nominee
- Gloom and doom in Louisiana: Trump warns of deep ‘depression’ if he loses in 2020
- Medicaid at issue in 2019 races for governor
- Trump urges reelection of ‘pain in the ass’ Kentucky governor as a 2020 ‘message’
- Is tight Kentucky governor’s race a sign of trouble awaiting McConnell in 2020?
- The way Trump weaves economy, impeachment in reelection messaging
- The Pennsylvania special election you haven’t heard about
- Voters head to polls after Trump dove into a safe special House race
- Republican Fred Keller wins Pennsylvania special election
- GOP leadership lowers expectations for North Carolina special election
- Republican Greg Murphy wins special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District
- North Carolina’s 9th District highlights trouble spots for both parties
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.