November 28, 2018
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Senate Democrats Won Big in the West & Denied GOP A Massive Opportunity
Senate Democrats won on the toughest political map in modern history to deny Republicans a massive opportunity. We reelected 22 incumbents – six in states Trump carried – and flipped three Republican-held seats in Alabama, Arizona and Nevada. These results set the stage for a successful 2020 cycle.
Strong Democratic incumbents won in states Trump carried. Democrats toppled Republican challengers across the Midwest and West with effective campaigns that moved their races out of reach for the GOP.
Democrats flipped Alabama, Arizona, and Nevada with top-tier recruits who ran disciplined campaigns. Historic gains in three states the GOP could not afford – and did not expect – to lose.
Hard-fought campaigns. Mark Mellman noted in his recent op-ed: “Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s (D-N.D.) margin was 25 points better than Trump’s in North Dakota, while Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) bested Trump’s margin by 13 points in their states.” Bill Nelson also earned a greater share of votes than Trump did. These candidates started the cycle with the steepest hills to climb and ran top-notch operations.
What They’re Saying: “Impressive,” “Incredibly Strong Performance,” “Remarkable.”
Washington Post: Simply remarkable considering they had to defend incumbents in the following in states President Trump won, in some cases by double digits: Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Montana, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Dakota. As conservative Quin Hillyer put it, one would reasonably expect “Republicans on this map, in this economy . . . [to gain] at least five seats, with six or seven more likely than three or four.”
HuffPost: Senate Republicans entered this cycle with 52 seats, and the best political map in a generation. At best, they’re going to end up with 53 seats. Gigantic missed opportunity. They could’ve locked Democrats out of the Senate for a political generation.
CNN: If Democrats had lost, say, seven Senate seats in the 2018 election — which was not an impossible thing to imagine back in January 2017 — then the 2020 and 2022 cycles would be about shrinking the GOP majority rather than trying to take back control of the Senate… Democrats can now make a plausible case that they can retake the world’s greatest deliberative body as soon as 2020.
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