Republican Defeats in the Rust Belt Are 2020 Warning for Trump

President Donald Trump got a warning sign on Tuesday from the Midwestern and Rust Belt states that handed him the presidency, as voters delivered big victories to Democrats and offered a road map for the crowd of candidates lining up to challenge him in 2020.

Democrats in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan swept the races for Senate and governor, and picked up valuable House seats, defeating Trump-backed Republicans at all levels. Whether it’s a fleeting backlash or a long-term political shift remains to be seen, but the outcome in those key states is enough to give Republicans heartburn.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and Governor Tom Wolf cruised to re-election. Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer won the governorship and Senator Debbie Stabenow, a member of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s leadership team, was re-elected. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin won her race running on an unabashedly liberal platform, while Democrat Tony Evers was declared the winner over Republican Governor Scott Walker.

In 2016, Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, but he won presidency with victories in those three Democratic-leaning states by a total of less than 80,000 votes. A Democrat who can hold Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and their 46 Electoral College votes in 2020 along with the states that Clinton carried would win the presidency.

Illinois and Minnesota

Democrats also won governor’s races in Illinois and Minnesota while both Democratic senators from Minnesota won re-election. Meanwhile, Ohio, a state that Trump won by 8 points and elected a new GOP governor, but also re-elected Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.

“We will show America how we celebrate organized labor and all workers – the waitress in Dayton, the office worker in Toledo, the nurse in Columbus, the mineworker in Coshocton,” Brown said. “That is the message coming out of Ohio in 2018, and that is the blueprint for our nation in 2020.”

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SOURCE: Bloomberg, by Sahil Kapur