Former President Barack Obama congratulated the winners of both gubernatorial races that took place on Tuesday and the sweeping success Democrats had in state and local races in a Wednesday morning tweet–telling his followers “this is what happens when the people vote.”
“This is what happens when the people vote. Congrats @RalphNortham and @PhilMurphyNJ . And congratulations to all the victors in state legislative, county and mayors’ races. Every office in a democracy counts!” Obama wrote on Twitter.
This is what happens when the people vote. Congrats @RalphNortham and @PhilMurphyNJ . And congratulations to all the victors in state legislative, county and mayors' races. Every office in a democracy counts!
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 8, 2017
In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in what was expected to be a close race, and in New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy beat Republican Kim Guadagno.
The wins, particularly in Virginia, are being seen as a rebuke to the policies of President Donald Trump. Tuesday’s election victories—which included a significant number of people of color and women winning elections—could be a jolt of momentum as the 2018 midterms come into focus.
Next year’s midterm elections will see all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives up for grabs along with 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate. A number of governors races will also be contested.
Tuesday’s overwhelming showing by Democrats seems to back up a growing discontent among voters regarding Trump’s presidency. Recent polls show voters are favoring Democrats over Republicans in hypothetical 2018 matchups by a wide margin.
According to a recent Washington Post and ABC poll, 51 percent of registered voters said they would vote for a Democrat over a Republican candidate in their House of Representatives district compared to just 40 percent who said they would choose a Republican.
The spread was the largest since October 2006, according to the poll.