Deep blue New England disrupted by GOP down-ballot wins – and here’s where it gets interesting

Deep blue New England disrupted by GOP down-ballot wins –
and here’s where it gets interesting 1

CONCORD, NH – New England’s deep blue establishment has been set on its ear as Republicans tipped several House and Senate seats to red, and one state’s entire legislative majority.

The previously all Democrat “stronghold” that is New England saw some serious restructuring this past week as many down-ballot races flipped for Republicans.

At the federal level, Joe Biden won New Hampshire by 7 points and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) retained her position, but at the state level, Democrats didn’t prevail.

The New Hampshire Senate flipped from a 14–10 Democratic majority to a 14–10 Republican majority. The State House of Representatives with 400 total seats did have just 157 Republicans – now they have a 213-seat majority. 

The New Hampshire Executive Council, a governing body unique to the state, has been flipped to red with a 4-1 Republican occupation. This Executive Council controls the state budget.

To top it off, Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH) was re-elected for a third term.

New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) senior political reporter Josh Rogers explained that the Republican candidates outworked the Democrats in public, knocking on doors and making public appearances, while Democrats were “more fearful of coronavirus.”

Rogers commented:

“Republicans really tried to maintain traditional face-to-face campaigning.  They knocked on doors. They held public events. They dropped off campaign fliers by hand and so on.

“Democrats really decided to rein that in consciously. They skipped a lot of in-person campaigning.”

Rhode Island also saw an upheaval as State House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston) was replaced by Republican Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, also representing the Cranston area. She won by an astounding 18-point margin with 59 percent of the vote.

Mark Patinkin of the Providence Journal wrote that the loss in a race involving an incumbent House Speaker was a first in Rhode Island in over 100 years.

Patinkin also wrote that Mattielo’s loss of the minor league baseball team the Pawtucket Red Sox (near Cranston) as they moved to Worchester, Ma., was one of the reasons.

“He’s a Democrat in a district with lots of Republicans. His opponent brought name recognition to the fight.

“Unions were still mad he killed the PawSox and with them, the jobs a new stadium would have brought. And Mattiello was muddied in the trial of a campaign aide accused of dirty tricks.”

A Republican named Leland Morgan narrowly squeaked out a victory against incumbent Vermont Speaker of the House and Representative for the South Hero district Mitzi Johnson. Johnson has been in the Vermont House of Representatives since 2003 and Speaker of the House since 2017.

Republicans won two other House seats as well, ending the Democrat’s super-majority. A Republican also flipped a state Senate seat.

Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) explained the changes:

“I think that Vermonters are moving in the direction of deciding that a supermajority status has not served the state well. And somebody with a calm hand like [Republican Gov.] Phil Scott is what people are looking for.”

In Maine, Susan Collins retained her U.S. Senate seat, despite an onslaught by her opponent, Speaker of the House Sarah Gideon (D-Freeport). Gideon promised to “make (Collins) pay” for voting for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and most recently  Amy Coney Barret.  Gideon’s campaign dropped over $100 million trying to unseat Collins.

Maine’s legislature also flipped several seats to red. The Republicans now hold 67 of 151 seats in the House.

Brent Littlefield is a political strategist and headed up Governor Paul Lepage’s 2010 and 2014 campaigns for Maine governor.

He was excited about the Republican resurgence saying:

“I just can’t be more thrilled with the overall Republican results especially at the state legislative level around New England.

 “[He observed] all the pundits and pollsters and the cash flow indicated Republicans were going to be blown out.

I think it’s a strong sign that voters want candidates who are going to have rational, reasonable policies, that want to support small businesses, not punish them.

“I just think people are pushing back against extreme policies from the far-left at the state level, and it’s great to see that in New England.”


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House Democrats warn colleagues, ‘socialism’ and ‘defund the police’ rhetoric cost them 2020 election wins

November 6, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.- On Thursday, Nov. 5, just two days after the 2020 presidential election, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives warned colleagues that promoting and campaigning on a far-left agenda hurt them severely in 2020.

In a leaked Democrat House caucus phone call, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), said:

“If we are going to run on Medicare for all, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win.”

The Democrats’ warning comes as lawmakers attempt to place blame over election night losses, with progressives’ ambitions beginning to emerge as a target that could hinder left-leaning policies from advancing in the House.

The Federalist reported that the Democrats underperformed in both Senate and House races on Nov. 3, losing ground in critical areas such as Iowa and Florida to GOP candidates.

There were a significant number of conservative women included, who ran campaign ads targeting their Democratic opponents for peddling socialism and defunding of police.

After these losses, Democrats re-directed their efforts into pushing Georgia Senate races into runoffs between Republican Sen. David Perdue and his Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, as well as GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her Democratic opponent Raphael Warnock in January.

During the call, Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia reaffirmed Clyburn’s concerns, claiming that if leftists couldn’t re-evaluate the platforms they relied on for the Nov. 3 election, they would lose in a landslide in the 2022 midterms.

He said on the call:

“No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again. Nobody should be talking about socialism.”

In her own message to House Democrats, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told them to focus on an “agenda of lowering health care, better paychecks, and building infrastructure.”

It seems that those ideas are more likely to be appealing to moderate Georgia voters who will essentially decide the fate of the Senate in January.

Pelosi said on the call:

“This has been a life or death fight for the very fate of our democracy. We did not win every battle, but we did win the war.”

She added:

“We held the house. Joe Biden is on a clear path to be the next president of the United States.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell jumped in to defend Pelosi, claiming that she had done an “amazing job” and proceeded to shift the blame to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who he claimed has been absent from Democrats’ larger conversation.

Pelosi went on to instruct members to raise any complaints directly with her and proceeded to give out her personal cellphone number.

She said:

“I hope any of you who have something to report or feedback will come to me.”

Rep. Pramila Jaypal of Washington, co-chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus, jumped on the call to defend the liberal ideas, claiming that they are what continues to keep the Democratic base motivated to turn out and vote.

Jaypal said on the call:

“If we don’t keep these folks engaged, we will lose again in 2024 and we may lose again in the next midterm.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan also spoke up on the call, saying that fellow Democrats shouldn’t “blame myself and others” for pushing issues that matter to their districts. House Democrats dropped a net five seats in a cycle in which they expected to flip as many as a dozen.

During the more than hour-long phone call, campaign chief Rep. Cheri Bustos pointed to polls, turnout models, and prognosticators and said:

“I’m furious. Something went wrong here across the entire political world.”

She added:

“The voters who turned out look a lot more like 2016 than to what was projected. We will do a post mortem.”

Members on the call were warned against leaking the information to the press multiple times. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries explicitly said, “reporters are not your friends.”


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