I needed this -- resounding victories for Democrats in the races that mattered most in this off-year election. Let's count the ways my progressive spirit was lifted in these oft-depressing Trumpian times.
(1) Closest to home, the Salem Library Bond passed handily, 63-37 in the first big round of results. OK, this wasn't exactly a Dem victory, but the progressives on the Salem City Council were most in favor of making the Library earthquake-safe when the subject was discussed last year. And it's well recognized that reality has a liberal bias, so approving money for a place that deals in facts counts as a progressive win for me.
(2) Up north in Washington the state Senate has flipped back to Democratic control with the victory of Manka Dhinga. Now the whole Left Coast -- California, Oregon, Washington -- have Democrats in charge of the Governorship and the state legislature.
(3) It would have been devastating to Democrats if they hadn't won the Virginia Governor's race, but Ralph Northam won easily over Ed Gillespie. Northham's nine point margin of victory (54-45) was more than double the 3-4 point advantage polling averages were predicting. This was a kick-in-the-ass directed at Trump, which makes the Dem win especially pleasing.
(4) Even more surprising is how well Democrats did in the 100 seats up for grabs in the Virginia House of Delegates. Before tonight it seemed unthinkable that the Dems could gain the 17 seats needed to give them a majority. But Daily Kos is reporting that currently Dems have gained 16 seats, giving them at least a tie (50 seats) in the House of Delegates. Depending on how recounts go, they could still gain 17. See above.
(5) This is truly astounding, the Virginia results, as shown in the "holy crap" Daily Kos reaction to a tweet. If true, and I have no reason to believe what Jessica Post said is false, the Democrats have flipped more seats in Virginia at any time since 1899.
(6) It feels good to have the New Jersey Governor go back to the Dems again after all those years of Christie. This was expected, especially given Christie's 14% approval rating, but still satisfying.
(7) Lastly, it was great to see that Maine voters approved a Medicaid expansion after their idiot Governor, Paul LePage, had vetoed bills to do just that five freaking times. I have no idea why LePage got elected (and re-elected, I believe). The Medicaid expansion was viewed as a referendum on Obamacare, so hopefully this will make some Republicans think twice about further dismantling of the Affordable Care Act.
"This is an exciting night in Maine, but also an exciting night for the country," said David Farmer, spokesman for pro-expansion Mainers For Health Care. "Voters have made it clear they want more health care, not less."
For supporters and opponents of "Obamacare," Maine's question took on the form of a referendum on one of the most important pieces of the Affordable Care Act. Votes to expand had a nearly 60 percent edge late Tuesday, with more than three-quarters of precincts reporting.