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For Dems, 'blue wave' is now a trickle

The ballot on Tuesday left off the biggest winners: President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell...

Posted: May 10, 2018 6:57 AM
Updated: May 10, 2018 6:57 AM

The ballot on Tuesday left off the biggest winners: President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who stepped in to stand up for and against certain candidates.

Republican candidates who embraced President Trump and his "drain the swamp" message came out on top in key Senate and congressional races in West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina, setting the stage for a strong field of GOP candidates heading into the general election in November.

Learning lessons from the past, the GOP is now determined to field a strong team of candidates heading into November. If the party bolsters this resolve with a strong economy and significant presidential foreign policy advancements, the GOP will be on solid ground. The Democrats may still pick up some seats, but the anticipated Blue Wave will be more like an uphill battle.

Trump didn't hold back in tweeting his approval Wednesday morning, saying, "The Republican Party had a great night. Tremendous voter energy and excitement, and all candidates have a chance of winning in November."

In the crucial West Virginia Senate primary, Republican State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey pulled off an upset and scored a win for the party over Rep. Evan Jenkins and former inmate and coal baron Don Blankenship. Morrisey will take on incumbent Joe Manchin, one of the most centrist Democrats in the Senate, in November.

To say this roller-derby type race gave GOP leaders a little heartburn is an understatement. Morrisey and Jenkins were out early with a fierce primary fight. Blankenship got into the race late with a slew of controversial, racially insensitive comments and a fierce attack on McConnell, calling him "Cocaine Mitch," and claiming he created jobs for "China people."

West Virginia (which Trump won by 42 points in 2016) offers one of the best chances Republicans have to turn a blue state red in the 2018 midterms, and after the disastrous mistake of nominating Roy Moore, who faced allegations of sexual abuse, in conservative stronghold Alabama, Republicans felt additional pressure to stop Blankenship in order to nominate a viable primary candidate heading into November.

Trump even used the bully pulpit of his Twitter feed to discourage voters from supporting Blankenship.

In the Indiana Senate GOP primary, businessman Mike Braun beat US Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita in a heated primary battle. Given that Trump won Indiana in 2016 by 20 points, all three candidates positioned themselves as the most dedicated to Trump supporters.

Messer wrote a letter nominating Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize, while Rokita played up to the base by running an ad bashing the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt." Braun, who will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in the fall, beat Messer and Rokita by depicting himself as an outsider businessman like Trump.

In the Ohio GOP primary, both Rep. Jim Renacci and businessman Mike Gibbons campaigned as the ultimate outsider candidate. Trump-backed Renacci focused on his disgust with Washington status quo. Trump won Ohio in 2016 by a much smaller margin than West Virginia or Indiana, and many say Trump's endorsement of Renacci, who will run against Sen. Sherrod Brown in the general election, was a key factor in his win.

In North Carolina, GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger became the first incumbent to lose in the 2018 primary cycle. Former Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte's First Baptist Church beat Pittenger with his "drain the swamp" message, running against the GOP-controlled Congress as much as against Pittenger. Harris now prepares for a competitive general election race against Iraq War veteran Dan McCready.

The Democrats' anticipated Blue Wave was downgraded as voters backed strong candidates who can enable the GOP to hold and potentially expand its majority in the crucial midterm elections. As a footnote, it goes without saying that in this crazy world of politics, even losers win; at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Blankenship's parole ended. He said he plans to head to a luxury resort to relax and play blackjack. The winning candidates are off to the races in November.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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