Democrats counting on favorable demographic trends to carry their party to victory in 2016 should consider three significant developments reflected in the outcome of Tuesday’s elections.
The first is that the Republican establishment, at least for the moment, has wrested control back from the Tea Party wing. This will make it more difficult for Democrats to portray their opponents as dangerous extremists.
The second, and more important, development was the success of Republican candidates in defusing accusations that their party is conducting a “war on women.” The effectiveness of Republican tactics on this front is sure to influence strategy in two years, threatening to undermine a line of attack that has generated a gender gap and has been crucial to past Democratic victories.
The third was the powerful showing of Republican gubernatorial candidates in two Midwestern states important to Democrats in presidential elections: Wisconsin and Michigan.