If the midterms were a referendum, Trump won

If the midterms were a referendum, Trump won

[Ed. – No wonder Dems are so bummed.]

After flipping dozens of seats in the midterm elections, Democrats are set to take control of the House of Representatives. Many pundits and analysts have attempted to frame the results as a referendum on President Trump. Among these, there seems to be a consensus that the president has somehow been “repudiated.”

Not so fast.

To be sure, there are reasons for Democrats to cheer: Despite significant structural disadvantages and a difficult Senate map, some great ballot initiatives were passed, state legislatures got bluer in many instances, and Democrats won governorships in some key states. These are worth celebrating (in contrast with claims to have “won the popular vote,” which are spurious). Yet, on balance, Democrats should be more disturbed than comforted by how the elections shook out.

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For instance, turnout was much higher than in 2014. However, the increased engagement proved to be bipartisan: Trump’s supporters also showed up in force, significantly undercutting the expected “blue wave.”

Yes, Republicans ultimately lost control of the House — but even here, the Democrats’ continued weakness shines through. …

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