In the ‘most important race in Pennsylvania since 1776’

By Gilad Atzmon

Writing for NBC News, Gilad Atzmon says the latest wave of state legislative races offers a chance for Democrats to make inroads in the Republican stronghold of the South and Northeast:

While elections to replace term-limited North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer had the highest profile of the several midterm elections in recent weeks, two other states delivered a sobering reminder that as Democrats begin to plot their plans for 2016, these midterm cycles are both tests of strength and Republican health.

From Florida to Georgia to Ohio, Republicans secured solid victories in tough fights in the far-flung, political industrial hubs of the South and Northeast.

In Florida, former Republican Rep. Adam Hasner defeated outgoing Sen. George LeMieux.

In Georgia, former Democratic Rep. Karen Handel ousted Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

In Ohio, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted thumped Mike DeWine, the attorney general and the Republican candidate for governor.

In Pennsylvania, state Sen. Scott Wagner of York County triumphed over Rep. Lou Barletta of Hazleton.

In Ohio and Pennsylvania, Republican majorities in the state legislatures seemed in danger at times, and the decisions in these two states will likely not occur anytime soon. But after the solid Republican showings, eyes turn to the November 2020 elections and the state legislatures that have shown durability for the Republican Party in midterm elections since the end of the Reagan administration.


G.O.P. Cements Hold on Legislatures in Battleground States

The New York Times writes:

But this weekend, the wins were celebrated by Republicans who hope to use their sizable majorities in both chambers to toughen the nation’s stance on immigration, repeal the Affordable Care Act and institute work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries — measures that Mr. Trump has promised to make law. Following victories in conservative Republican strongholds in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Kansas, conservative leaders on Sunday called on congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump to put aside divisions over health care and immigration and unite behind policies aimed at ending what they said was outmoded welfare policies and federal intrusion in local affairs.


Democrats See Possible Midterm Wave in the Making

By Mike DeBonis, NBC News

Just four years after Democrats lost 52 state legislative seats, a series of victories in tough Senate races in Republican-leaning states has raised hopes among Democrats that there is a “midterm wave” brewing.


After GOP Wins, Supporters of Obamacare Remain Hopeful

By Brent Kendall, the New York Times

The Obamacare gains and expansion in the marketplaces that were supposed to lead to universal healthcare appeared to be crumbling before the law’s opponents’ eyes — at least after Republicans recaptured the Senate majority on Tuesday and added the governor’s seats of two governors, John Kasich of Ohio and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.


Lawmakers Vote On Environmental Bill Amid Meeting On Exxon Ruling

By Liz Battelle, the New York Times

Environmentalists say it is vital for the U.S. government to require that oil and gas companies report chemicals that have been in the state’s waterways since before 1973.


Power Plant Plan Implemented At First National Bank Of Blacksburg

By Kenyon Stoddard, Virginia Tech

Officials at Virginia Tech say that the state’s first direct-owned power plant on campus will be a financially sustainable project and provide reliable energy, moving the school away from the coal industry that long supplied the bulk of its power needs.


Stand Your Ground Measures Advance After Orlando Gunman’s Death

By Keith Olbermann, the New York Times

President Barack Obama said Sunday that it is “crazy” to use legal self-defense to avoid civil prosecution. That’s why we have rights. That’s why we live in this country. That’s why we should not be afraid to defend them.


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