Election Day 2017: Bad news for Republicans?

Democrats cleaned up in some major races last night.

Democrats are undoubtedly feeling a little better about their prospects today.

The party won significant victories Tuesday night, in what pundits are calling a "blue wave" over large and small races across the country. 

Most notable were the Democratic Party's two gubernatorial wins on Election Day. In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam beat Republican Ed Gillespie for the governor's seat, while in the New Jersey governor's race, banking executive Phil Murphy beat GOP Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

As Vox points out, there was even more good news for Democrats in Virginia's down-ballot contests, with the party winning "sweeping victories" in races for the state's House of Delegates. 

And though some of those races are still too close to call, Democrats appear to have a chance of retaking the Republican-held House of Delegates – something that hasn't been done in "nearly a generation," Inside Nova reports

These weren't the only significant Democratic wins on Tuesday. The party managed to flip the Washington state Senate, win several mayoral races, and pass a "ballot measure in Maine that will expand Medicaid in the state," FiveThirtyEight notes. 

Why is this a big deal?

Though this was an off-year election – in other words nowhere near as important as the coming 2018 and 2020 elections – pundits and analysts are treating the results as a possible sign of trouble for the Republican Party.

Calling it "dreadful news" for the GOP and President Donald Trump, Vox says the Virginia results show "Democratic voters have grown extraordinarily energized" – and that Republican control of the House of Representatives "will be in real danger in 2018."

The Republican brand, the website says, "was simply toxic" to voters. 

Meanwhile, the New York Times says the results represent "a stern warning" to the Republican Party "about the peril of embracing" Trump-style politics. NBC host Chuck Todd was a little more forceful in his assessment:

But what about Minnesota? Click here to find out what's going on with the mayoral race in Minneapolis, and learn about St. Paul Mayor-elect Melvin Carter right here. 

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