Why Some States Went in Different Directions in Midterms

Democrats excelled in Pennsylvania. They ran as well as Mr. Biden did in 2020 or even better. They swept every competitive House seat. John Fetterman won the race for U.S. Senate by a wider margin than Mr. Biden had won the state. Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor, won in a landslide.

On the other side of the line, in New York, Republicans won big. Their candidates for Congress fared far better than Mr. Trump had in 2020 — sometimes by as much as 20 points. Republicans won all but one of the state’s seven competitive congressional districts. The governor’s race in a normally blue state was fairly close, though the Democratic incumbent, Kathy Hochul, held off her Republican challenger, Lee Zeldin.

Before the election, it was hard to imagine that these two outcomes could occur on the same night.

The most obvious differences appeared to be the abortion and democracy issues that were at stake, state by state. In Pennsylvania, Republicans nominated a candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, who was central to efforts to overturn the states’s 2020 presidential election results. Democrats feared that a Mastriano victory could risk a constitutional crisis and a threat to democratic government. It might have threatened another long-held right as well; Mr. Mastriano is a strident opponent of abortion, and Republicans controlled the state Legislature.

The two issues were less critical in New York. There was no danger that the Democratic Legislature would overturn abortion rights. No movement emerged in 2020 to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory in New York, and there is little indication that anyone feared Mr. Zeldin might do so. As a result, Republicans focused the campaign on crime. And it paid off.

New York and Pennsylvania were part of a pattern that played out across the country.

There are exceptions, of course — like Democratic strength in Colorado or Republican durability in Texas. But most of each party’s most impressive showings fit well.

There’s the Republican landslide in Florida, where the stop-the-steal movement never sought to overturn an election result and where Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to go further than a 15-week abortion ban. There are the Democratic successes in Kansas and Michigan, where abortion referendums were on the ballot at different points this year, and where Democrats swept the most competitive House districts.

The pattern also helps explain some outliers in particular states. In Ohio, Representative Marcy Kaptur trounced her Republican opponent, J.R. Majewski, who had rallied at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and misrepresented his military service. She won by 13 points in a district that Mr. Trump won in 2020. Almost every other Republican in House races in Ohio performed better than Mr. Trump had.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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