All told, Democrats won just about everything they could’ve hoped for on Tuesday.
They took complete control of the Virginia Legislature. They eked out a win in the Kentucky gubernatorial race. And they made gains in perhaps the most important area for the 2020 presidential election: the suburbs.
Trump to Bevin: New phone, who this?
Incumbent Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, trailed by just a few thousand votes and has refused to concede, even as his opponent, Democrat Andy Beshear, claimed victory.
Bevin, a Trump ally, cited “more than a few irregularities” in the voting while offering no actual evidence of fraud. He also neglected to mention that Republicans coasted to wins in every other statewide race.
Bevin, who was a deeply unpopular governor, campaigned on social issues like abortion and gun control, and his support of Trump. He leaned heavily on Trump’s popularity in the state: the president won Kentucky by nearly 30 points in 2016.
The GOP pulled out the big guns to back Bevin, sending Trump and Sen. Rand Paul to a rally in Lexington on Monday.
"If you lose, they're going to say, 'Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world,'" Trump said to Bevin at the rally. "'This was the greatest.' You can't let that happen to me!"
He did let that happen to him. And as the election results came in Tuesday, the White House distanced itself from Bevin, claiming, without evidence, that the rally boosted the candidate by “at least 15 points.”
"The President just about dragged Gov. Matt Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger than expected in what turned into a very close race at the end,” said Brad Parscale Trump's 2020 campaign manager, in a statement.
Virginia goes blue
Virginia completed its blueward shift on Tuesday: Democrats took complete control of the state’s government as the party captured both chambers of the legislature.
Those results clear the way for Democrats to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment — which bans discrimination based on sex — and will allow the party to redraw legislative boundaries after next year’s census.
A few wins in the state were especially notable.
Danica Roem made a second round of history by becoming the first out transgender politician to win re-election to a state legislature.
And remember that cyclist who was fired after a photo of her flipping off Trump’s motorcade went viral? Her name is Juli Briskman, and she just got a new gig: supervisor for the Algonkian District in Loudoun County, Virginia.
A bright spot for the GOP
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Republicans.
Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves won the state’s gubernatorial election against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat. Polls had long shown a close race, but Hood faded at the end, and Reeves won by 5.8 percentage points.
Trump, naturally, took credit for the win.
“Our big Rally on Friday night moved the numbers from a tie to a big WIN,” he tweeted. “Great reaction under pressure Tate!”
Suburban voters flee
While it’s a long way until the 2020 election, there are some worrying signs for Republicans in the suburbs.
In Pennsylvania’s Delaware County, for instance, Democrats took control of every seat on the county council, a Republican stronghold since the Civil War. Three Democrats claimed victory in Hamilton County, Indiana, historically a deeply red suburban area. And the Democratic successes in Virginia and Kentucky were fueled by gains in the suburbs as well.
If Democrats take back the White House, their path to victory may have to be through the suburbs. Tuesday was an encouraging sign for the party and a troublesome one for the GOP.
“Republican support in the suburbs has basically collapsed under Trump,” Republican strategist Alex Conant told the AP. “Somehow, we need to find a way to regain our suburban support over the next year.”
Cover: Candidate for the 94th District, Shelly Simonds, celebrates with supporters as election results begin to come inera Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at the Marriott in Newport News, Va. (Rob Ostermaier/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
This article originally appeared on VICE US.