The more serious problem for Democrats is the drubbing they’ve taken in the states, the breeding ground for future national talent and for policy experimentation. Republicans have unified control — the governorship and the legislature — in 23 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats control just seven. Democrats hold 18 governorships, but only a handful are in the most populous states.
In California, Gov. Jerry Brown won again at age 76, his fourth, non-consecutive term in the governor’s office. His victory means that younger Democrats will have to wait until 2018 to compete for one of the nation’s most high-profile political jobs. In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo won a second term, but can’t get out of Clinton’s shadow. The only other state among the top 10 in population held by the Democrats is Pennsylvania, newly won by Tom Wolf.
Meanwhile, Republicans control governorships in Florida, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Massachusetts. Democrats were hoping to knock off Republicans Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida and Rick Snyder in Michigan. All survived. In Ohio, John Kasich won by the second-largest margin in state history, thanks in part to the implosion of his Democratic opponent.