Where did Democrats see the biggest gains in midterms? It wasn’t the suburbs — it was rural America
The results don’t always show it, but Democrats won a lot more votes in last Tuesday’s midterm election.
Because of gerrymandering, which will continue to tilt races toward Republicans until after the 2020 census, and a Constitution that awards two Senators to North Dakota and two senators to California, the scale of the triumph of moderate Democrats has been somewhat blunted.
Where did Democrats pick up the most votes? A new piece from the Intercept points out that it wasn’t the many suburban districts that flipped, it was in the rural districts that didn’t.
“The biggest losses of the night for Republicans, in terms of raw vote share, actually happened in rural districts, long presumed to be GOP territory,” the story reads.
The article breaks down the votes in the Iowa district held by Rep. Steve King (R-IA). While King kept his seat with a narrow victory, his opponent far outperformed other Democrats, to the tune of a 23.7-point improvement over Hillary Clinton in the district.
J.D. Scholten came close to beating King in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, where President Donald Trump won handily in 2016.
And that race was not an outlier.
“The top House vote swing from Hillary Clinton’s vote share in 2016 was in West Virginia’s 3rd District, where Democrat and newly christened presidential candidate Richard Ojeda improved on Clinton’s performance by 36.5 percentage points,” the story reads. “Among non-incumbents, the second-largest swing was Talley Sergent, another West Virginia candidate, who improved Clinton’s numbers in the 2nd District by 25.3 points.”