US President Donald Trump suffered a triple defeat as Democrats won high-profile state and mayoral elections to underscore his unpopularity on Wednesday’s first anniversary of his dramatic election win.
The Tuesday night results amounted to a sweeping repudiation of what critics have called Trump’s politics of division, and a test of his influence ahead of electoral battles looming on the state and national level.
The most damaging defeat was in Virginia, a state bordering Washington seen as a bellwether for national politics with the country gearing up for 2018 congressional elections and the next presidential contest in 2020.
meanwhile, In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy reclaimed the governorship with a victory of about 13 percentage points over his rival following eight years of Republican Governor Chris Christie, a onetime ally of Trump.
And in New York, progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio rode a wave of hometown distaste for Trump to cruise to re-election in America’s most populous city.Murphy and Northam painted their wins as rejections of the polarization that to a large extent characterized Trump’s 2016 campaign and much of his first year in the White House.
The results mark a revival of political fortunes for the Democratic Party, which had failed to win a number of previous special elections in several states this year triggering concern about how to counter Trump’s influence in US politics.
“This is a referendum on American values,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said on CNN, speaking of the Tuesday night sweep.
In a statement, the Committee said it had won not just in Virginia and New Jersey but “up and down the ticket across the country” by maintaining or flipping mayoral and state house seats in six other states.