Is the GOP really 'taking over' New England?
There's no question that Salena Zito is prescient: she correctly called Donald Trump's appeal and victory when few others did during the campaign. But in a widely read article at the New York Post, she posits a Republican "takeover" of New England that others have not noticed:
On Sept. 19, Politico congressional reporter Burgess Everett tweeted that he suddenly "[Remembers Vermont has a Republican governor]." His tweet prompted Seung Min Kim, a fellow Politico reporter who covers the US Senate to reply that she "[Learns Vermont has a Republican governor]." That, in turn, instigated a response by Wall Street Journal congressional reporter Byron Tau: "[Googles the name of Vermont's Republican governor]."
To which Phil Scott, Vermont's Republican governor responded that he "[Is Vermont's Republican governor]."
The moment was comical but also insightful, underscoring just how little Washington's political class knows about who holds the executive power in the Northeast.
Here's the surprising truth: It's not the Democrats.
Last November, while most of the country was either cheering Donald Trump's presidential win or making an appointment with their therapist about how to cope with the results, New Englanders in four out of the region's six "blue" states – Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine – woke up the next morning with four Republican governors.
Three of those governorships flipped from blue to red. It was a trend that the Northeast had not seen for a generation, but it received little national attention. (Connecticut and Rhode Island hold their governorship elections in 2018.)
If the reverse had happened, and four Democrats had won governorships in deep red states last year, the news would have been treated quite differently, said Brad Todd, a Washington, DC-based GOP strategist.
That's a fair point, but exaggerated. The GOP has one congressman in the six states: Maine's 2nd district, the sole Electoral College vote Trump won in the six New England states.
There is one Republican senator left in New England – and that is Susan Collins. Enough said. Kelly Ayotte lost in New Hampshire by 2,000 votes in 2016 and may have had her race stolen by over 6,000 out-of-state same-day registrants, almost all college students. Did these students from other states also vote in the other states? Who knows? Is anyone checking?