November 15, 2018

SALENA ZITO: Yes, there’s a political realignment. Just look at the Republican wins — and losses — in Ohio.

In no state was the realignment in American politics more apparent in last week’s midterm elections than in the Buckeye State.

It’s not just that Republicans swept the statewide executive offices, most illustrative was where and how they did it.

Here in Mahoning County, where Democrats have held the political upper-hand for nearly a century, Republican candidates are now much more competitive. And some of those Republicans win.

Michael Rulli eked out a win in the state senate race in the 33rd District. Don Manning won a race in the 59th District. Two Republicans are going to Columbus representing the Mahoning Valley.

Meanwhile, in Franklin County, where Republicans have held the political upper-hand in the sprawling suburban county for decades, GOP candidates went down hard. Voters flipped three open state legislative seats from Republicans to Democrats. Mary Lightbody won the19th District, Dr. Beth Liston won the 21st District and Allison Russo won the 24th District.

All women, all in suburbs, all in districts Hillary Clinton won by 10 percentage points in 2016.

In short, the Mahoning Valley has shifted from blue to purple and Franklin County flipped from red to blue.

While everyone has focused on the nationwide wave, and they should, in the process they missed the realignment in real time in Ohio when one of the most Democratic counties in the state in Mahoning, weakened to being very competitive for Republicans, and one of the most Republican counties in the state in Franklin has flipped blue.

So if you lived in a suburb you rejected Trump through your vote against any Republican running for office, if you lived in a mixed area, where suburbs, exurbs, and blue-collar neighborhoods overlap each other, you voted more for Republicans.

Read the whole thing.

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