Seth McLaughlin reports on the only 2014 elections that seem to be breaking narrowly for the Democrats—the gubernatorial races in swing states. Democrats are currently set to obliterate Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, and in the hunt against Republican governors in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, and Maine. (The party's candidate for governor of Ohio imploded after a strange caught-in-a-car-with-a-woman scandal.) McLaughlin gets this collection of spox-speak from the DGA: "Democrats are on offense in governors’ races across the country because Republican governors, particularly those who won in blue states in their tea party wave, have gutted funding for education and raised middle-class taxes to pay for giveaways for the wealthiest, big corporations and special interests."
OK, sure. But if given the chance to do it all again, should Wisconsin's Scott Walker have moderated things a bit? Should Michigan's Rick Snyder have vetoed the right-to-work bill? Should Florida's Rick Scott have fought harder to expand Medicaid?
It depends on whether you think they should have been more interested in re-election or in fundamentally altering their states according to their party's prevailing ideology. Even if Snyder loses in Michigan, or Walker loses in Wisconsin—both are basically tied with their opponents right now—both men presided over anti-union reforms that will cripple the Democratic Party four, five, even six iPhone hardware revisions from now. In Wisconsin, union recertification elections have seens steady casualties; in Michigan, while unions have added members, the number of nonunion workers has risen faster than the number of organized workers. And if Mary Burke and Mark Schauer defeat their opponents, they'll be the Democratic governers of states that are slanted to have Republican legislatures until 2021, under gerrymanders approved of by GOP governors elected in census years.
And, hey: Perhaps they'll win. Winning an election by 20 points and winning one by 422 votes found in the truck of the Waukesha County clerk's Kia—they're effectively the same, once you settle into office. Plus, it's not like Corbett gained anything by eventually caving on Medicaid expansion.