There was a lot of anger among Trump fans that so many of the GOP incumbents either opposed Trump directly– the way Mark Kirk (R-IL) did– or refused to overtly, publicly and enthusiastically back him– think Pat Toomey waiting until 6pm on election day. This weekend, as we read the unlikely story, given Trump's well-known penchant for revenge, about how the transition team is considering defeated New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte for the Secretary of Defense job, we have to remember that shoe refused to endorse him. We his partisans in Belknap and Coos counties– where he performed best, pissed off enough at Ayotte to cost her the election? The answer is no.
First of all Ayotte did better statewide than the unsuccessful Trump and just about the same vote as the successful Republican gubernatorial candidate, Chris Sununu.
• Sununu- 353,572 (49.0%)
• Ayotte- 353,525 (47.9%)
• Trump- 345,598 (47.3%)
However, in the two counties where Trump did best, he did outperform her, although very slightly– maybe a Klavern's worth. In Belknap, where Trump took 19,315 votes (56.0%), Ayotte won 18,710 (53.8%). Same story in Coos County, where Trump won 7,951 votes (52.1%) and Ayotte got 7,537 votes (48.7%).
Illinois and Nevada, two states that Trump lost and where the GOP Senate candidates went down the drain with him, were also the two states were the Republican candidates were most explicit in saying that would not vote for Trump. In Illinois Trump did really badly– 2,118,179 votes (39.4%). Mark Kirk didn't do well either– but noticeably better than Trump– 2,150,099 (40.2%). Trump had several pockets of strength though. His half dozen best-performing counties, Trump Country, were all tiny and rural:
• Wayne- 6,963 (84.3%
• Edwards- 2,777 (83.8%)
• Clay- 5,009 (79.8%)
• Pope- 1,678 (78.7%)
• Effingham- 13,613 (78.1%)
• Jasper- 3,973 (77.8%)
Trumpists in these far right bastions were significantly less enthusiastic about Kirk:
• Wayne- 5,612 (70.7%)
• Edwards- 2,321 (68.5%)
• Clay- 3,896 (64.0%)
• Pope- 1,279 (61.9%)
• Effingham- 12,497 (72.5%)
• Jasper- 3,310 (66.9%)
Had he not lost so many Trumpists would he have beaten Duckworth? Nope. In the bigger urban and suburban counties, he did far better than Trump, largely because he distanced himself from the unpopular fascist. In the biggest county in the state, Cook, Kirk won 512,164 votes (25.2%), much better than Trump's 440,213 (21.4%). It was pretty much the same in the next 5 biggest counties in the state, deep red McHenry County being the glaring exception.
• DuPage- Kirk: 190,201 (45.7%), Trump: 164,355 (39.8%)
• Lake- Kirk: 133,592 (45.2%), Trump: 108,608 (37.0%)
• Will- Kirk: 124,101 (42.8%), Trump: 129,726 (44.6%)
• Kane- Kirk: 87,153 (45.2%), Trump: 82.087 (42.4%)
• McHenry- Kirk: 57.923 (41.4%), Trump: 71,117 (52.6%)
Kirk's gamble to eschew Trump and his most rabid, racist fans paid off… just not enough. In Nevada the story was slightly different. Trump took 511,319 votes statewide (45.5%) and the anti-Trump (but not anti-Trump enough?) wishy-washy Heck took 494,427 votes (44.7%).
Trump won all the sparsely populated, rural counties and lost the two biggies, Clark (Vegas) and Washoe (Reno) to Clinton. Trump's two biggest counties were Eureka– 723 (84.7%)– Lincoln– 1,671 (78.4%)– and Esmeralda– 329 (77.8%). Who cares when he lost Clark by double digits, 401,068 (52.4%) to 319,571 (41.8%). Catherine Cortez Masto didn't even win Washoe County– just Clark. Compare Heck and Trump in the 2 biggest counties and in Trump's 3 best-performers, all tiny:
• Clark- Heck: 303,316 (40.4%), Trump: 319,571 (41.8%)
• Washoe- Heck: 97,226 (46.9%), Trump: 94,529 (45.2%)
• Eureka- Heck: 692 (81.5%), Trump: 723 (84.7%)
• Lincoln- Heck: 1,609 (75.9%), Trump: 1,671 (78.4%)
• Esmeralda- Heck: 312 (74.3%), Trump: 329 (77.8%)
Heck's win in Washoe, where's he's from, was significant but Trump voters seemed to have abandoned him consistently enough, not to make a difference in the outcome, but enough to make him question his ever-shifting strategy towards Trump.
Alaska had a unique situation,. The establishment incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, who was distinctly unenthusiastic about Trump, was more concerned with the Trumpist Libertarian candidate, far right-wing lunatic Joe Miller, than she was with a pathetically divided Democratic Party. Trump wasn't especially popular in a state where Romney beat Obama 136,848 (55%) to 102,138 (41%). Trump's victory over Clinton was 130,415 (52.9%) to 93,007 (37.7%). A less disliked Democrat would have come a lot closer to beating him and Bernie probably could have. The Senate race had the two Republicans with over 180,000 votes between them, around 50,000 more than Trump! Murkowski took 111,382 votes (44.3%) and Miller, the full-on Trumpist crackpot, took 74,245 (29.5%).
In Arizona, the antipathy between Trump and McCain was out in the open. McCain did better than Trump– 1,085,285 (53.4%) to Trump's 1,017,166 (49.5%) In Colorado, the Republicans had nominated a fringe rightist Darryl Glenn it run against an unpopular Democratic incumbent, Michael Bennet. Bennet won but with a narrower margin than expected: 1,242,335 (49.1%) to 1,148,008 (45.4%), beating Trump's 1,136,354 (44.4%) statewide. Bennet also beat Clinton.
Down the road in Utah, Trump was the unloved victor with far fewer votes than the anti-Trump Governor or Senator. Trump only won 397,005 votes (46.6%). Trump-hater Senator Mike Lee took 571,781 votes (68.1%) and Trump-hater Gary Herbert won 564,563 votes (66.9%). For all the Sturm und Drang, Trump was a non-factor in Utah. Clinton beat him in Salt Lake County, 126,702 (44.9%) to 91,373 (32.4%). Again, his best-performing counties were all rural and numerically inconsequential. Compare his performance to Mike Lee's in Trump's 3 best counties:
• Piute- Trump: 537 (87.0%), Lee: 549 (91.2%)
• Emery- Trump: 3,402 (79.8%), Lee: 3.630 (86.0%)
• Duchesne- Trump: 5,505 (79.4%), Lee: 6,044 (87.8%)
I'll note in passing that the most outspoken Trump Senate candidate anywhere former KKK Grand Dragon or Wizard, David Duke, came in 7th in Louisiana, with just 58,581 votes. Trump, who won the state with 1,178,004 votes (58.1%), didn't do him much good. There were no bright spots for Duke anywhere in the state. Trump's half dozen best-performing parishes were La Salle (88.8%), Cameron (88.2%), Livingston (84.6%), Grant (84.0%), West Carroll (83.4%) Caldwell (81.5%) and the only ones of them where Duke climbed above his miserable statewide average were La Salle (8.1%) and Caldwell (7.9%). Duke's best-performing parish, the racist hellhole Avoyelles (median household income– $23,851) was kind of average for Trump– 11,163 votes (67.3%)– while Duke came in 5th with 1,354 (8.9%). Trump wasn't much of a factor in the state.
But he sure was in Florida. Rubio– who had, in Patrick Murphy, the weakest Democratic opponent of any major state– very publicly held his nose and endorsed Trump, who he promised to fight when he steps out of line. Rubio out-performed Trump statewide– 4,822,182 (52.0%) to 4,605,515 (49.1%). His native Miami-Dade was an important consideration for Rubio, of course. Trump fans in the really backwards little rural districts where Trump had his biggest wins were relatively unethusiastic about Rubio, but the voters in the big counties where are the voters are were more interested in electing Rubio than Trump. First the half dozen most Florida counties with the most voters:
•Miami-Dade- Trump: 333,666 (34.1%), Rubio: 419,623 (43.3%)
• Broward- Trump: 258,521 (31.4%), Rubio: 275,930 (34.1%)
• Palm Beach- Trump: 270,762 (41.2%), Rubio: 286,027 (44.2%)
• Hillsborough- Trump: 265,928 (44.7%), Rubio: 282,749 (48.1%)
• Orange- Trump: 195,091 (35.7%), Rubio: 224,710 (41.7%)
• Pinellas- Trump: 238,746 (48.6%), Rubio: 236,170 (48.8%)
In these 6 most crucial counties in the state, Rubio won 162,525 more votes than Trump. He beat Trump in every one of them except Pinellas and Rubio actually had a bigger portion of the vote in his contest there than Trump did. In the 6 most blue counties Rubio netted 1,725,239 votes, over 162,000 more than Trump's 1,562,714. It's the main reason Rubio did so much better than Trump statewide despite some Trump fanatics refusing to vote for Rubio. And these are the 6 most Trumpoid counties:
• Holmes- Trump: 7,476 (87.9%), Rubio: 7,032 (83.7%)
• Lafayette- Trump: 2,795 (82.8%), Rubio: 2,559 (76.5%)
• Baker- Trump: 10,294 (81.5%), Rubio: 9,901 (79.5%)
• Dixie- Trump: 5,822 (80.8%), Rubio: 5,040 (72.2%)
• Union- Trump: 4,567 (80.2%), Rubio: 4,312 (77.4%)
• Gilchrist- Trump: 6,740 (80.1%), Rubio: 6,301 (75.7%)
So in the 6 most redneck, backward counties in the state, 2,549 Trump fanatics skipped voting for Rubio. It sure didn't make any difference as Rubio crushed Murphy by over 700,000 votes, a lot more convincingly than Trump bested Clinton.
Ohio and Pennsylvania are two states were the GOP incumbents did't endorse Trump. Rob Portman (OH) said he wouldn't vote for him and Toomey played coy. Trump fans had no discernible impact. In fact, in Ohio, Portman out-polled Trump 3,048,467 to 2,771,984– a 276,483 margin! In Pennsylvania, Toomey had a slightly larger portion of the vote in his race (48.9%) than Trump did in his (48.8%), although statewide Trump had 2,912,941 votes to Toomey's 2,893,833– a minute margin of 19,108 Trump voters who didn't cast ballots for Toomey.
In Missouri, North Carolina and Wisconsin, the Republican incumbents all backed Trump. With the possible exception of Blunt (MO), he didn't do any of them much good though. Trump kicked ass in Missouri– 1,585,753 votes (57.1%) while Blunt scraped by with just 1,370,240 votes (49.4%), so Trump might have been helpful. But in North Carolina, Burr got more votes than Trump– 2,371,192 (51.1%) to 2,339,603 (50.5%). And it was the same thing in Wisconsin, where Ron Johnson got 1,479,262 votes (50.2%) and Trump barely won with 1,409,467 votes (47.9%).
As for Republican incumbents who lost their seats in the House, in Florida John Mica (FL) had endorsed Trump, while David Jolly and Carlos Curbelo had opposed him. Frank Guinta was a Trump supporter and he was defeated badly. Robert Dold (IL) and Cresent Hardy (NV) had opposed Trump, while Scott Garrett (NJ) played coy. Several Republican incumbents in tight races who either opposed Trump or refused to endorse him won, including Barbara Comstock (VA), William Hurd (TX), John Katko (NY), Erik Paulsen (MN), Bruce Poliquin (ME), David Blum (IA), Mike Bost (IL), Mike Coffman (CO), Scott Tipton (CO), Steve Knight (CA) and Dave Valadao (CA). Darrell Issa (CA), a big Trump supporter, is in a race that is still too close to call. Backing or opposing Trump doesn't seem to have been decisive in any races.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis