The Note: Democrats see blue in Midwestern Trump country


President Donald Trump’s flight to Montanafor a western campaign swing that starts Thursday will have him fly over large swaths of Trump country — or, at least, what once could be considered as that.

But something is rumbling in the states that delivered Trump the presidency, suggesting bright spots for Democrats in places they once saw turning bleaker.

FiveThirtyEight’s new gubernatorial forecasts show the potential for a big blue shift through the Midwest. Democrats stand favored to win governor’s offices in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan, with toss-up races in Ohio and Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.

In the battle for the House, more than 30 competitive races stretch across 10 Midwestern states — including six seats in both Michigan and Ohio, three in Iowa, and two in Kansas. While Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is in a dead heat, Republican Senate pickup opportunities in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota have largely fizzled.

The race for control of Congress rightly will capture the biggest headlines over the next three weeks. But control of governors’ offices matters for items like Medicaid expansion and redistricting — and could herald regional realignments that matter in 2020 and well beyond.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

It is hard to imagine American voters driven to vote one way or the other by the international story this week about the missing American-based Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, and his suspected murder in Turkey.

But the growing scandal around the story — whether the Trump White House really cares; whether it will hold Saudi Arabia accountable; financial ties between the administration and the Saudis; and talk of arms deals and backroom negotiations — all feels very, very swampy.

And voters are tired of the swamp.

We see that playing out across the country. The fed-up-with-Washington sentiment has helped propel the astonishing number of candidates this year who are brand new to politics.

In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 76 percent of respondents listed “changing the way Washington works” as a top issue for them — ranking it above taxes and immigration.

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