On Sunday, two Democrats who won gubernatorial races in the swing states of Michigan and Pennsylvania delivered similar messages to their national party, saying their focus on kitchen table issues had helped them win their victories.
“I can tell you we’ve stayed focused on the fundamentals, can’t we, whether it’s fixing the fucking roads or making sure our kids are back on track after a incredible disruption to their learning, or just problem solving and being honest with people,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
CNN predicted Whitmer will win a second term by defeating GOP challenger Tudor Dixon in the key political battleground state.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro told Bash in a separate interview on “State of the Union” that his campaign’s success came from connecting with voters in often overlooked areas of rural areas, suburban and urban areas of the Commonwealth. He said his campaign was “talking to them about practical things that would make their lives better”.
Shaprio, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, will beat Republican Doug Mastriano, according to CNN, in the open-seat race to succeed term-limited Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
Mastriano is among a number of staunch deniers of the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election who lost their 2022 races. Michigan’s Dixon also made false claims about the 2020 election.
Whitmer’s and Shapiro’s comments underscore the different approaches Democrats have taken in the home stretch of the election, when some party members, particularly those in key swing states, stressed that the party’s closing message should focus on the economy and not on global issues. or more esoteric themes, like saving democracy.
“A governor cannot regulate global inflation. But what we can do is take action to keep more money in people’s pockets, to protect our right to make our own decisions about our bodies,” Whitmer said. “And all of that was squarely on the minds of many Michigan voters and I suspect that’s probably true for voters across the country.”
Shapiro told Bash that his campaign “showed up and we treated people with respect. And we talked to them about practical things that would make their lives better.
“We ignored the noise coming from Washington, DC, and instead focused on the good people in Washington County, Pennsylvania,” he said, adding that “helping (voters) understand how you can actually build a bridge between the parties to kind of bring the temperature down and do some real stuff” is key for Democrats to gain traction with rural voters.
The Democrats also secured a critical victory in Pennsylvania with the election of Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman to overthrow the open US Senate seat of incumbent Republican Pat Toomey.