(The New York Times) — “What Republicans agree on is that their candidates must avoid the contortions of Ed Gillespie, their Virginia nominee for governor, who embraced Mr. Trump’s divisive messages on immigration, crime and Confederate “heritage” but danced inartfully around whether he actually supported the president.”

AUSTIN, Texas — For nearly a decade, meetings of the Republican Governors Association were buoyant, even giddy, affairs, as the party — lifted by enormous political donations and a backlash against the Obama administration — achieved overwhelming control of state governments.

But a sense of foreboding hung over the group’s gathering in Austin this past week, as President Trump’s unpopularity and Republicans’ unexpectedly drastic losses in elections earlier this month in Virginia, New Jersey and suburbs from Philadelphia to Seattle raised the specter of a political reckoning in 2018.

“I do think Virginia was a wake-up call,” said Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, who took over here as chairman of the governors association. “There’s a pretty strong message there. When Republicans lose white married women, that’s a strong message.”

Click to continue reading. By JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEXANDER BURNS – Nov. 18, 2017.

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