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“There were two states that became more Republican in 2010, and Louisiana is one of them,” Ms. Duffy said. “Jindal is also popular. The combination made for a very difficult road for Democrats, both in recruiting a credible challenger, which they didn’t, and giving Jindal a competitive race.”

Whether recent elections portend a trend in next year’s elections remains unseen. After the West Virginia race, both sides claimed progress.

“Even in the most competitive circumstances, Gov. Tomblin was able to highlight his record of effectiveness,” Martin O’Malley, Maryland’s governor and chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said.

But state Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart had a different take: “Even though we didn’t win this time, the fact this race was so close is proof positive that West Virginia is in the middle of a profound political realignment.”