Newswise — Much of the focus of the 2017 election has been on the near flipping of control of the Virginia House of Delegates.

But another major takeaway from the election can be found down-ballot in results nationwide, according to University of Delaware Professor David Redlawsk.

The Democrats earned local wins across the country in places they never win. In New Jersey, for example, Democrats elected their first county clerk ever in Somerset County, and the first Democrat county-wide in 35 years, said Redlawsk, Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations.

Similar things happened across the country, as Democrats were motivated by a backlash to President Trump and the last year of GOP control in Washington, D.C., Redlawsk said.

Redlawsk is a political psychologist who studies voter behavior and emotion and has ample experience in local government and planning. His research focuses on how voters process political information to make their decisions. He is the co-author of "The Positive Case for Negative Campaigning" (2014), "Why Iowa? How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process" (2011) and "How Voters Decide: Information Processing During an Election Campaign" (2006). From 2010-15, he was co-editor of the journal "Political Psychology."