WASHINGTON — Democrats are starting to see a political edge in health care — particularly the idea of widening Medicaid access for more low-income people — after big election victories Tuesday night.

In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam promised a vigorous push as governor to expand Medicaid. Voters who said health care was important went decisively for Northam.

In Maine, voters defied Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s determined opposition by passing a referendum to expand Medicaid to cover an estimated 70,000 more residents.

During Barack Obama’s presidency, health care was often seen as a political liability for Democrats. But public opinion seems to have shifted amid widespread opposition to Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act.