The special election in Kansas provided the first evidence that Republican voter complacency is very real, and that the energy is with Democrats. If Democrats can duplicate what happened in Kansas in 2018, they will win back the House.
The Washington Post crunched the numbers and found that if House Republicans underperform in the same way that Estes did in comparison to how Donald Trump performed in KS-04, it would mean a net 20 point swing to Democrats in House races. What happens if Democrats duplicate the Kansas swing nationally? The result would be another tidal wave midterm election where Democrats would control 266 House seats to 168 for Republicans.
The fact of the matter is that House Republican incumbents outperformed Trump in about three-fourths of the districts in 2016, so it isn’t going to be as easy as The Washington Post data might lead one to believe, but the upside for Democrats is that they don’t need a twenty-point swing. If Trump’s approval rating stays at around 40%, Democrats will be projected to win the generic House ballot by about ten points. A ten point generic national ballot lead will probably be enough for Republicans to lose the House.
According to 538, the average congressional district leans 5.5 points Republicans, which means that Democrats have to have a six point or more lead to put the House in play.
When all of the above is taken into consideration, it is easy to see why Democrats were so excited about the Kansas House special election results. The Democratic momentum is real. While events of 2016 woke Democrats up, Republican turnout is being depressed by complacency and Trump.
If Democrats win the House special election in Georgia, it will be concrete evidence that an anti-Trump wave is building for 2018.
A good showing in Kansas was the first step. A win in Georgia will turn momentum into reality.