Forget the media doom and gloom. Three different examinations of the performance of Democrats in the special elections revealed that the Democrats are performing better than expected in these elections and are in a position to win back the House in 2018.
Democrats overperformed the generic Democratic candidate by an average of 8 points in the deep red special election districts according to The Cook Political Report:
— CookPoliticalReport (@CookPolitical) June 21, 2017
Dr. Sam Wang’s analysis showed a huge 15% swing towards Democrats:
Median D+7.5 improvement over PVI is 7.5*2=15% swing — huge. Bad juju for R's in '18. D loss demoralizing..but lesson is compete everywhere https://t.co/sZlAWyRaV5
— Sam Wang (@SamWangPhD) June 21, 2017
Nate Cohn of The New York Times looked at the numbers and concluded, “The good news for Democrats is that they don’t need to win all of these Republican-leaning districts or even most of them. Democrats might only need to win, say, 17 of the 60 seats where Republicans are favored, but where Democrats have a realistic chance. In that sense, these Democratic losses are entirely consistent with the possibility of a House takeover. If Democrats keep running ahead of expectations across those plausibly competitive Republican-held seats, many seats will ultimately fall their way. But they will certainly lose more than they win. The question is whether they win enough, and no special election offers the answer to that.”
The lessons for Democrats are that the map is broad in 2018. There should be an emphasis on competing across the country, and that the question isn’t if they will gain seats in 2018 but will they gain enough to take back the majority. Democrats were not expected to win in the heavily Republican special election districts, but if they replicate the same 15 point gain in the midterm elections, they will win back the House, and deal a fatal blow to the Trump agenda.
Taking back Congress is a slow process, but Democrats are growing in leaps and bounds.
Republicans had to spend tens of millions of dollars to keep House seats in districts that they won by double digits less than a year ago. If you want to see what a real loser looks like, he is currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association