While much of the attention in the political world has been on Donald Trump’s dangerous and unhinged presidency, Democrats are quietly making huge gains in special elections that take place in districts Trump carried last fall.
Republicans have taken notice, and they’re starting to panic.
According to a new report in The Hill, Democrats have outperformed in “a string of special elections,” which shows that progressives are “motivated to turn up to vote.”
More from the report:
Democrats looking for positive harbingers ahead of next year’s midterms have found comfort in a string of special elections for vacant state legislative seats, ordinarily sleepy races in which their candidates are performing markedly better than the party’s 2016 presidential nominee.
The election results, even in deeply conservative states like Missouri and Oklahoma, are early evidence that the Democratic base is motivated to turn up to vote. That’s a worrying sign for Republicans, who will have to boost turnout among their own voters before next year’s contests.
The report also makes note of a special election race that took place on Tuesday in Oklahoma, where the Democratic nominee won 60 percent of the vote in a district Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 10 points.
As The Hill noted, this “was the third Democrat to win a previously Republican-held seat in Oklahoma this year.”
If it’s that bad for the GOP in the deep red state of Oklahoma, the Democratic gains are likely to be bigger in the so-called swing states.
In all, Tuesday’s special election is representative of what we’ve been since all across the country since Trump was sworn in earlier this year.
“Thirty-two special legislative elections have been held since January in districts where a Democrat has faced a Republican,” The Hill reported. “In 25 of the 31 districts where comparisons are available, the Democratic candidate ran ahead of Clinton, by an average of 12 percentage points. ”
It’s certainly hard to gauge the outcome of midterm elections more than a year before they’re held, but Donald Trump’s presidency has motivated progressive and moderate voters in a way they haven’t been in a long time.
Democrats clearly have the momentum as they seek to take back Congress in 2018.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.