I know that it’s only two elections, and I know that they’re in pretty red districts to begin with. What I find interesting in the two post-Donald Trump special elections to replace house members that took administration jobs is that the Democrats in both cases were bragging that they were ready to take back the house in 2018, and these two elections were going to make it their “red line in the sand”. It turned out that the “red line in the sand” played as well with the Democrats as it did with Barack Obama.
Last week, you’ll remember, Kansas State Treasurer, Ron Estes beat Democrat James Thompson for Mike Pompeo’s former seat in the House of Representatives. It was fairly close seeing how it was a very red district, but the Democrats were hoping to flip this seat, and failed. They failed again this week in Georgia, Jon Ossoff failed to get the necessary 50% of the vote in the primary, forcing a runoff for the seat vacated by Tom Price. Democrats had thrown literally tons of money at this race, with their goal to get Ossoff over the 50% mark so he could win the seat outright. In Georgia, they have open primaries, with the top two going to a run-off election if no candidate gets 50% or more of the vote. Ossoff had an incredible backing from Hollywood, who shoveled millions of dollars into the district. Ossoff will face Karen Handel, a Republican, on June 20th’s special election. In this one, the seat hasn’t been blue since the Carter administration era, and no seat has flipped in their primary system (meaning the off-party wins the primary outright) since 1872. For the Dems to think he was going to get over 50% was foolhardy. He did very well, beating 11 Republicans who split the vote, and came in with 48.1%. But the chances of him beating Handel in June are slim.
Now, if you listen to Democrats, they are saying what you’d expect them to say. The Trump steamroller in November was because they had a very weak candidate (they did), and because no one went out to vote (which was true as well). But the fallacy in their argument is that come next year, they are going to be able to pick up 25 seats in the House, simply because it’s an off-year election (and that usually picks up seats for the party out of power…though not always!).
You have to take both of these special elections for what they are…Democrat losses. There’s another one coming up that will most likely bear the same results. The interesting thing is, this week’s primary in Georgia hit at the same time Trump’s approval numbers crossed the 50% barrier, and over 72% of the people polled said they approve of his foreign policy moves (thank you, North Korea!).
In all likelihood, there will be a lot of movement between now and next year. Whether or not the Dems are able to snatch 25 seats remains to be seen. If they aren’t able to, it’s going to be a LONG four years for them, and you’re going to hear them screaming for Bernie Sanders to run again in 2020!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!