In Districts Where Trump Dominated, These Dems Just Delivered Stunning Blow to GOP
In a pair of special elections on Tuesday, Democratic candidates flipped statehouse seats in Oklahoma and New Hampshire, winning by double digits in districts that voted for President Donald Trump in November, and adding to a growing list of party victories that could offer insight into coming elections.
In the New Hampshire race for a state House seat, Democrat and small-business owner Charles St. Clair secured 55 percent of the vote in a district that Trump won by 19 points. In Oklahoma, meanwhile, schoolteacher Jacob Rosecrants won 60 percent of the vote in his district, according to unofficial election results, becoming the third Democrat from the state to defeat a Republican challenger for a GOP-held seat this year.
Discussing Rosecrants’ win, Carolyn Fiddler at Daily Kos notes:
Although Democratic candidates in 2017 special elections for seats in the U.S. Congress have lost close contests in Georgia, Kansas, and Montana, Democrats have flipped six state-level seats in special elections this year. In addition to picking up the other two state legislative seats in Oklahoma this summer, Democrats also flipped a seat in both New Hampshire and New York earlier this year.
“Open seats are far more likely to flip party control than when an incumbent runs,” CNN‘s Chris Cillizza acknowledges, but the combination of “Trump’s unpopularity, historic midterm patterns for the president’s party, and the early-warning signs” from state legislative districts that helped elect Trump suggest that this shift in key districts for Republicans could foreshadow future Democratic Party wins in coming state-level elections as well as the 2018 midterms.
Recent victories in red districts “bolster the party’s attempt to regain nearly 1,000 legislative seats that Democrats have lost across the country since 2009,” notes Daniel Marans for the Huffington Post, “and suggest they could make more significant gains in normal state-level elections in Virginia and New Jersey this November.”
These state-level wins also come as three Republicans in Congress have announced they will not seek re-election for their competitive U.S. House seats next year, which multiple political analysts have indicated are positive developments for Democrats.
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