If the results of special elections are any indicator, the Democratic party will be very pleased after the midterm elections in 2018. So far in state-level special elections, Dems have managed to break the bar and have a winning streak of 8 – 0 against Republican candidates.
In New York, on May 23, 2017, Christine Pellegrino handily defeated Republican opponent, Tom Garguilo. She was the favored candidate, even though the district is highly Republican-leaning and voted for Trump with a 60 percent return. Bill Lipton, director of New York’s Working Families Party, commented on the win:
‘This sends a strong message to Democrats and Republicans. To Democrats, it says that they can win in Trump country when they support bold, populist champions who put working people’s issues front and center. To Republicans, it says Donald Trump is a huge ball and chain around their necks at this moment as more working people see the federal government trying to take away their health care and their rights. The progressive base is fired up.’
On the same day in New Hampshire, Democrats celebrated another win, where Edith DesMarais defeated Republican Matthew J. Planche in the GOP stronghold of Wolfeboro.
July 11 in Oklahoma was the beginning of something that could be huge for the southern state. In a special election, TWO Democrats won over Republican rivals, flipping Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas. One seat was a state representative for House District 75 in east Tulsa and north Broken Arrow. That seat was taken by Democrat Karen Gaddis who won out over Republican candidate Tressa Nunley. The other was a senatorial seat in Senate District 44 in south Oklahoma City where Democrat Michael Brooks beat out Republican Joe Griffin. Both seats had been occupied by Republican lawmakers who resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct (not with each other!).
On September 12, in Norman, OK, State Representative District 46 was up for grabs due to an unexpired term. Democrat Jacob Rosecrants won easily over Republican Darin Chambers. State Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, stated that this was a clear indicator on education funding, as that issue is at the hearts of voters.
‘I think this sends a clear message that Oklahomans are concerned about the state of education funding. Speaker McCall and his caucus should be able to see voters aren’t happy with the state of things at the Capitol.’
House District 46 has been a conservative-leaning district, and this seat has been under Republican control dating back to 1995. This was the third flipped seat in the Oklahoma legislature this year.
Meanwhile in New Hampshire on September 12, two candidates from Laconia, Democrat Charles St. Clair and Republican Steve Whalley battled over the seat vacated by Republican Robert Fisher, a two-term State Representative who resigned after being outed as the founder of the deviant sexual website Red Pill. St.Clair won the seat, flipping the district where Donald Trump carried a 17-point margin of victory, back to Democratic control.
And that brings us to yesterday, where two more previously Republican seats were taken by Democrats.
After the May death of Rep. William Polewarczyk, R-Chester, the New Hampshire House seat was left open and up for grabs in a district that gave Trump 64 percent of its support. First-time Democratic candidate Kari Lerner of Chester won a very close race against Republican James Headd.
The final race, in Florida, was described in the Miami Herald:
‘Florida’s Democratic Party picked up a crucial seat in the Florida Senate Tuesday in a special election triggered months ago by a Miami Republican’s alcohol-fueled tirade at a bar near the state Capitol.’
Democratic candidate Annette Taddeo claimed southwest Dade Senate District 40, beating out State Representative Jose Felix Diaz. The “alcohol-fueled tirade at a bar near the state Capitol” caused the resignation of Frank Artiles, leaving the Senate position up for grabs.
So far the score is Democrats 8 to Republicans 0.
If this trend keeps up, Dems could stand a good chance of flipping enough seats at the national level to at least bring more balance to the house and senate.