Society

Analysis: Democrats Overperforming In Special Elections

| by Robert Fowler

Since President Donald Trump's inauguration, Democratic candidates have overperformed during special state elections, according to a data analysis. The Democratic shift during these races indicate the that minority party could potentially mount a comeback in the 2018 midterms.

On June 5, statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight posted a study of the 24 state elections that took place since Trump entered the White House on Jan. 20.

The report found that Democratic candidates won 12 of those state legislature seats while their GOP opponents won out in the 11 remaining races. While that would indicate a split between the two parties' performances, the polling group found that the Democrats overperformed based on previous elections.

Comparing the margin of victories and losses for Democratic candidates in those 24 races against the weighted partisan average in the same districts during the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, FiveThirtyEight found that Democratic turnout had swung by an average of 14.4 percentage points.

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According to the report, Democrats had improved upon their 2012 and 2016 performances across the country, from races in Minnesota to Louisiana. While these 24 races were for state legislatures, they could serve as a sign for a Democratic surge in the 2018 midterm elections.

One race that has drawn national attention is the House race between Democratic candidate Jon Osoff and GOP candidate Karen Handel in a Georgia special election. Republicans have held the seat since 1979, but Osoff is currently a very narrow front-runner.

On June 2, a survey conducted by WSB-TV/Landmark Communications found that Osoff led the race with 49 percent support while Handel was right behind with 48 percent support. The competitive race will reach its resolution on June 20.

Democrats have set their sights on the House for 2018 after being ousted from the White House in 2016. Democratic lawmakers have pledged that if they retake the House majority, they would use the chamber's oversight powers to investigate the Trump administration for any wrongdoing, NBC News reports.

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"When we take back the House in 2018, Democrats are going to hold this administration accountable," Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island said. "And we'll make sure there are real consequences for anyone who tries to use their elected office for personal gain ... especially President Trump."

As of April 25, Republicans dominated the House with 238 GOP lawmakers, while Democrats occupied 193 seats, according to House Press Gallery.

Sources: FiveThirtyEight, The Hill, House Press GalleryNBC News / Photo credit: Sage Ross/Flickr

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