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Democrats Perform Well In Special Elections

A series of special elections over recent weeks in Connecticut have produced results that are being welcomed by Democrats.

The Connecticut Mirror reported that in three special elections held Feb. 28, two for the state Senate and one for the state House, Democrats won two and Republicans took one.

This meant no seats changed hands, but the Democratic candidate performed well in the Republican-held district, which is normally the strongest Republican districts in the state.

Democrats said their loss by 10 percentage points was a success, compared to the 2-1 margin in favor of the Republicans in November.

"This was a resounding rejection of Donald Trump's presidency, which is spiraling out of control," Geoff Luxenberg, who managed the campaign, told the Mirror. "For this election to be that close, and for Democratic turnout to be double the 2008 special election for the same seat, speaks volumes about how frustrated people in Connecticut are with Donald Trump."

But Republicans disagreed.

"This victory preserves a critical tie in the chamber, allowing Senate Republicans to serve as a counterbalance to Democrat Gov. Malloy and his allies in the legislature, and setting a positive tone for 2018 – when the GOP will have a chance to flip the Senate for the first time since 1996," Matt Walter, a member of the Republican State Leadership Committee, told the Mirror.

Elsewhere, Democratic candidates secured two victories in early February in two separate states. State House races in Iowa and Virginia both went the way of the Democrats.

Another blue victory in a State Senate race in Delaware ensured ongoing Democratic control of the chamber, MSNBC reported.

Even in cases where Republicans won, such as in a strong Republican district in Minnesota, the margin of victory was narrower than expected.

But according to the Huffington Post, polls indicate that Americans view the Democrats less favorably now than they did in November 2016. The Post's latest aggregate of surveys gave the Democrats a rating of -10, meaning that voters are 10 points more likely to view the party unfavorably than favorably. This is a drop from -4 in November.

On the other hand, Republicans are fairing worse at -13, although this represents an improvement on the -19 the party scored in November.

The improved numbers for the Republicans could be linked to stronger support from the party's own members. A YouGov/Economist poll conducted from Feb. 18-22 found that Republicans gave their party a +71 rating, compared to +49 during the last week of the 2016 election campaign.

Sources. The Connecticut Mirror, MSNBC, Huffington Post / Photo credit: United States Government/Wikimedia Commons

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