Trump is gloating about Karen Handel’s victory in the Georgia special election, and Democrats are demoralized as the blowback to Trump and his chaotic White House has yet to show up in electoral victories.
I watch Judy Woodruff on the PBS News Hour, and that’s where I’ve heard Amy Walter of the Cook Report. She’s smart, measured, and data-driven in her commentary — which took me directly to the Cook Report site for their take on the Georgia election. This story isn’t written by Cook, but by a colleague, David Wasserman. When I’m looking for any sign that we can pull the country back from the free fall into which Trump is leading us, this article restored a bit of reason.
Here’s the gist of the article:
“If Democrats were to outperform their “generic” share by eight points across the board in November 2018, they would pick up 80 seats. Of course, that won’t happen because Republican incumbents will be tougher to dislodge than special election nominees. But these results fit a pattern that should still worry GOP incumbents everywhere, regardless of Trump’s national approval rating and the outcome of the healthcare debate in Congress.
Put another way, Democratic candidates in these elections have won an average of 68 percent of the votes Hillary Clinton won in their districts, while Republican candidates have won an average of 54 percent of Trump’s votes. That’s an enthusiasm gap that big enough to gravely imperil the Republican majority next November—even if it didn’t show up in “the special election to end all special elections.”