Body Slam: The Election

It’s the day after a special election which, as usual, provides an opportunity to make fun of the Democrats’ inability to win any elections ever. Leaving aside the seriousness of elections, it’s always funny the way Democrats seem to lose over and over while acting as if they’re always moments away from complete ascendancy. The height of this was, of course, early November 2016, when Democratic friends of mine were discussing the death of the Republican Party. As I pointed out at the time, it may be worth winning a state legislative election before declaring your opponent dead. We know how that one worked out.

Well, yesterday the Democrats lost again. Time for more jokes, of course. Particularly since the Republican candidate is now nationally famous as the guy who body slammed the reporter. I think that fully signifies that the GOP is now the party of this man:

Of course, however much fun it is making fun of the DCCC, the truth is that, as this Axios piece points out, last night was somewhat impressive for the Democrats:

These are tangible signs of progress for Democrats and indicators that the House could be in play in 2018. Princeton electoral politics statistician Sam Wang, citing a 12-point GOP underperformance in the Kansas race and a 7-point underperformance in Georgia, emails Axios that “even a 5-point underperformance in November 2018 would be enough to put House control within reach for Democrats.”

That piece goes on to discuss why this could be an important Early Warning Sign of a tidal wave. We’ll be discussing this more in the coming months. But it’s a double edged sword. Far too often Democrats get very excited over these moral victories without actually getting over the finish line.

However, sometimes seats are just unwinnable. I’ve seen some brilliant political operatives turn seats that should be blowouts into tight contests. I’ve also seen less brilliant political operatives turn seats that should be blowouts into tight contests – but when they’re managing the campaign that should’ve won in a walk. Unfortunately, it’s the latter who usually get given more jobs while the former are viewed as losers.

Turning Montana-At Large into a competitive race is very impressive. What it means for 2018 is still way too early to say with any level of certainty. But, along with some other small data points, it looks like it could be a good cycle for Democrats.

Provided they don’t screw it up like normal.

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