Well, it’s been a couple of months since I asked if a Democratic wave is building for 2018. We have now had four special congressional elections and the Democrats are 0-4, despite enormous expenditures of cash. So what does it mean?
I guess it means that it’s maybe too early for a referendum on Trump. This, of course, is exactly what Democrats have been hoping to achieve. I still say that Republicans had best beware of the 2018 midterms, which are coming fast. They’re running out of time to pass some solid, popular legislation. Right now, the best thing they have on the radar is the AHCA and…well…you know.
That’s not to say that Democrats should be cocky at all. Handel beat Ossoff by over 5 points. Yes, I know. It’s a solid Republican district, has been for 40 years. GOP candidates usually win by 30 points. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You know what though? This special election, again, was supposedly a referendum on Trump. Trump only won GA06 by 1 point last November against Clinton. It does appear that his involvement in the election, welcomed by Handel, was decisive last night.
From my point of view, it looks like six months of non-stop Democrat and media attacks built almost entirely on bitching about Russia haven’t paid off as far as red states voters and Trump’s coalition are concerned. Democrats spent a record $30 million and got nothing for their efforts, unless they were trying to figure out if anything they’ve been throwing at Trump has been sticking enough to sour the GOP base against him. Obviously, it hasn’t.
In closing, I’ll suggest that these close congressional special elections in reliably Republican districts are indicative of both GOP trouble in the 2018 midterms and Trump’s likely re-election in 2020. It’s clear that his base and GOTV efforts that carried him to victory last Fall are still intact, despite all of the money, press, and star power Democrats are throwing against him every day.
This should prompt a serious debate among Democrats about what they are doing wrong and how they should be dealing with Trump, but we all know they’re not going to do that. Because Russia.