June 22, 2017

GREAT SPECIAL ELECTION, NOW DON’T GET COCKY: Republicans Undefeated–& They Haven’t Even Cut Taxes Yet.

James Freeman:

Mr. Ossoff’s campaign seems to have enraged some voters, while others were not as enraged at Mr. Trump as you might think from consuming national news. Perhaps answering Mr. Bruni’s question of whether anti-Trump passion is largely theatrical—and also explaining the challenge facing Democrats— Josh Kraushaar writes in the National Journal:

Here’s why their math is more daunting today. Democrats need to net 24 House seats next year to gain a majority. Georgia-06 is the 28th-most-Democratic district that Republicans hold (based on Hillary Clinton’s vote percentage in 2016). For Nancy Pelosi to become speaker again, Democrats would need to nearly run the table in more-favorable districts—or pick off seats in places even more forgiving of Trump. It’s possible, but a little less likely given Tuesday night’s results.

One Democratic operative tracking House races said the generic ballot is around 6-7 points in their favor. To regain a House majority, it needs to be closer to a double-digit advantage by next November.

The big tell that the race wasn’t as favorable for Democrats as the early conventional wisdom was when Ossoff’s paid messaging never mentioned Trump, and barely mentioned the GOP’s health care efforts—despite the uproar against both in Washington. Democrats saw polling, confirmed by good shoe-leather reporting, that the district’s skepticism of Trump was not nearly as red-hot as most people expected based on cable news coverage.

This column has noted previously that voters seem to approve of Mr. Trump’s agenda—particularly his focus on American economic revival—much more than they approve of Mr. Trump. This suggests that many voters see his well-documented flaws as worthy of serious consideration, but not a grave threat to the republic.

If there’s a grave threat to the Republic, it comes from those using misdirection, lies, and even violence to overturn the results a free and fair election.

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