March 14, 2018

SPECIAL ELECTIONS ARE GENERALLY MEANINGLESS, BUT THIS WAS A VERY TRUMPY DISTRICT: Democrat Conor Lamb clings to lead in too-close-to-call Pennsylvania House race. On the other hand, Conor Lamb is a conservative former Marine who ran, basically, as the kind of conservative Democrat Pennsylvania used to elect routinely. If this is Dems’ formula for taking back the House, it might work, but it will mean abandoning the party’s activist base.

But my takeaway is that sitting presidents usually lose seats in midterms, and Trump’s charisma wasn’t enough to overcome that here — just as Obama’s wasn’t enough in 2010. What Trump needs is a better economy and other accomplishments than Obama had. But remember that Reagan lost a lot of seats in 1982.