In a party desperate for victories, Democratic candidates are finding the most success in little-noticed state legislative races. They’ve already won four seats previously under Republican control, some of them in battleground districts that split evenly between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Party leaders say it’s a sign that they are benefitting from a broad backlash to the Republican president, one that failed to lift a quartet of special election U.S. House candidates — including Jon Ossoff in Georgia or Rob Quist in Montana — to victories of their own.
In one respect this is not that huge a surprise. After all in 2014 the GOP had a spectacular year on the state level.
On the state level, the wave continued. State legislatures are also now controlled by Republicans. That translates to 68 out of 98 legislative chambers according to Real Clear Politics, who also notes that 23 Gubernatorial offices are now held by Republicans in states where both houses are also under Republican control.
Politico noted that Republicans gained more than 300 seats in legislatures and controls legislatures in 29 states; the biggest gains since the 1920’s.
And in 2016 things, as Ballotpedia reports, things continued to improve
Republicans flipped 138 seats while Democrats flipped 95 seats. The Republican Party‘s share of seats in state legislatures increased by 43 seats across the country. Republicans controlled 4,161 (56.4 percent) of the 7,383 legislative seats heading into the election.
In 2010 and 2014, Republicans won hundreds of formerly Democratic-held state legislative seats across the United States. These past successes put them at a relatively greater partisan risk in 2016, since the GOP held a higher percentage of the seats up for election than Democrats. However, Republicans were able to maintain and increase their advantage in state legislative chambers nationwide.
Given the extreme gains for the GOP it would be quite a shock if there wasn’t some recovery for Dems and that McClatchy Story suggests the Democrats are investing in those local races to try to make it happen.
Democrats have vowed to pay more attention to state legislative races after losing hundreds of those seats during President Obama’s tenure. There are signs the party is doing just that six months into Trump’s presidency: The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a high-profile group with the support of former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder, raised more than $10 million in the second fundraising quarter.
So given these facts and the latest polls showing Trump at 39% can someone tell me why in April Nancy Pelosi was talking like this:(emphasis mine)
Addressing the 2018 midterm elections, Pelosi revealed that Democrats are considering an expansive offensive in Texas, including a possible challenge to Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, who represents Sugar Land. The diversifying Houston suburb is the same region former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay represented during his reign at the U.S. Capitol, and Trump carried that district by eight points.
Earlier this year, Democrats announced they were considering mounting serious challenges to Republican U.S. Reps. Pete Sessions of Dallas and John Culberson of Houston, in addition to their typical target — the West Texas district of Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd.
An audience member asked Pelosi if the party intended to go after any Republicans in seats that are overwhelmingly conservative. Pelosi said no; House Democrats would spend their money only on seats they believe they can win, she said.
She said that would “absolutely” be enough for Democrats to win the gavel in 2018.
But Sunday, even after the GOP fell on it’s face over Obamacare and the White House was playing musical staff Nancy Pelosi is reportedly saying stuff like this
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday it was “unimportant” for Democrats to win back a majority in the lower chamber in the mid-term elections, The Hill reported.
“That’s so unimportant. What is important is that we have the lively debate on a better deal,” Pelosi told Fox News host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” when asked about the chances Democrats had to win back the House in 2018.
What does that tell you? It tells me that no matter how bad things look for the GOP the American people have decided that the Democrats are worse.
However JJ Sefton at Ace’s place finds the bright side for the left:
Considering the masks coming off at the moment of truth for Obamacare Repeal, I would not want to wager that the GOP-led legislature will do anything different when it comes to this equally crucial issue. Yup, I’m calling it now: there will be no tax reform. Two reasons, 1) anything that denudes power, influence and lucre from DC will be opposed tooth and nail and 2) they hate Donald Trump so it’s automatic that they will oppose it.
Hence, Nancy Pelosi saying it’s not important for Dems to win the 2018 Midterms is not necessarily a botox-leaking-into-the-cerbral-cortex-induced comment , especially when you have Republicans like McCain, Collins, Murkowski and most of the rest, including of course the leadership.
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