Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections.
Four states held special elections or primaries on Tuesday, and all four were encouraging for Democrats:
The results come on top of a trio of Pennsylvania state House special elections earlier this month in which Democrats significantly over-performed in the 2020 presidential election results. That Democrats won the seats wasn’t surprising — the closest district favored Biden by 16 points in 2020 — but Democrats exceeded those 2020 margins by 14, 24, and 33 points with control of the chamber at stake.
- A much-watched primary for a crucial Wisconsin Supreme Court seat was technically nonpartisan, but featured two candidates clearly more aligned with the left and two competing to be the conservative candidate. The left-leaning candidates combined for 54 percent, while the right-leaning ones combined for 46 percent; the field is now narrowed to two candidates, one left-leaning and one right-leaning. (This is in a state that has been decided by less than a percentage point in the last two presidential elections, and where the first round in a 2020 state Supreme Court race was very close.) Also, the de facto Democratic nominee, Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz, is currently taking slightly more of the vote than the two GOP-aligned candidates together.
- In the special election for Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, Democrat Jennifer McClellan is currently winning by 49 points in a district President Biden won by 36 points in 2020. Compare that margin to those of the late Democratic incumbent Rep. Donald McEachin in 2022 (30 points) and the party’s 2021 gubernatorial nominee (who carried the district by 13 points).
- In a Kentucky race, Democratic state Senate candidate Cassie Chambers Armstrong won by 54 points in a district Biden carried by 30, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
- And in New Hampshire, Democrats held on to a key state House seat in the closely divided chamber, winning by 11 points in a race that was literally tied on Election Day 2022. (The state reran the election after each candidate emerged with the same number of votes.)
Updated: U.S. House Special Elections, 1957-Presenthttps://t.co/q5mmq1eQyO— Greg Giroux (@greggiroux) January 12, 2022