Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and local elections. Republicans have lost ground in big cities.
Caroline Vakil at The Hill:
Democrats had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday night.
In one of the most closely watched races of the year, Democratic candidate Heather Boyd beat Republican Katie Ford in the special election for a Pennsylvania state House seat outside Philadelphia, allowing them to keep control of the lower chamber.
The race was seen as particularly critical since Democrats feared Republicans would use a potential majority to push through restrictive measures relating to abortion and LGBTQ issues.
Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, Fla., Democrats scored an upset after Donna Deegan (D) won the mayoral race there against Republican Daniel Davis, who was backed by DeSantis. The election offered Democrats some relief given Duval County’s red leanings, suggesting that Democrats can still be competitive in the state even as Florida has trended Republican in recent years.
Meanwhile, in Colorado Springs, independent candidate Yemi Mobolade won the mayoral race against Republican Wayne Williams, a former Colorado secretary of state. The election delivered yet another blow to Republicans given that El Paso County, where Colorado Springs is situated, was a county that former President Trump won by 11 points in 2020.
With the Jacksonville flip, the largest city with a Republican mayor is Fort Worth, TX (pop. 918,915).
Aaron Blake at WP:
For folks who don't know Jacksonville, the city and county are the same government. Wrong to think this is another "big" Dem city. It has outlying rural areas and a significant number of military retirees. It's a slightly red-leaning bellweather for the state. Why this is a bfd— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) May 17, 2023
All told, according to the Daily Kos Elections numbers, Democrats have overperformed the 2020 presidential results by an average of six points across 18 state legislative races this year. (And again, that was a good election for them.) They’ve also beaten their 2016 margins by an average of 10 points.
And that doesn’t include the highest offices on the ballot thus far in 2023. In a crucial Wisconsin state Supreme Court race, the Democratic-aligned candidate won by 11 points, ending 15 years of conservative control of the court. And in the only special congressional election of 2023 so far, in Virginia, Democrats beat their 2020 margin by double digits.