President Donald Trump’s election has sparked an enormous groundswell of activism from rank-and-file voters angry about his policies.
Political analysts have wondered whether Democrats can turn this wave of progressive enthusiasm into concrete electoral gains in the 2018 midterms. One way to test that: special elections to fill empty state legislature and congressional seats.
Special elections, which typically motivate much lower turnout than ordinary races, are an important indicator of partisan enthusiasm. That’s why a Delaware state senate race in late February got so much national attention.
As of April 10, there have been 15 special elections for state house and senate seats since Nov. 9, 2016. Between now and November 2017, there will be special elections for 32 more state legislature seats, five U.S. House seats and one U.S. Senate seat. Some Democratic candidates in U.S. House races are generating excitement, including the Bernie Sanders-backing banjo player Rob Quist in Montana and 30-year-old documentary filmmaker Jon Ossoff in Georgia.
The Huffington Post has created a visualization comparing Democrats’ margins in each special election held so far this year to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s margin against Trump in the same district last fall. We’ll be updating this resource as more races take place.
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