The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of major works of comtemporary political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog, The Optimistic Leftist:
It is not generally appreciated how good the special elections have been for the Democrat this year, probably because people have not concentrated on the swings in these elections relative to Democratic performance in 2016. It is these swings, rather than the absolute outcomes, which tells us the most about how the political climate is shifting. Daniel Donner over at the excellent Daily Kos elections–a treasure trove of useful electoral data–has analyzed these swings and reports the following:
There has been considerable consternation and many pixels spilled about the regions of the country where the Democratic margin in the 2016 presidential election fell sharply compared to 2012, including the entire states of Iowa and Ohio. Was this the beginning of a permanent realignment? Was it a new baseline? Or would Democrats be able to recover?We now have some answers, illustrated in the chart at the top of this post. There have been 10 special elections in districts where the presidential margin shifted 10 points or more toward Donald Trump compared to the 2012 margin. And in all 10 of those, the margin has shifted back toward Democrats in the special election. What’s more, in eight of the them, it has shifted past the 2012 presidential margin, and Democrats have outright won six of them (those where the dark green dot is to the right of the vertical axis).With just 10 elections in this category, we have to be a little careful, but we can say one thing with certainty: Democrats are not stuck at 2016’s presidential numbers.
The times they are a-changin’. And, as these data indicate, for the better.