Sunday, August 22, 2021


CNN poll nerd Harry Enten thinks Democrats are in trouble.
Republicans gained a seat in the Connecticut state Senate this week. They won a special election in a district that President Joe Biden won by more than 20 points in 2020.

... Across more than 30 special state legislative and federal elections during the Biden presidency, Republicans are doing 4 points better on average than former President Donald Trump did in these same districts last year.
And the numbers have gotten worse recently:
When you look at the first 17 special elections this year (through early April), the Republican overperformance over Trump was just a point. Examining the last 17 special elections, the overperformance has been 7 points. When you splice the data even further, Republicans have been outperforming the 2020 baseline by double-digits since the beginning of July.
I've been concerned about this. Many Democrats -- the ones who aren't as politically engaged as the rest of us -- think the crisis has passed because Donald Trump is out of office. Republicans, by contrast, are fully engaged, as always, because the right-wing media makes every moment of every day seem like a history-making fight between pure good and pure evil, with civilization in the balance.

Now, let's take a closer look at that Connecticut special election. The Hill reports:
A Republican investment analyst on Tuesday won a special election to fill a vacant seat in the Connecticut state Senate, the first state legislative seat to flip parties in the seven months since President Biden took office.

Ryan Fazio, 31, claimed victory late Tuesday in Connecticut’s 36th Legislative District, which opened when state Sen. Alex Kasser (D) resigned her seat earlier this year.

Almost completed returns showed Fazio edging Alexis Gevanter (D), a first-time candidate and gun control advocate, by just under 500 votes, 50.1 percent to 47.6 percent....
This is a district with many wealthy voters. It's not traditionally Democratic, yet Democrats won blowout victories in the district in the last two presidential elections.
The district Fazio will represent is no deep-blue bastion: Kasser, who won two terms in office before stepping down, was the first Democrat to hold the seat — based in wealthy Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan — since Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.

Fazio narrowly lost his first bid for office when he challenged Kasser in 2020, by about a 3-point margin.

But his is the type of suburban district that swung hard against former President Trump, both in 2016 and 2020: After Mitt Romney carried the district for Republicans in 2012, Hillary Clinton won the area by 18 points five years ago, and Biden carried it by 25 points last year.
What does this mean? I think it means that Clinton and Biden did well not because their opponent was a Republican, but because he was seen as gauche. Voters in the district clearly didn't think the very preppy-looking Ryan Fazio was gauche -- or Mitt Romney, for that matter.

I don't think we'll have these voters in our coalition much longer if Republicans learn to run polite candidates. In 2024, the mainstream media might even manage sell Ron DeSantis as a sane, socialized candidate who won't break all the furniture (no, really, that's the MSM narrative about him, even now), although Donald Trump is far more likely to be the nominee.

In that case, Democrats will win the presidential vote in this Connecticut district. But before then, Democrats could struggle in this and other upmarket districts, because Trump won't be on ballots and many of the GOP candidates will present themselves as decent, upstanding Americans and not loudmouth thugs. It's all the same party, but much of the Democrats' apparent base doesn't seem to know that.

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