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There have been three special elections in the Trump era, and although Democrats have yet to flip a seat, they've gained considerable ground in each compared to results in the general.

Expand chart

Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Why it matters: These are tangible signs of progress for Democrats and indicators that the House could be in play in 2018. Princeton electoral politics statistician Sam Wang, citing a 12-point GOP underperformance in the Kansas race and a 7-point underperformance in Georgia, emails Axios that "even a 5-point underperformance in November 2018 would be enough to put House control within reach for Democrats."

We've seen this before: A similar situation unfolded in 2009 when three blue-state seats opened up following Obama's win. The GOP gained ground in each of those special elections (without winning), foreshadowing the 2010 midterms when Republicans picked up 63 seats and took control of the House.

Caveats: 'The Resistance' has invested money and energy into these special elections, juicing the turnout for races that would otherwise be more largely ignored. Jon Ossoff, the Democrat in the Georgia race, raised a state-record $8.3 million. Rob Quist pulled in more than $5 million in the Montana campaign, and it couldn't hurt to have run against a candidate who allegedly assaulted a reporter the night before the election.

Coming up: The final round of the Georgia runoff election between Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel will be on June 20. Mick Mulvaney's vacated South Carolina seat will be up for grabs the same day, and a blue-state seat will be contested in California on June 6.

Go deeper

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
56 mins ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.