May 26, 2017

Democrats making major headway in special election losses

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.

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.

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Republicans vastly out-raise Dems ahead of 2020

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The RNC goes into the presidential election year with more than seven times as much cash on hand as the DNC — $63 million vs. $8.3 million, according to the parties' FEC filings.

Why it matters: Far from putting Republicans back on their heels, impeachment is energizing Trump's base just as the 2020 march to Election Day kicks off.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019

Census data projects shift in states' congressional power

Data: Brookings analysis of U.S. Census data; Table: Naema Ahmed/Axios

California is projected to lose a congressional seat for the first time next year, while states President Trump won such as Texas and Florida will likely gain seats, according to an analysis of new Census data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

Why it matters: It only takes a handful of seats to shift a party's power in Congress for a decade. The new data underscores the need for an accurate 2020 Census count, especially with changing demographics in states with booming populations such as Florida, Texas and Arizona.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 30, 2019

Nearly 100,000 Georgia voters to remain purged from voting rolls

"I'm a Georgia voter" stickers. Photo: Chris Rank/Corbis via Getty Images

A federal judge on Friday denied an effort led by the voting rights group Fair Fight Action to return roughly 98,000 Georgia voters to the state's voter rolls.

What's happening: This ruling is part of a larger initiative for the state to cancel approximately 300,000 inactive voter registrations, due to those voters moving away or not participating in elections.

Go deeperArrowDec 28, 2019