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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

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. The storm system claimed the lives of two people in Washington state after a tree fell on a vehicle amid powerful winds Sunday.

In photos: Drought-ravaged California lashed by major storm

Workers try to divert water into drains as rain pours down on Oct. 24 in Marin City, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A major storm system was pummeling Northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest with heavy rains overnight.

The big picture: "Atmospheric river" storms, associated with a record-strong "bomb cyclone" offshore from the Pacific Northwest, have brought flooding and mudslides to parts of California that were razed by recent wildfires and in severe drought. It's also caused widespread power outages in California, Oregon and Washington state.

3 hours ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.