But there are exceptions to every rule. And what happened in Connecticut six days ago is that exception.
The race was in a district that Joe Biden had won by 25 points over Donald Trump back in November 2020. (Hillary Clinton won the Greenwich-based district by 18 points in 2016.) The Republican candidate, however, eked out a win with just over 50% of the vote.
“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. …
“… 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.”
So it’s not just that Republicans have been over-performing Trump in special elections. It’s that their over-performance has been getting larger and larger of late.
For Democrats, who spent the last 24 hours fighting among themselves over what should have been a legislative slam dunk, these numbers and this trend line should be very, very worrisome.
Especially because history suggests that what is happening right now is what (almost) always happens in the first midterm election of a president.
Republicans need nothing like that sort of wave election to retake control of the House; Nancy Pelosi is speaker at the moment thanks to a paper-thin three-seat majority.
The Point: The Connecticut result isn’t determinative on its own. But when you consider it as part of the broader trend, it suggests that Democrats’ majority is in deep peril.
Analysis: This election result should scare Democrats