What They’re Saying: “How the political environment is moving toward Republicans”

“Democrats sound alarm over loss in Connecticut suburbs”

The Democrats controlling Washington got a reality check yesterday, as the American people rebuked their failed leadership on issue after issue in multiple polls that showed President Biden’s approval rating in free fall. In addition to their concerns about the President’s mishandling of the situation in Afghanistan, Americans are growing increasingly frustrated that the COVID-19 relief package passed in March that Democrats at all levels championed isn’t doing enough to help the economy.

And multiple stories published this weekend confirm that the backlash to the Democrats’ national agenda is only part of the story. The recent successes state Republicans are having in special elections around the country show that the American people are rejecting the radical liberal policies coming out of Washington, are a sign of Republican momentum for the rest of the cycle, and have Democrats worried as they struggle to unify behind a plan to turn the tide back in their favor. Make no mistake about it, liberal billionaires are now standing by with blank checks in hand to bail out state Democrats for their disastrous records. They failed to buy elections in 2020, but that won’t stop them from trying again this cycle.

As CNN reported Sunday, state Republicans have increased their support in special elections this summer.

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.

Any individual special election such as this one comes with its caveats, but the trend in special state elections this year is becoming noticeable. Republicans are doing better than they were in the beginning of the year, and it could foretell their party’s success in 2022.

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.
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What really jumps out, though, is the trend.

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.

State Democrats are clearly aware of CNN’s findings, as the Hill reported this weekend that they are “sounding the alarm” over last week’s loss in Connecticut.

A Republican investment analyst who narrowly won a vacant state Senate district in the heart of Connecticut’s wealthy suburbs this week has some Democrats nervous about their party’s standing ahead of crucial off-year and midterm elections.

Reinken said the race could be a harbinger for other contests — both this year, when Virginia voters head to the polls to elect a new governor and legislators, and in next year’s midterms. Republican activists loudly protested against mask mandates and critical race theory at several events Gevanter attended in the weeks before Election Day.

“I saw a preview of what may be coming in 2021 and 2022, and I just want to warn other Democrats just to not take anything for granted,” he said. “Now that Trump is gone for the most part, we have to fight double as hard to make sure that we protect our gains.”

“The fact that this seat that Biden won by about 20 points should be scaring people,” Reinken said. “It could be really scary this time.”

And the Hill noted in a separate story on Sunday that state Democrats are “scrambling” to come up with a plan to get back on track after a 2020 cycle filled with “crushing heartbreak.”

Now, Democrats are licking their wounds and looking to cobble together a new strategy for success in state legislative races after failing to flip a single chamber throughout the entire country last year. Those defeats are particularly stinging now as Republicans are left in control of redistricting for 187 House districts, while Democrats will have full control to delineate just 84.

Those defeats stand in stark contrast to the victories Democrats projected in states like Arizona, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas. Adding insult to injury, Democrats also ceded both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature.

And with redistricting coming just ahead of the 2022 midterms, those losses have Democrats alarmed.

“I think it’s devastating,” said Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something, which helps Democrats win state legislative races. “If we hold the House in 2022, it will be a structural miracle. Because Democrats failing to flip a single chamber and in fact losing two in 2020 is the kind of thing that will set Congress back decades.”

Republicans are already boasting after an early success this week when a GOP candidate flipped a Connecticut state Senate district that Biden won by 25 points.