The Campaign Spot

The Fine Print on That Democratic Streak in Special Elections . . .

You’re hearing talk that Charles Djou’s win in Hawaii last night breaks a streak of ten Democratic wins in special elections, a statement that isn’t quite accurate.

Georgia’s 9th congressional district was represented by Nathan Deal until earlier this year, when he resigned to focus on his run for governor. Georgia held a special election May 11; two Republicans were the leading candidates, Tom Graves and Lee Hawkins. There’s a runoff election June 8. The district leans heavily Republican, so no one’s particularly surprised by this, but technically, the Democratic streak in special elections ended with that one, when the lone Democrat failed to qualify for the runoff.

It’s also worth noting that at least half the elections that make up the Democrats’ streak were in heavily Democratic districts: Robert Wexler’s old Palm Beach district, Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago district, Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s downtown Cleveland district, Ellen Tauscher’s East Bay California district, Albert Wynn’s Prince Georges County, Maryland district; and Hilda Solis’s East Los Angeles district.

Republicans have reason enough to gripe about losing winnable races in LA-6, MS-1, NY-20, NY-23, and PA-12.

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