‘Five Alarm Fire’: Results of Wisconsin Special Election Are In, and Fallout Could Change Everything


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A heavily-Republican district Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential general election flipped blue on Tuesday.

Trump beat twice-failed candidate Hillary Clinton by 17 points there.

The former Republican representative of the district won the seat by 26% in 2016.

Bad news for the GOP?

From Daily Wire:

On Tuesday, the Democrat, Patty Scachtner, won the district by a whopping nine points. As Huffington Post reports, “with the win in Wisconsin, there are 34 districts that have flipped from red to blue since Trump’s inauguration.” Governor Walker signaled his concern:

Are Republicans in trouble come midterm elections in November? Apparently, yes.

This is not merely a wake-up call, it’s a five-alarm fire!

And Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics called this a “five alarm fire.”

Republicans are staring down the barrel of an electoral gun in 2018. The average midterm election loss for the party of the president is 25 House seats. Republicans cannot lose 24 seats, or they lose the majority. Right now, over 30 Republicans have announced they’re leaving their seats, either to retire or run for a different office. That’s a solid number of open seats — and that number is likely to grow.

Gallup has some information on Trump’s unpopularity…

Presidents who retain majority job approval from Americans at the time of midterm elections are much less likely to see their party suffer heavy seat losses than are those with sub-50% approval ratings. Since 1946, when presidents are above 50% approval, their party loses an average of 14 seats in the U.S. House in the midterm elections, compared with an average loss of 36 seats when presidents are below that mark.

The clear implication is that the Democrats are vulnerable to losing a significant number of House seats this fall with Barack Obama’s approval rating averaging 45% during the last two full weeks of Gallup Daily tracking. The Republicans would need to gain 40 House seats to retake majority control.

On a historical basis, the Democrats under Jimmy Carter suffered the slimmest seat loss of a party whose president was below 50% approval, losing 11 seats in the 1978 midterms. More recently, Bill Clinton in 1994 and George W. Bush in 2006 saw their parties lose enough seats in the House to turn party control over to the opposition party when they had less than majority approval.

More from Washington Post:

Unlike with Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, the Trump team cannot blame a flawed candidate. The GOP nominee, Adam Jarchow, is a solid assemblyman who ran a spirited campaign. Four years ago, in fact, he won his seat by defeating Schachtner’s son and has worked hard since then to cultivate a base of support.

Mostly under the radar, the special election had become a proxy war and Republicans significantly outspent the Democrats: Americans for Prosperity, backed by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, poured $50,000 into the race. Two other GOP-aligned groups funded by the business community contributed another $80,000.

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, backed by Barack Obama and Eric Holder, spent $10,000. Tammy Baldwin, one of 10 Democratic senators up for reelection this year in a state Trump carried, recorded a get-out-the-vote message for Schachtner:

Following Doug Jones’s stunning upset in the Alabama Senatorial election in 2017, Republicans had better figure things out – and fast!

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