Democrats flip 2 state legislature seats in Trump districts
Democrats hope these are the first splashes of an impending blue wave.
By RYAN STRUYK
May 24, 2017, 6:06 PM
• 3 min read
-- Could these be the first splashes of an impending blue wave?
Only time will tell, but Democrats have flipped two statehouse seats in New Hampshire and New York in districts won by Donald Trump.
Democrat Edie DesMarais narrowly defeated Republican Matthew Panche in New Hampshire last night, winning by 4 percentage points — just 56 votes. Trump won that district, 51 to 44 percent, according to an analysis by the Daily Kos.
Wolfeboro, the major city in that district, has long been a GOP stronghold in the statehouse — which has 400 members, the largest in the nation. Democrats have never won that district, according to the state's Democratic Party.
"We are pleased to see that Democrats are showing up, working hard and turning out with a renewed sense of purpose," said New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff in a statement.
In New York, Democrat Christine Pellegrino defeated Republican Thomas Gargiulo, 58 to 42 percent — a dramatic reversal from Trump's 60 to 37 percent victory in that district, according to the Daily Kos.
Special elections at the federal level have had some positive indications for Democrats, but the party hasn't been able to pick up any victories.
Democrats lost narrowly in Kansas' 4th Congressional District in April, losing by 7 percentage points in a rural, conservative district that Trump won by nearly 30 percentage points in November. And Democrat Jon Ossoff came up just short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win Georgia's 6th Congressional District outright, with a runoff to be held next month.
A special election in Montana for its U.S. House seat is slated for Thursday. Republican multimillionaire tech executive Greg Gianforte faces off against Democratic populist singer-songwriter Rob Quist in the statewide district, which leans Republican, after Ryan Zinke vacated the seat to become the interior secretary.
Republicans have so far been successful at fending off Democratic challengers in major special elections over the last six months, despite Trump's broad unpopularity and polls showing an energized Democratic base.