Special elections for state legislative seats in Florida and New Hampshire Tuesday night continued Democrats’ winning streak. Annette Taddeo defeated Republican State Representative Jose Felix Diaz for Florida’s solidly Republican Senate District 40. This west-Miami district is interesting for being a traditional Republican stronghold, but intensely anti-Trump. Rubio won here by 3 points in 2016 while Trump lost. Taddeo successfully tarred her opponent as a Trump loyalist.
Kari Lerner’s win in New Hampshire rode a very different dynamic to the same result. No one was watching this race for a solidly Republican seat, so I can’t tell you much about Lerner. What I can tell you is that Trump won this district by a wide margin, thanks in large part to Republicans’ 2-1 advantage here. If anyone knows the area and can comment, I’d love to hear your feedback. So would just about everyone in political media. This race was not on the radar, as it should not have been competitive. In state and federal special elections so far this year, Republicans have failed to take a single seat from Democrats.
In a related story, we were having dinner last night here in suburban Chicago when a Democratic candidate for State Representative came by collecting petitions to get on the ballot. This is interesting because I’ve never seen it happen before. DuPage County has been governed by Republicans since it was founded in the 19th century, but the inner suburbs are changing fast. It is rare to see even a token Democrat on our state assembly ballots. Obama won here twice (the first Democrat to carry the county), and Clinton won in a blowout. The delta between local Republicans and Donald Trump stretched to thirty or forty points in some precincts. Democrats have noticed and they are fielding a serious collection of state and local candidates. There’s blood in the water.
One last note, Alabama’s crazy uncle, Roy Moore, won the Republican primary for the US Senate last night. This is being touted as a rejection of Trump, but that’s a misreading. Moore won on the strength of being a kind of uber-Trump, an even loonier, more openly racist version of our nightmare president. Here’s an important thing to remember as we go into next year’s races, 25 years ago Roy Moore was still a Democrat and Elizabeth Warren was still a Republican. It was segregationist dead-enders like Moore who turned the Republican Party into the monster we see today. Neo-Confederates like Moore are slowly destroying the GOP, and they are close to taking the entire American project down with them.