I’d like to put the history of special elections in the 111th Congress to date in context of well, the 111th Congress. Which is to say that, after all the drama and excitement that we’ve seen thus far, the end result is that… we’re right back to where we started.
The Democrats brag that they have won multiple special elections lately; they are slightly less likely to mention that seven of the eight that they have won thus far this season were also previously held by Democrats; and that five of those seven were for utterly safe seats, at that. But rather than rehash the reasons why we lost the other three races – after all, at the end we lost them – let’s talk about one more: NY-29. That seat was held by Democrat Eric Massa before he imploded earlier this year, then resigned; and the Democratic Governor of New York decreed in response that the special election to replace Massa would happen on… Election Day, over half a year later*. Not exactly the tactic to take by a party confident in its ability to win special elections, no?
The answer is ‘no, it’s not.’ Just to forestall any tedious attempts to manipulate that sentence into a straight line.
*Whether this is actually legal is, at best, dubious: but it does handily counter the argument that the Democrats are always slaveringly eager to face Republicans in special elections (Massa was a freshman, and the seat is widely expected to flip in November anyway). They’re eager to do so when they think that they’re going to win anyway: but when it’s a toss-up? Not so much.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.