There were big results for Republicans in the two special elections held yesterday.
In Wisconsin, state Senator Tom Tiffany easily won a special election to replace Sean Duffy for the Congressional seat in the 7th district. Sean Duffy who was a Republican resigned because of family health issues.
The question was would he be able to hold the lead that President Donald Trump had in the district in 2016 with all the concerns over the pandemic?
While there was little bit less than the 20 point difference under Trump and in the middle of a pandemic, it was still a substantial victory with a convincing win by at least 15 points. In a general election with less of a pandemic fear there would likely be more out. Tiffany is a Trump supporter and got strong support from the president.
The Tiffany (R) victory in WI-7 (replacing Sean Duffy, who retired for rather sad family reasons) is nearly as high as Duffy's incumbent reelection win in 2018, when he got 60% of the vote.
For some perspective, this used to be Dave Obey's CD (!) and voted Obama 56-43 in '08. https://t.co/6CEpBKbXba
— Jeff B, fightin' the COVID one bootleg at a time (@EsotericCD) May 13, 2020
Thank you to everyone who helped make this victory possible! pic.twitter.com/AxlMPGhvzy
— Tom Tiffany (@TomTiffanyWI) May 13, 2020
But perhaps the more surprising apparent win was fighter pilot Mike Garcia in California, not a favorable bastion for Republicans and a Hillary Clinton district.
If Mike Garcia (R)'s lead over Christy Smith (D) in #CA25 holds, and chances look pretty good it will, he'll become the only House Republican from a district Hillary Clinton won with more than 50% of the vote.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) May 13, 2020
My statement on tonight's election results: pic.twitter.com/jCa3B4hpbd
— Mike Garcia (@MikeGarcia2020) May 13, 2020
Barack Obama went all in.
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) May 13, 2020
My colleague Jennifer Van Laar reported on Garcia’s lead earlier today.
At last check, Garcia had about a substantial 12 point lead with 56 percent of the vote with about 76% of the votes in. The race hasn’t been called yet because they are still tallying up mail in votes. Mailed ballots count as long as they are postmarked by Tuesday and received by Friday. So officially, the race wouldn’t be over until then.
But experts looking at the race say it would be hard to come back from that lead even with fears about Democratic ballot harvesting. So let’s cross our fingers and hope that holds true.
Garcia would replace Katie Hill who resigned after a congressional investigation was opened into her alleged sexual relationship with a staffer. Hill also was involved in a “throuple” scandal, which story my colleague Jennifer Van Laar broke.
Republicans have called upon Christy Smith to concede and President Donald Trump has already called the race a victory for Garcia, as he congratulated both Garcia and Tiffany on their results.
Big Congressional win in California for Mike Garcia, taking back a seat from the Democrats. This is the first time in many years that a California Dem seat has flipped back to a Republican. Also, Tom Tiffany beat his Democrat rival BIG in Wisconsin. Two great Congressional WINS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2020
“Big Congressional win in California for Mike Garcia, taking back a seat from the Democrat,” Trump said. “This is the first time in many years that a California Dem seat has flipped back to a Republican. Also, Tom Tiffany beat his Democrat rival BIG in Wisconsin. Two great Congressional WINS!”