Cheat Sheet Q&A: Special elections and current voter ID trends:

Cheat Sheet Q&A: Special elections and current voter ID trends:

Today's entry: Predictably the media is doing with the Georgia special election what they did with the Kansas election plus some. What seems to be different is that even more traditionally conservative analysts, like on Fox News, have cited tough trends for Republicans in the upcoming special elections. Is this true or just more fake news hype?  

Bottom Line: So today's Election Day in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Without a doubt we've seen records for attention, candidates ( 11 Republicans, five Democrats, and two independents) and money (the lead Democrat raised more than $8.3 million - Democrats had only raised $830,000 in the previous eight election cycle's in Georgia's 6th combined!) spent thus far in the election taking place in Georgia today. 

So on back of the Kansas special election win by Republicans (albeit by 23% fewer points than November's election), this is potentially the most closely watched Congressional race we'll have this year. The reason is pretty straight-forward. This is a district that has sent a Republican to Congress every cycle since the late 1970's but that only supported Donald Trump by 1% more than Clinton in November. So if Trump wasn't solidly popular in this district in November the thinking is he'll be even less popular today and that could be enough to swing this district race sending a clear message to Republicans nationally. So will it happen? To the root of the question here's the latest party ID data from Gallup. Gallup tracks voter ID monthly. The most recent trend from March was more favorable for Democrats. 

Party ID February: 

  • DEM: 31%
  • GOP: 31%
  • INDY: 37%

March (most recent) ID:

  • DEM: 30%
  • GOP: 26%
  • INDY: 42%

So party ID has dropped for both parties over the past month but was worse for Republicans (-5%) than Democrats (-1%). So on the surface that would seem to be a potential recipe for Democrats to pull off a win in a close election. It may prove to be but perspective is key. We didn't have any federal elections in February. If we're tracking party ID to performance we need to go back to November. Here's where voter ID was on Election Day in November:

  • DEM: 31%
  • GOP: 27%
  • INDY: 36%

So if you compare those figures to today's numbers it shows that the drop in party ID is equitable at 1% less ID for Democrats and Republicans. So in other words, there is no partisan shift benefiting a particular party over where we were on Election Day in November. So that would seem to indicate that turnout will likely determine the outcome. The most likely outcome today is that they'll be a runoff election with the top two performers without any candidate obtaining 50% plus one vote to win outright. So expect to hear a lot more about this district before all is said and done. 

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Brian Mudd

Brian Mudd

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