Democrat Margaret Good had waltzed into Trump territory and trounced James Buchanan, the son of a GOP congressman, to take the special election for Florida’s House District 72. But the ballot might as well have read Republicans vs. the Blue Wave.
Even so, it’s a race that, on paper, Republicans should have won. They outnumber registered Democrats by more than 10,000 in the district, and supported Trump — whom area Republicans have twice named “statesman of the year” — over Hillary Clinton by nearly five points. And they kept up during an early and absentee voting period that saw an unnaturally high turnout for a special election, besting Democrats as a party by nearly 200 votes.
“There were people who voted for Margaret Good who voted for Donald Trump [two years ago]. There’s a lot of swing voters in this district,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist who ran Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign in Florida. “If this was a race where she won because Democrats outnumbered Republicans, that would be one thing. She’s going to win by 7 or 8 points despite the fact that 2,000 more Republicans voted than Democrats.”
Democrats saw Tuesday’s special election — along with three others across the country Monday and Tuesday — as part of a trend in which state races have been going their way. After a prolonged losing streak the last eight years, Democrats have suddenly picked up 35 seats nationally over the last 14 months.
Daily Beast Reports: The seat opened up after Republican Alex Miller resigned last year, citing her family and business as reasons. Trump won the district by just five points in the district, where Republicans outnumber Democrats in the district by some 13,000 voters. The Daily Beast Reports
Good’s final margin was nearly eight points and over 3,000 votes.