Analysis: Dems outperforming in off-year races

Analysis: Dems outperforming in off-year races
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2017 election results at the state and congressional level in 2017 show Democrats outperforming expectations across the board, according to analysis from FiveThirtyEight released on Wednesday.

Democrats have earned significant victories in recent months, winning the Virginia and New Jersey governor’s races and the Alabama Senate special election on Tuesday, and the number-crunching site says the results could “portend a Democratic wave in 2018.”

FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver's data analysis site, analyzed the “partisan lean” of a state or district in 70 special elections for state and federal legislative seats this year.


Democrats have outperformed the partisan lean in 74 percent of those races, according to FiveThirtyEight, meaning Democrats have scored upset victories or lost narrowly in elections expected to be GOP landslides.

For example, in Alabama, the partisan lean favored Republicans by 29 points, but Democrat Doug Jones won by roughly 2 percentage points. 

And in the June special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, Democrat John Ossoff outperformed the partisan lean by 6 points, despite losing the race.

That trend largely mirrors 2006, when Democrats gained 30 seats and control of the House, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Every seat in the House and 33 Senate seats will be up for reelection during next year's midterms.