… For election forecasting purposes, the margins matter: that Ossoff and Parnell came fairly close to beating their opponents yields a different interpretation than if they’d been blown out. And South Carolina is an important data point, just as Georgia was, even if it received a fraction of as much media attention. The earlier special elections in Kansas’s 4th Congressional District and in Montana’s at-large district provide useful information about the political environment also.
Democrats have gone 0-for-4 in these races. From an emotional standpoint, the outcomes have been disheartening for Democrats. From an analytical standpoint, however, they’ve ranged between “not bad” and “pretty great” for Democrats as compared with their results from the 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections — consistent with the sorts of results Democrats would expect if they were on track to compete for the House next year. CONT.
Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight