The Threat of the Blue Tsunami

Madison Dibble

There is always a close eye on special elections, but with Trump in the White House and the media predicting a “Blue Tsunami,” each special election is used as a predictor of the 2018 midterm elections and a referendum of President Trump. With 36 seats flipping from Republican to Democrat, they may be right, but the losses will be nowhere near the losses the Democrats faced under President Obama.

The microscope on special elections started in as soon as President Trump took office and began creating vacancies as he appointed sitting officials to executive branch positions. The first major special election was a congressional seat in Montana in May. At the time, Republicans were not having the most success. They had just failed to pass anything meaningful on health care and, statistically speaking, President Trump tweeted something that had half of the nation offended. To top that off, Republican candidate Greg Gianforte got into an altercation with a reporter that ended in assault charges. With Trump controversy flying and the candidate racking up assault charges, one would think the Democrat would have a strong showing. That didn’t happen. We know that Montana leans to the right, but Gianforte literally body slammed a reporter in the week of the election and did not lose to the Democrat. 

Following Gianforte’s election, Georgia’s special election run occurred in May. Republican Karen Handel faced Democrat Jon Ossoff. The Democrats dumped 24 million dollars into Ossoffs campaign. Handel raise just 4 million. In a fantastic attempt to bankrupt the Democrat party, Ossoff lost the election, leaving Karen Handel as the representative for Georgia’s sixth district. 

Republicans haven’t had success everywhere, though. Roy Moore’s shameful nomination as candidate left the Alabama senate seat up for grabs. Moore faced pro-abortion leftist Democrat Doug Jones. With donations from Republican Jeff Flake and many others, Jones beat Moore and picked up the Alabama senate seat. 

In Minnesota, two special elections were held after it became clear that both parties were harboring perverts and forced out Republican Representative Tony Cornish and Democrat Senator Dan Schoen. To clarify, Senator Schoen is the Democrat sexual harasser from the Minnesota Senate and should not be confused with Senator Al Franken who is the Democrat sexual harasser from the United States Senate. In the house elections, Cornish’s district Republican Jeremy Munson faced Democrat Melissa Wagner. Munson won the seat with a comfortable 59 percent of the vote. In the senate election, Republican Denny McNamara faced Democrat Karla Bigham. Bigham won the vote by 3 percent. The partisan power dynamics remain unchanged. 

The media, of course, covers every seat picked up by Democrats as though it is a diagnosis of the weakness in the Trump administration. States like Minnesota are often left out of the national discussion because they do not fit the narrative. Minnesota shows that there is not a national wave, and regional political trends are holding steady. These elections are certainly not reflective of the Minnesota GOP’s strength, as they just witnessed a record low turnout in statewide caucuses. This is a reflection of political stability that baffles the media that chases after every Trump tweet as though he just declared the world was ending. 

It is true that Republicans have lost nearly 50 elected offices to the Democrats, but that pales in comparison to the more than 1,000 seats President Obama lost during his eight years. Even if Republicans continue to lose at this rate, they would only lose 400 seats. Of course, all of this could change with global and economic turbulence. 

Special elections are important to analyze and they do foreshadow trends that could take place in 2018, but to claim that a few dozen seat turnovers qualifies as a “blue tsunami” is a gross overstatement. 

With that said, if Republicans want to ensure that the tsunami remains a ripple, they must put in the work. The changes in 2010 were largely prompted by the rise of the Tea Party activists who put in the grassroots effort to pick up seats at all levels of government. If Republicans sit on their hands in this upcoming election, they will get clocked by the energized “Resistance” against the Trump administration. The Resistance is the Tea Party if the Tea Party was filled with unemployed eternal victims, but they do have a lot of time on their hands. They can put in the work so Republicans must show up and do the same.