My Comments on the Special Elections in 2017

I thought I would provide my perspective on the special election that occurred last week in Kansas, and the upcoming special house election in Georgia.

For full disclosure, I am a republican who is against some of the President’s policies on immigration, and health care.

I do not think Trump’s performance will have a major affect the voting behavior of people with strong party ties.  Republicans vote Republican most of the time, and Democrats vote Democrat most of the time.  Independents and moderates are more of a wild card.  Independents may not vote the same as they did in 2016.

The districts in question are in no way representative of the whole country. They  Any result from these elections cannot be applied to the whole country or  “predict” the entire midterm election outcome.  You could maybe use the results to for certain districts, but certainly not the entire country.  For statistical analysis to work properly, the samples need to be reasonably representative.

Special elections are all about who turns out.  In the Kansas election, Democrats spent a lot of money and attention on the race since there are only a few races this year.   The money and a lack of an incumbent is probably why the race was closer than the 2016 race.  The 2017 Kansas race had about half the votes compared to the 2016 race,  this big of a change can affect the outcome.  In Georgia, I expect a race  that is closer than usual for that district, but still with a Republican win. I doubt that a Democrat will win a majority of the votes in the primary.

These special elections need to be interpreted in context.  They are two races in House districts that haven’t been competitive in years.  We should not even try to extrapolate to the entire country from these races.  Favorability polls are a much better indicator of political sentiment  However, I think that the favorability polls like the general election polls could be underestimating Trump’s support.  It has been difficult to get Republicans to respond to the polls, and this may affect the accuracy of polls.  After the midterms in 2018,  there will be a clearer picture of support for the Republican party.  Until then we can only guess.



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