Portents of the looming Democrat nightmare

Thomas Lifson
As the old saying goes, the only poll that matters is the one where votes are cast. So it makes sense to pay close attention to special elections leading up to November, even for local offices the national; media ignore. Eagle-eyed John Fund, writing in the National Review, calls our attention to two special elections that should be causing nightmares for Democrats.

Arlington, Va., is a classic wealthy ObamaTown, filled with government workers and limousine liberals. Mitt Romney won only 29 percent of the vote in 2012. 

But last Tuesday, Democrats lost their first election for the five-member Arlington County Board in 15 years when John Vihstadt, a Republican running as an independent, won a vacancy on the board with 58 percent of the county-wide vote. 

Wow, a doubling of the Republican share of the vote. To be sure, Vihstadt didn’t run as a Republican and was endorsed by some Democrats. But this does show dissatisfaction, as does this:

In an unusual Friday special election last week in Connecticut, Republican Tami Zawistowski captured a state-house seat from the Democrats with a resounding 58 percent of the vote. The district is a swing seat, having voted narrowly for Romney in 2012.

“I think people are dissatisfied with the Malloy administration,” Zawistowski told reporters, referring to the liberal agenda of Democratic governor Dannel Malloy. She said the issues that found resonance in her campaign were scaling back gas taxes, reinstating the sales-tax exemption on clothing and over-the-counter, nonprescription medication, as well as ending the $250 annual business-entity tax.

An anti-tax agenda that increased the GOP share almost 8 points over Romney.

Yes, turnout in special elections is light, and that favors motivated GOP voters. But both of these elections are potent signs of what may be ahead.

As the old saying goes, the only poll that matters is the one where votes are cast. So it makes sense to pay close attention to special elections leading up to November, even for local offices the national; media ignore. Eagle-eyed John Fund, writing in the National Review, calls our attention to two special elections that should be causing nightmares for Democrats.

Arlington, Va., is a classic wealthy ObamaTown, filled with government workers and limousine liberals. Mitt Romney won only 29 percent of the vote in 2012. 

But last Tuesday, Democrats lost their first election for the five-member Arlington County Board in 15 years when John Vihstadt, a Republican running as an independent, won a vacancy on the board with 58 percent of the county-wide vote. 

Wow, a doubling of the Republican share of the vote. To be sure, Vihstadt didn’t run as a Republican and was endorsed by some Democrats. But this does show dissatisfaction, as does this:

In an unusual Friday special election last week in Connecticut, Republican Tami Zawistowski captured a state-house seat from the Democrats with a resounding 58 percent of the vote. The district is a swing seat, having voted narrowly for Romney in 2012.

“I think people are dissatisfied with the Malloy administration,” Zawistowski told reporters, referring to the liberal agenda of Democratic governor Dannel Malloy. She said the issues that found resonance in her campaign were scaling back gas taxes, reinstating the sales-tax exemption on clothing and over-the-counter, nonprescription medication, as well as ending the $250 annual business-entity tax.

An anti-tax agenda that increased the GOP share almost 8 points over Romney.

Yes, turnout in special elections is light, and that favors motivated GOP voters. But both of these elections are potent signs of what may be ahead.