Leveraging public frustration and disapproval of Donald Trump, Democrats have a chance to rebuff Republican attempts to take state legislatures in Delaware and Connecticut.
Following Donald Trump’s first month in the White House, which was such a disaster even many Republican pundits could not defend it, the popular resistance to the new regime has an upcoming opportunity to send a substantial message in two upcoming special elections where control of the legislature hangs in the balance.
On February 25th, voters in Delaware’s 10th senate district will go to the polls to choose a successor to state Senator Bethany Hall-Long, who was elected Lieutenant Governor last November. Hall-Long, a Democrat, vacated a seat that traditionally leans Republican and is being contested between Democratic environmental lawyer Stephanie Hansen and Republican realtor and ex-police officer John Marino.
The election will decide which party controls the state senate, so Democrats have poured money into the race. Hansen has won the endorsement of local unions, and former Vice President — and former longtime Delaware Senator — Joe Biden is campaigning for her.
And on February 28th, voters in Connecticut will choose two new state senators, replacing a Republican and a Democrat who were both recently nominated for executive offices by Governor Dan Malloy. As in Delaware, the Connecticut state senate is currently tied, so control of the chamber rests on the election results.
These two elections are key opportunities for the anti-Trump resistance to exert its influence. Special elections usually have very low turnout and are often decided by razor-thin margins of hundreds or even dozens of votes. Effective organizing and voter outreach can make these races highly winnable.
And the opportunities for the Resistance to garner more victories do not end here, as these races are a prelude for the bigger upcoming showdowns later this year, like Tom Price’s vacant seat in Georgia, and the governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey.
It will not be enough to simply wait for the 2018 midterms to test the electoral strength of the resistance.