For example, neophyte Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, who had no major financial support, got 47 percent of the vote against veteran Republican politician Debbie Lesko in a special election in rural and suburban Arizona last week. President Trump won 58 percent of the vote in that district in 2016, and no Democrat had received 40 percent of the vote in that district in this century. The figures were almost the same in last month's special election, in which Democrat Conor Lamb pulled off a narrow win for a House seat in a blue-collar Pennsylvania district.
In an early 2017 review of 127 House races in 2016, Rep. Sean Maloney, D-N.Y., wrote that Democrats gained ground in suburban districts, but lost ground in rural districts. "It’s harder in places where it used to be easier, and it’s easier in places where it used to be harder," he told Kane. But anti-Trump backlash is helping Democrats: "Every time somebody's had a ballot in front of them, since Donald Trump was elected, we significantly outperformed," he said.
Republicans have a lot at stake in the upcoming House mid-term elections, with anywhere from 50 to 100 Republican seats up for grabs but only a few Democratic seats in play. Though the GOP has spent heavily in the past to help candidates defend their seats, with so many elections "the national GOP committees and super PACs will not be able to prop up Republican candidates the same way they have in the special elections," Kane writes.