Via Drudge McClatchy reports that Democrats desperate to find anything that resembles victor are finding some hope deep in a few state legislative races:

In a party desperate for victories, Democratic candidates are finding the most success in little-noticed state legislative races. They’ve already won four seats previously under Republican control, some of them in battleground districts that split evenly between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Party leaders say it’s a sign that they are benefitting from a broad backlash to the Republican president, one that failed to lift a quartet of special election U.S. House candidates — including Jon Ossoff in Georgia or Rob Quist in Montana — to victories of their own.

In one respect this is not that huge a surprise.  After all in 2014 the GOP had a spectacular year on the state level.

On the state level, the wave continued. State legislatures are also now controlled by Republicans.  That translates to 68 out of 98 legislative chambers according to Real Clear Politics, who also notes that 23 Gubernatorial offices are now held by Republicans in states where both houses are also under Republican control.

Politico noted that Republicans gained more than 300 seats in legislatures and controls legislatures in 29 states; the biggest gains since the 1920’s.

And in 2016 things, as Ballotpedia reports, things continued to improve

Republicans flipped 138 seats while Democrats flipped 95 seats. The Republican Party‘s share of seats in state legislatures increased by 43 seats across the country. Republicans controlled 4,161 (56.4 percent) of the 7,383 legislative seats heading into the election.

In 2010 and 2014, Republicans won hundreds of formerly Democratic-held state legislative seats across the United States. These past successes put them at a relatively greater partisan risk in 2016, since the GOP held a higher percentage of the seats up for election than Democrats. However, Republicans were able to maintain and increase their advantage in state legislative chambers nationwide.

Given the extreme gains for the GOP it would be quite a shock if there wasn’t some recovery for Dems and that McClatchy Story suggests the Democrats are investing in those local races to try to make it happen.

Democrats have vowed to pay more attention to state legislative races after losing hundreds of those seats during President Obama’s tenure. There are signs the party is doing just that six months into Trump’s presidency: The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a high-profile group with the support of former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder, raised more than $10 million in the second fundraising quarter.

So given these facts and the latest polls showing Trump at 39% can someone tell me why in April Nancy Pelosi was talking like this:(emphasis mine)

Addressing the 2018 midterm elections, Pelosi revealed that Democrats are considering an expansive offensive in Texas, including a possible challenge to Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, who represents Sugar Land. The diversifying Houston suburb is the same region former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay represented during his reign at the U.S. Capitol, and Trump carried that district by eight points.

Earlier this year, Democrats announced they were considering mounting serious challenges to Republican U.S. Reps. Pete Sessions of Dallas and John Culberson of Houston, in addition to their typical target — the West Texas district of Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd.

An audience member asked Pelosi if the party intended to go after any Republicans in seats that are overwhelmingly conservative. Pelosi said no; House Democrats would spend their money only on seats they believe they can win, she said.

She said that would “absolutely” be enough for Democrats to win the gavel in 2018.

But Sunday, even after the GOP fell on it’s face over Obamacare and the White House was playing musical staff Nancy Pelosi is reportedly saying stuff like this

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday it was “unimportant” for Democrats to win back a majority in the lower chamber in the mid-term elections, The Hill reported.

“That’s so unimportant. What is important is that we have the lively debate on a better deal,” Pelosi told Fox News host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” when asked about the chances Democrats had to win back the House in 2018.

What does that tell you?  It tells me that no matter how bad things look for the GOP the American people have decided that the Democrats are worse.

However JJ Sefton at Ace’s place finds the bright side for the left:

Considering the masks coming off at the moment of truth for Obamacare Repeal, I would not want to wager that the GOP-led legislature will do anything different when it comes to this equally crucial issue. Yup, I’m calling it now: there will be no tax reform. Two reasons, 1) anything that denudes power, influence and lucre from DC will be opposed tooth and nail and 2) they hate Donald Trump so it’s automatic that they will oppose it.

Hence, Nancy Pelosi saying it’s not important for Dems to win the 2018 Midterms is not necessarily a botox-leaking-into-the-cerbral-cortex-induced comment , especially when you have Republicans like McCain, Collins, Murkowski and most of the rest, including of course the leadership.

Of course that won’t stop the bleeding at the state level including the apparently unnewsworthy defection a sitting governor, which our friends on the left consider no big loss.

Those ignorant West Virginia grapes were sour anyways


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Yesterday to the surprise of an awful lot of people, including me, David Jolly defeated Alex Sink to win a special election in FL-13.

If there was ever a race where the Democrats should have been able to pull off a win it was this one. Consider:

1. Barack Obama carried this district

2. Alex Sink wasn’t in congress to vote for Obamacare

3. A libertarian candidate was in the race and took 5% of the vote

4. The GOP candidate was a lobbyist

PPP had this race with the Democrat up 3, Morning Joe devoted three long segments to it (one of them repeated) constantly referring to the GOP candidate as weak , and in a year when the GOP is told to abandon social issues Jolly was pro-life and was hammered on Social Security the third rail of politics.

Even more incredible contrary to what every consultant in the country has been saying Jolly didn’t worry about crossover voters in a swing District while Sink did:

Ask Alex Sink. Her campaign did a great job of messaging to independents and crossover voters. It made sense. It’s a swing district. But the Jolly campaign focused more heavily on Republicans and a Republican message.

Yet when the dust had settled Jolly had pulled off the win.

The National Journal sees trouble ahead for the left:

this race in a bellwether Florida district that both parties aggressively contested comes as close as possible to a November test run for both parties. Democrats worked to clear the field for Sink, an unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial nominee, while Republicans missed out on their leading recruits, settling for Jolly, a lobbyist who once worked for Rep. Bill Young, the late congressman whose 13th District vacancy Jolly will fill. Sink outspent Jolly, but the Republican was able to close the financial gap with the help of outside groups. All told, Democrats held a $5.4 million to $4.5 million spending advantage.

The results are a clear warning sign to Senate Democrats, whose majority is threatened thanks to a Republican-friendly map and a national environment that’s tilted in the GOP’s favor.

That may in fact be the case.  I’d like it to be so, but it hit me there is one issue that might have played a role that nobody is talking about:

Israel.

If you take a peek at the Jewish Virtual library Florida’s cooperation with the state of Israel is huge Pinellas county is part of the UJA partnership with Hadera-Eiron area of Israel.  Sarasota, Just south in the heart of the 13th district is According to a daily beast the 20th most Jewish city in the country and has Tel Mond as a sister city. The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is quite active

)

…and in 2011 pledged:

TO OPPOSE THE FUNDING OF ANTI- ISRAEL BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT & SANCTIONS (BDS) AND RELATED ACTIVITIES.

“But DaTechGuy”, you might say, “So what? A lot of American Jews who support Israel are Democrats including DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Why would a strong Jewish population Fl-13 race help the GOP?”

That’s a fair point.  To get Jewish voters in FL-13 to suddenly decide to stay home or vote republican would take an event of colossal significance to the Jewish voting base, like perhaps this:

The US State Department affirmed on Friday that the US recognizes Israel as a “Jewish state” but that this is not a precondition in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The statement was in response to questions regarding the department’s position on comments made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the Palestinian Authority must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, something that its chairman, President Mahmoud Abbas, said that he was unwilling to do.

being said by the Obama administration in a Palestinian newspaper.

A couple of days ago, State Department Jen Psaki conducted an interview with al-Quds, a Palestinian newspaper and stated, “There is no need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

It could be that Psaki was freelancing. But it is far more likely that Psaki’s statement represents a shift in Obama Administration policy. In which case, either Obama or Kerry (possibly both) will tell Israel to drop its demand that the PA recognize it as a Jewish state.

It’s true that Alex Sink’s once formidable lead had already been dropping, and it’s also true that her flub on Immigration likely didn’t sit well with some Spanish voters.

But just four days ago Politico was reporting the National GOP was turning on their candidate:

Over the past week, a half-dozen Washington Republicans have described Jolly’s campaign against Democrat Alex Sink as a Keystone Cops operation, marked by inept fundraising, top advisers stationed hundreds of miles away from the district in the state capital and the poor optics of a just-divorced, 41-year-old candidate accompanied on the campaign trail by a girlfriend 14 years his junior.

That story was dated March 7th 2014 two days before Jewish voters North of in Sarasota picked up their newspapers and read about President Obama’s state department deciding the Palestinian Authority didn’t have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Just a reminder. Sink lost to Jolly by only 1.9%.

Update: The district apparently changed shape in January 2013 moving just north of Sarasota but just west of Tampa the 25th most Jewish city in the US and sister city to Ashdod Israel.

Maybe it’s just me but a district with the 20th most Jewish city in the US just south of it and the 25th most Jewish city to the west just might be following the developments at state vis a vis Israel.

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