Democrat captures Republican-held Florida House seat in Sarasota

People are defecting from the GOP. But not to the Democrats

Will Mullery CNN

Vandana Jhingan of Schaumburg, running as a Republican in the area's 8th Congressional District primary, was removed from the ballot by a sustained petition January 26, leaving Jintendra "JD" Diganvker as the only Republican candidate to square off against incumbent U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-8th) in November's General Election. Margaret Good won in Florida's 72nd House District, defeating Republican James Buchanan - the son of another Florida congressman, Vern Buchanan.

A whopping 84 Democrats seeking to oust Republican incumbents in 54 districts began this year with bankrolls of at least $200,000, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.

"Congratulations to Representative-elect Margaret Good on her victory tonight's special election, which flipped yet another Republican-held seat from red to blue in a district that Trump carried in 2016".

If Good could win in a Trump-friendly area while attacking Trump, that's an ominous sign for Republicans in 2018 and 2020.

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"The leanings of undecided voters and the preference for more Democrats to be a check on Trump both show that Trump is a lead weight for Republicans", the PAC's memo read. Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski campaigned for Buchanan.

Call it a "blue wave" or a "red revolt", but either way, Democrats are crowing after flipping a state House seat in a nationally watched Sarasota County special election many consider a bellwether heading into the November midterm campaigns. What if the Special Council and/or Congress finds that Trump conspired with a foreign adversary to undermine a US election in his favor?

The strong showings in recent campaign finance filings offer a glimmer of hope for Democrats, who face a changing environment in their effort to regain the majority. The party is, after all, still 3-1 in special House elections over the previous year. "They also feel the polarization in the country, that they can capitalize on that", Republican State Rep. Jose Oliva, who as incoming Florida House Speaker coordinates the party's House campaigns, said Monday night. And, as David Shor has suggested, that could mean that Democrats are winning back a number of voters who preferred Obama over Romney but voted for Trump rather than Clinton.

It is mostly dead roses in Washington D.C., where 80 percent of voters disapprove of his job performance, according to the poll. A total of 44,193 people voted.

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"Very early we made a conscious decision to invest in the field organization and that is something you will see in all of our House races this cycle", said Reggie Cardoza, the director of political operations for Democrats in the Florida House.

"Democratic candidate Dave Shapiro has already hit the ground running in the race for Congress, and will be a very strong competitor in November".

Even so, it's a race that, on paper, Republicans should have won.

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