Lost in the news between Trump threatening World War III and Paul Ryan slinking away from Congress like the spineless coward he is was yet another brutal Republican loss in yet another special election:
State Rep. Lori Berman (D) has handily defeated Tami Donnally (R) to replace former Democratic state Senator Jeff Clemens, who resigned last year following revelations about an extramarital affair with a lobbyist. The margin of victory was a staggering 50% in Berman’s favor.
Generally speaking, when a politician resigns in disgrace, the scandal gives a bit of a boost to the opposing party. People like to punish the offending candidates party of their misdeeds. Instead, the Republican was utterly crushed by 50%.
To be clear, Berman didn't win with 50% of the vote, she won by 50 points over Donnally:
Two things to keep in mind here. While Palm Beach leans heavily Democratic, Republicans tend to do better in low turnout elections. With a population of about 1.3 million and at least 312,000 registered voters, 30,571 votes cast is the definition of low turnout. That didn't make a lick of difference; Donnally was still crushed.
Here's the thing that's making weasels like Paul Ryan and the other 24 Republicans "retiring" head for the hills, though: Hillary Clinton won that district in 2016 but she "only" won it by 38 points, 68.92% to Trump's 30.44%. That means Berman's 74.8% to 25.2% blowout represents a 12 point shift to the left. But here's the really scary part: Berman's 12 point shift left is actually less than the national average for Democrats. She underperformed if you can believe it.
According to the nice people at Daily Kos, since the 2016 election, elections nationwide have shifted to the left by an average of 13 points. It was 10 points in 2017, which is really bad for Republicans, but it shot up to 22 points in 2018 which is nothing less than apocalyptic.
With Trump inching closer to firing Robert Mueller and starting a disastrous war with North Korea or Iran or Syria or Russia or whoever Fox News tells him to be angry at that particular morning, the tidal wave coming to wipe Republicans out for enabling Trump's assault on decency and democracy is already looking to be historic.
What's really scaring Republicans is that it's not even close to peaking yet and the real wave might still be coming in 2020.