A +10 Trump New Hampshire District Was Just Won By A Democrat — Is It A Fluke, Or A Trend Of Things To Come?
An election for a state representative’s seat may not ordinarily mean much or garner much attention from national news outlets, but a win in a small New Hampshire town on Tuesday night may provide insights into how the American electorate may be shifting elsewhere.
Kathleen Martins, a Democrat, defeated her Republican counterpart Elliot Axelman in a special election to fill a vacated state representative seat that had been occupied by State Rep. Dick Marple until he passed away late last year.
The seat had been considered something of a Republican stronghold, as it had voted for President Donald Trump by a margin of 10 points in the 2016 election, , according to reporting from HuffPost.
Yet it was Martins who won the tightly-contested race, securing herself the seat for at least the remainder of the year.
“Kathleen knocked on hundreds of doors and earned the support of voters across the political spectrum,” State Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley said. “Her efforts show that Democrats can be competitive even in communities like Hooksett, where Donald Trump won by 10 points in 2016. We are proud of the work she has done to turn Hooksett blue.”
Martins will have to defend her seat right away — the special election was held to determine who would serve out the remainder of Marple’s term, and he was up for re-election himself this coming November.
? ELECTION DAY ALERT ?
‼️ Hooksett: Vote for Kathy Martins for State Representative TODAY at Cawley Middle School until 7pm ?
— NH House Democrats (@NHHouseDems) March 10, 2020
Nevertheless, political pundits and prognosticators are wondering: Is this a sign of things to come, of an expanding political map for Democrats across the rest of the country?
Indeed, with Trump’s unpopularity in polls remaining fairly consistent for much of his tenure so far, a number of states that were once reliably “red” now appear to be up for grabs. One poll from Texas actually shows Trump losing to Democratic Party frontrunner Joe Biden by 1 percentage point, though that split is within the poll’s margin of error.
Other states that went for Trump in 2016 may flip as well. Though other polls favor Trump so far, a recent CNN poll within Arizona found the two candidates within a statistical tie as well, and in Georgia, a recent NBC News/Marist poll found Biden leading Trump by 4 points.
It’s unclear as of right now who might win the presidential race — Politico’s election forecast adds Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in the “swing state” category — but if what happened in New Hampshire this week occurs in other places across the nation, it’s looking fairly good for Democrats overall.