Morning Briefing: All the Hopeful News for Democrats to Come Out of the Pennsylvania Special Election
— As of this writing, Democrat Connor Lamb is claiming victory in the Pennsylvania special election, although with the race as close as it is, no one else has called it a victory for him, and there will likely be a recount.
Regardless of who ultimately wins, let me reiterate what we said in last night’s Pajiba Love about the special election last night. By tomorrow, it won’t matter who won. This is a district that will be ghosted in eight months once PA gets new maps. But what’s more telling is that this is a House district where there was a 20 point swing in favor of the Democrats. This, on top of Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama and the nearly 40 state congressional districts that have flipped from red to blue is a very promising sign for the Democrats in November. My favorite stat, however, is that there are 114 more competitive districts than the Pennsylvania 18th. I’m not saying that the Democrats are going to win all 114, but they don’t have to. They only need an additional 24.
Big picture: At this point, it doesn’t matter who pulls it out in #PA18.— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) March 14, 2018
Message already sent: D voters are motivated & R vote is depressed.
Excellent point CNN analyst just noted: If you’re a Republican in a +10 Trump district, you’re gonna start freaking out about your re-election now that a guy in a Trump +20 district is on the verge of losing.— John Aravosis (@aravosis) March 14, 2018
Context for today’s GOP spin.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) March 14, 2018
This is an R+11 district in terms of partisan lead.
There are over 100 GOP-held seats that are R+10 or less plus 15 more R+11 ones.
In the seven special elections held in 2017, the average shift from 2016 results was D+16. Tonight, it's D+20. 2018 will be very, very ugly unless something cataclysmic happens for GOP.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 14, 2018
These guys might want to commence boot shaking:
#PA18 is a R+11 district— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) March 14, 2018
Paul Ryan: R+4
Pete Sessions: R+5
Devin Nunes: R+8
Steve King: R+11
Mark Meadows: R+14
Here’s a sort of funny adendum from the Libertarian candidate who scored more votes than the margin of victory:
We're only a few hours away from me being the most hated man in America #PA18— Drew Gray Miller (@DrewGrayMiller) March 14, 2018
— I should add here that yesterday morning, I collected a lot of news to write about, mostly about the GOP House Intelligence Report, and right before I was scheduled to publish, it all became moot by the firing of Rex Tillerson. I’m on a plane this morning, so I’ve actually scheduled this at 5:30 a.m., so by the time you ultimately wake up and see all of this, Trump may have fired three more cabinet members. “Last night’s news” probably means nothing to West Coasters these days.
— The reason why I’m mostly nervous that this post will be meaningless by 9 EST is that Donald Trump is already hinting at more staff shakeups (anything to keep Stormy Daniels out of the news, right?). He’s apparently eying Energy Secretary Rick “Dumbest Man on the Planet” Perry to replace David Shulkin, the embattled head of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin was an Obama holdover who was popular within the White House and was doing a lot of good work until a report surfaced that suggested some ethical improprieties with one trip. But mostly, Trump seems fed up with him because he talks about internal politics publicly.
Oh, and there’s also speculation that H.R. McMaster will be out soon.
— In news that won’t be stale later today, the family of Seth Rich is suing Fox News — and Sean Hannity is mentioned numerous times in the complaint — for fueling a conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered by Hillary Clinton and for depicting him as a “criminal and traitor to the United States.” Good. If places like Fox News are going to make up shit, I hope they get their asses sued into oblivion.
— Speaking of retiring House Republicans, Trey Gowdy is one of them, and he announced that he disagrees with his colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee about one of its findings: That Putin was trying to rig the election against Hillary. “[Russia was] motivated in whole or in part by a desire to harm her candidacy or undermine her Presidency had she prevailed.” Wanting Clinton to lose is the same as wanting Trump to win.
— Yet another foe of Putin has been found dead in London. Abramson tilts way too conspiracy theory for me, but he’s not wrong about this:
Putin is killing his critics in Western countries—another one tonight, it seems—and he's doing it because he knows Trump won't lift a finger against him or issue a single complaint. Trump being in Putin's pocket comes at a cost we can't imagine and we *must* start registering it.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 13, 2018
— This guy, am I right?
Trump: “We should have a new force called the Space Force. It’s like the Army and the Navy, but for space, because we’re spending a lot of money on space.” pic.twitter.com/p7YVX6gecz— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) March 13, 2018
— Ya boy Paul Manafort is facing 305 years in prison, a federal judge told him yesterday. Maybe that will get him talking:
“Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.”
Header Image of Tina Fey because she’s from the 18th District in PA.