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Special Elections Offer Possible Glimpse of November Results


Special Elections Offer Possible Glimpse of November Results

The upcoming November general election is imminent. Current polls indicate a close contest between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, suggesting a closely contested race. While Americans await the major election in a few months, recent special elections have already occurred in Pennsylvania and New York.

Former Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Republican Mazi Pilip went head-to-head on February 13 in a bid to fill the vacancy left by former Representative George Santos (R-NY), who was expelled from Congress. Suozzi previously held the seat for New York’s Third District until Santos defeated him in 2022. Given the district’s recent shift towards a more balanced political landscape and its leaning towards Republicans at the local level, election analysts anticipated a potentially tight contest.

Nevertheless, Suozzi secured a win with a significant seven-point lead, surpassing the GOP contender with a 53.9% to 46.1% margin.

On the same day, another special election occurred in neighboring Pennsylvania. Republican Candace Cabanas faced off against Democrat Jim Prokopiak to secure control of Pennsylvania’s 140th state House district. Situated in Bucks County, this district holds significance due to its suburban voter demographic. The election garnered close attention on Tuesday, and similar to the outcome in New York, the Democratic candidate emerged victorious over the GOP contender.

Prokopiak secured a resounding victory with a margin of over 30 points, prevailing with 67.7% of the vote compared to the GOP candidate’s 32.3%. This win enabled the Democrats to maintain their hold on the State House, dealing yet another setback to the Republican Party.

While considerable analysis can be conducted regarding the implications of the two races for the November 2024 election, Democrats face a significant hurdle in the form of President Joe Biden this fall. Biden’s popularity among the American populace is notably low, with his disapproval ratings surpassing his approval ratings since 2021. As per FiveThirtyEight data released on Valentine’s Day, Biden’s approval rating stood at a mere 39%, while his disapproval rating was at 56%.

Alongside his plummeting approval ratings, a considerable portion of the American population perceives the commander-in-chief as too old to fulfill the role of president. An Ipsos survey revealed that 59% of Americans consider both Biden, aged 81, and former President Trump, aged 77, too old to serve second terms in office. Biden’s age was notably highlighted in a report by Special Counsel Robert Hur, which accused the president of failing to recall fundamental facts.

Given President Biden’s unpopularity, Democratic Party candidates in lower-tier races may encounter challenges. However, considering that the election is several months away, making predictions at this juncture seems futile.

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