Republicans are taking a victory lap after racking up another impressive special election victory in the 2020 election cycle on Tuesday.
Hungry Democrats were circling around the special election in New York’s 27th district for the House of Representatives, hoping that their candidate Nate McMurray could pull off an upset over Republican State Senator Chris Jacobs.
The seat in the GOP stronghold became vacant after Chris Collins, a three-term Republican congressman, resigned last year after pleading guilty to insider trading. Democrats viewed the race as a barometer of President Donald Trump’s support in the November 2020 election.
The night ended miserably for them with McMurray trailing Jacobs by more than 30,000 votes, securing only 29 percent of the ballots cast. Jacobs declared victory in the special election and the Republican Primary for the district at a press conference on Tuesday night.
“It has been a long, challenging and ever-changing election, nevertheless the people of Western New York made their voices heard overwhelmingly for strong, conservative leadership,” Jacobs said in his statement. “With the commanding lead I have amassed; I am confident in declaring victory in both the Special and Primary elections. Now I am looking forward to getting to Congress and getting right to work fighting alongside our great President for the people of Western New York.”
McMurray declined to concede Friday calling it “irresponsible” to do so before all of the absentee ballot votes and other ballots that were submitted outside of in-person votes were counted.
The Associated Press also called the race in Chris Jacobs favor, but McMurray said Jacobs’ victory speech was “irresponsible” and “premature.”
“It is not just premature, it would be irresponsible to declare victory as Mr. Jacobs has done,” McMurray said. “It would be equally irresponsible for me to claim defeat or submit, which I will not do until all the votes are counted.”
The district includes territory in eight counties and Boards of Elections can’t begin counting tens of thousands of absentee ballots until July 1, but McMurray would have to win around 72% of them to win.
Trump gave Jacobs a boost with an endorsement on Twitter, urging Republicans to turn out and vote for him. The president carried the district by about 25 points in 2016.
“Our declaration of victory was not in haste,” Jacobs campaign spokesman Christian Chase said. “We were and remain confident that the commanding lead Chris Jacobs amassed will be insurmountable to overcome. Every vote will be counted and the outcome will not change, which is a view we share with the Associated Press and every major news outlet has called this race for Chris Jacobs.”
In May Republicans Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin and Mike Garcia of California trounced their Democratic opponents in two key House special elections. Garcia won by a shocking 10-point margin over Democrat Christy Smith in the Los Angeles area’s 25th Congressional District. It was the first time since 1998 that a California Democratic seat had flipped back to a Republican.
Tom Tiffany also scored an impressive 14-point win in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District over Democratic rival Tricia Zunker.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel spoke with Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney on Thursday, citing the GOP’s special election wins to cast doubt on polls predicting a Trump wipeout in November.
“Stuart, you know better than I do, you know, these polls right now are not even significant,” McDaniel said. “One hundred fifty polls were done between now and the election in 2016 that showed Donald Trump losing, and the ultimate poll is Election Day.”
If you take a closer look at special elections across the country, you’ll find even more evidence for how just unreliable polls are these days.”
“Some things that are not being looked at are the special election that we just had in Wisconsin for Tom Tiffany, where the polls were showing him neck and neck, and he actually won by 14 points,” McDaniel said. “We had Chris Jacobs this week in NY-27 who defeated a candidate who in 2018 only lost by .3 points. Chris Jacobs won by 40 points, both of these candidates ran with President Trump, they did tele-town halls with President Trump and they are exceeding the polling. This is something we are seeing in special election after special election, six of which we have won since the midterms. All of those candidates were endorsed by President Trump.”
Pollsters claim they are recording a historic intensity of disapproval for Trump over any other U.S. president. Democrats could get a historic shock if they underestimate the intensity of his voters.