How the Resistance to President Trump Is About to Be Tested Soon

March 26th 2017

Mike Rothschild

Last month, ATTN: spotlighted special elections in Delaware and Connecticut, both of which solidified Democratic majorities in those state legislatures.

Now, it's time to prepare for special elections at the national level.

Because of the 2016 election, five seats opened up in the House of Representatives, and over the next few months, both parties plan to pour considerable resources into these races, with Democrats seeking to turn resistance to the Trump agenda into victories at the polls.

Here's a guide to 2017's special elections, in the order of when the election is taking place.

Kansas 4th District - April 11

This was the district held by Kansas Republican Mike Pompeo, who became Trump's CIA director.

There was no primary election as the candidates were both chosen at party nomination conventions. Since there are twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats in the district, and Pompeo won by 30 points in 2016, and 34 in 2014, the seat is regarded as safe for Republicans.

Fighting for the seat are Republican Ron Estes, currently the Kansas state treasurer; and Democrat James Thompson, a civil rights lawyer. According to local news sources, the election has been plagued by the changing locations of polling sites, and by taking place during Catholic Holy Week, it will likely see even lower turnout than most special elections.

Georgia 6th District - April 18

ATTN: has previously written about the bitterly contested election to fill Tom Price's seat representing the Atlanta suburbs. While Price carried the seat by 23 points in 2016, Trump only won it by one point. This has made Democrats feel like they have an opening because of the state's "jungle primary" rules that ensure a runoff election unless one candidate hits 50 percent +1 of the vote. In a jungle primary, candidates from both parties face-off, with the top two vote-getters moving on to the final round.

The election features 11 Republican contenders, while Democratic support has coalesced around 30-year-old former national security staffer Jon Ossoff. The Democrat has raised several million dollars and been endorsed by party luminaries like civil rights crusader Rep. John Lewis. The fragmented Republican field has given Ossoff the lead in polling, with over 40 percent, and rising. As such, Republican PACs have released ads attacking Ossoff's inexperience and college shenanigans, specifically him dressing up like Han Solo.

If Ossoff doesn't win outright, the runoff would be June 20, with the Republican likely being the favorite.

Montana At-Large Seat, May 25

When Ryan Zinke left the House to become Secretary of the Interior, he left Montana's only seat vacant. While Zinke won two elections by at least 14 points, there are some wrinkles that give Democratic candidate Rob Quist, a musician and rancher, some hope of a flip.

For one, state election officials haven't decided if the vote will be all vote-by-mail. As local station KPAX reports, the state GOP fears demographic shifts, and wants a more traditional election, with the state GOP chair warning that such a vote "could be the death of our effort to make Montana a reliably Republican state." Lawmakers have until April 10 to decide.

Another twist is that while Montana has gone Republican in every presidential race since 1996, the state has a Democratic governor, and according to political analyst Eric Ostermeier, "Democrats have won 55 percent of statewide elections in Montana over the last quarter-century. "

The Republican candidate is businessman Greg Gianforte, and the Hill reports that the GOP is already pouring PAC money into ads supporting him.

California 34th - April 4, 2017

Rep. Xavier Becerra vacated this seat when he was chosen to fill the position of California Attorney General.

California's "top-two" primary virtually guarantees that two Democrats will be facing off for this heavily blue area of Los Angeles. The LA Times reports that two dozen candidates have declared for the April primary, with the top two winners going to the runoff on June 6. State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez is winning the only poll that's been taken so far.

South Carolina 5th - May 2, 2017

New Office of Budget and Management head Mick Mulvaney's vacated seat is a virtual lock for Republicans to keep.

He won the last two elections by 20 points, and there are seven Republicans competing in the state's jungle primary, with just three Democrats. No clear favorite has emerged, and if nobody wins 50 percent +1 of the vote, the primary runoff between the top two in each party will be May 16. The general will be on June 20.

Alabama Senate - November 6, 2018

The Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was named Attorney General will be decided in a special election in 2018, two years ahead of when Sessions would have faced re-election. The primary will be June 5, and the only candidate to declare so far is the seat's current holder, Luther Strange, who was appointed to temporarily hold the seat in February.

Sessions ran unopposed in 2014.