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Post-Roe special elections show potentially encouraging signs for Democrats

Democrats and nonpartisan analysts said they saw fresh signs for the party in power to be more optimistic about the midterms after a special election for the House in the wake of the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade. Republicans don’t need a wave to win the House, only a handful of seats, which is still very much in reach, analysts said. Falling gas prices, an uptick in Democratic enthusiasm and GOP candidates being pulled to the far right in their primaries have helped level the playing field, David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the Cook Political Report, said. Some observers and strategists warned not to overread what happened in these three places. But Democratic strategists working on House races say there’s reason for them to be optimistic.

Historically, first midterms have been difficult for the party of a new president, and many Republicans say believe this cycle will be no exception. Democrats worry about a bad night on Nov. 8 when the returns come in. The Roe decision — which wasn’t present in the run-up to past midterm elections — has appeared to generate energy among Democrats, party strategists and analysts said. The abortion issue seems durable and is helping them to turn out their voters at more impressive rates than Republicans in these special elections, analysts say. The elections since the Supreme Court decision indicate that the national environment might have improved for Democrats since the elections in Virginia and New Jersey last year.