HOORAY! We lost!!!
That is becoming the laughable mainstream media theme about many special elections since President Donald Trump's victory last November. We saw this happen in early March when Politico hailed Democrat performances in special elections despite the fact that there was no net change. The latest iteration of celebrating participation trophies, and likely to be repeated by MSM sources, comes by way of the May 26 edition of Vox in which Matthew Yglesias declared that the loss by the Democrat candidate in the congressional special election was beyond mere good news for the Democrats. In fact the Vox headline acclaimed that Republicans' win in last night's Montana election is great news for Democrats:
Greg Gianforte’s 7 percentage point win in the Montana special election keeps a seat in Republican hands, but fundamentally represents bad news for the GOP. The basic issue, as David Wasserman breaks down for the Cook Political Report, is that for prognostication purposes you don’t just want to know who wins or loses a special election — you want to know the margin.
Therefore the Participation Trophy award goes to.....the loser.
Montana is considerably redder than the average congressional district. According to Wasserman’s calculations, in an election where Democrats got 50 percent of the two-party vote nationwide, you’d expect them to get just 39 percent in Montana. Quist scored 44 percent, and with the Libertarian pulling in 6 percent, his share of the two-party vote is more like 46.
Things aren’t as simple as saying that Rob Quist outperformed the 39 percent benchmark and therefore Democrats are on track to win — geography means Republicans can hold their majority with less than 50 percent of the vote — but the GOP underperformed badly in Montana, after a similar underperformance in the special election for Kansas’s Forth Congressional District.
Another place where the Republicans actually won the election yet the Democrat is awarded the Participation Trophy Award "victory" by the MSM.
There are 120 Republican-held House seats that are more GOP-friendly than Montana’s at-large district. If Republicans are winning in places like Montana by just 7 percentage points, then they are in extreme peril of losing their House majority in November 2018.
Republican leaders have taken their party on a risky course, and they ought to strongly consider turning the ship around.
Please stop winning elections, Republicans, and concentrate on earning those Participation Trophy awards!
Yglesias concludes by warning Republicans they had better ditch their current winning strategy in order to win future elections:
The good news for Republicans is that the midterms are still a long way off. But unless they put that time to use by changing something about their current approach, they’re positioning themselves to reap the whirlwind.
The good news for Republicans is that the economy is continuing to improve which should mean more election victories no matter how many Participation Trophy banjo players the Democrats run in the future.