Democrats experienced two significant victories on Tuesday, which bolstered their prospects as they approach the upcoming election year in 2024.
During the same day, Donna Deegan emerged victorious in the mayoral election in Jacksonville, Florida. Notably, she became the first female mayor in the city’s history, despite being considered the underdog in the race. Deegan managed to secure 52 percent of the vote, surpassing Republican candidate Daniel Davis. Despite Davis’s extensive fundraising efforts and the support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Deegan prevailed.
Although Democrats have faced difficulties in recent elections in Florida, Deegan’s recent triumph contradicts the notion that the state is entirely dominated by Republicans.
In addition to their success in Jacksonville, Democrats achieved another notable victory by winning a special election in Pennsylvania. This win enabled them to secure the 102 seats required for control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. However, it’s important to note that the State Senate continues to be predominantly Republican.
In the Philadelphia suburbs, Democrat Heather Boyd emerged triumphant over Republican Katie Ford. Boyd’s election filled the vacant seat left by Rep. Mike Zabel, who resigned in March amidst allegations of sexual harassment. Notably, Boyd’s district was traditionally Republican but experienced a shift during the Trump administration, ultimately favoring the Democratic Party.
According to Robert Speel, a political science professor at Penn State Behrend, the recent elections indicate that Republicans may encounter ongoing challenges in garnering support from urban areas. Furthermore, Speel suggests that this trend of Democrats outperforming expectations, even in traditionally Republican regions, could extend beyond the year 2022.