However, the bad news is that special elections are not necessarily predictive. And in politics, what is supposed to happen tends to happen. That means Republicans will have to fight against the powerful tide of history that propels the president's party to experience an average loss of 26 seats in the House of Representatives and 2.5 seats in the Senate in midterm elections.
Specifically, according to Gallup, "Since 1946, when presidents are above 50 percent approval, their party loses an average of 14 seats in the U.S. House in the midterm elections, compared with an average loss of 36 seats when presidents are below that mark." Remember, Republicans only have 46- and 2-seat majorities in the House and Senate respectively and President Trump's approval rating is hovering just below 40 percent.
And yet, the Democrats appear lost and without a message - uncertain of who is leading their party - while Republicans continue to score important victories in elections and, believe it or not, make progress in implementing a Republican agenda.
Democrats' confidence was high going into the Georgia election, but their optimism was no match for the GOP's stellar operation online, in the field and on the air. In particular, Republican campaign management proved extremely effective in developing plans to target "reluctant" voters and keep those who were committed to supporting the GOP engaged throughout the special elections.
As executive director of the American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), Corry Bliss spearheaded a $10 million assault in the four major special elections. His emphasis on ground-game engagement resulted in the CLF knocking on nearly 500,000 doors, sending more than 1 million pieces of mail and making over 500,000 phone calls.
In Georgia, specifically, the CLF "identified 75,000 low propensity Republican voters, including 38,000 Republicans who skipped the April 18 primary election. . . . [as well as a] universe of 23,000 regular GOP early voters to ensure summer vacation did not prevent them from voting in the runoff." Jon Ossoff received an influx of cash from the usual Hollywood and liberal elites, but it was not enough to overcome the CLF's ground game that won this race for Karen Handel and the Republican Party.
Bliss seems to have a Lee Atwater-esque focus and certainty about America's disposition and mood. He knows a candidate's limits and can feel what motivates voters.
In the race for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, the mechanics of the ground game were not all that mattered. There was a steady dose of motivation in the form of advertisements that featured House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who serves as a constant living motivator for Republicans to go vote.
Every election cycle is different, but Bliss realizes that the era of campaigns saving cash and launching three- or four-week advertising blitzes is no longer applicable.
Voters are so cynical and suspicious of what they hear in campaigns and from politicians in general that it takes longer to persuade them to support a candidate. Therefore, all aspects of campaigning need to begin earlier.
Conventionally, a campaign's success is often determined by a candidate's advertising dollars, social media presence and virtual community of online supporters. But the Republican machine's emphasis on bootstrapped door-knocking, yard signs and phone-banking in the recent special elections seems to be experiencing a quasi-renaissance under Bliss's direction. And by any measure, it is working.
For their part, Democrats are doing enough to help Republicans maintain the majority in 2018. They continue to identify with the Wall Street billionaire class and pride themselves on sanctimoniously supporting the poor while neglecting the working class. Their anti-business biases only serve to kill growth and job opportunities for low- to middle-income working people.
Democrats and their allies in the media will continue to shout that Republicans are destined to fail in the age of Trump, but they have no message to rally voters' support. And simply being anti-Trump is probably going to be insufficient. Just look at how that worked for Hillary Clinton - or any of the four Democrats who lost in special elections this year.
The GOP's 4-0 record suggests Republicans are not only prepared to control their destiny in the age of Trump but to outpace the Democrats in today's campaigns. For good reason, that is what should keep Democratic strategists up at night.