I don’t want to throw cold water on Conor Lamb’s apparent victory tonight, but I do want to point out one little thing: when a congressional seat opens up and there’s no longer an incumbent, that can produce a 10-point swing all by itself. Back when Democrats still ran candidates in the Pennsylvania 18th district, Tim Murphy typically won with about 63 percent of the vote. This means that a non-incumbent Republican could probably expect about 55 percent of the vote or less.
So everyone should probably ignore the “20-point swing” nonsense that cable news has been regurgitating endlessly. It’s really more like a 10-point swing in favor of the Democrats. That’s pretty good, especially since they got outspent 4-to-1, but it’s still not 20 points. Let’s all stay reality-based here.