9 Thoughts After the Arizona 8 Special Election

April 25, 2018 · 12:28 AM EDT

By Nathan L. Gonzales and Leah Askarinam 

The Associated Press declared Republican Debbie Lesko the winner in Arizona’s 8th District special election.

It’s late. Let’s do this with bullet points.

  • The House majority was in play before the Arizona results and the House majority is in play after the Arizona results.

  • Nearly two months ago, we moved the special election for Arizona’s 8th District out of Solid Republican. Seems like the right move. 

  • The next special election is on Aug. 7 in Ohio’s 12th District, where President Donald Trump won by about 11 points. He carried Arizona’s 8th by more than 20 points. 

  • Republicans always have an excuse for every special election result. But the bottom line is that we would not be talking about Arizona’s 8th District tonight if Hillary Clinton had won the '16 election. While each race has some individual circumstances, President Trump is the common denominator for Republicans either losing special elections or making them closer than they needed to be.

  • It should not be forgotten that there will be an additional woman in the House of Representatives with Lesko, bringing the total to 84 women out of 435 seats, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. So it's...progress.

  • Arizona 8 is a good example of why GOP congressional candidates' fundraising will be so important this cycle -- national groups can't bail out every district as red as this one this fall in this political environment.

  • Democratic nominee Hiral Tipirneni was never talked up as extraordinary the way Conor Lamb was in Pennsylvania’s 18th, even though the idea that Lamb was an extraordinary candidate is questionable to begin with. He benefited from a contrast with Rick Saccone.

  • Tipirneni ran a general election campaign as a moderate Democrat from the start, even when she had a progressive primary opponent.

  • A close race in Arizona’s 8th and Pennsylvania’s 18th are both more revealing than Doug Jones' win in Alabama, because the GOP nominees didn’t have the same baggage as Roy Moore.