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What’s so special about special elections?

Political Theater, Episode 213

The partisan balance is very close in the House this Congress, making special elections and their timing even more important.
The partisan balance is very close in the House this Congress, making special elections and their timing even more important. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Every campaign cycle has its share of House special elections, and this year has been no exception.

Sometimes members of Congress get picked to serve in the administration, creating a vacancy. Sometimes people leave for the private sector. Sometimes people die. That’s led to a total of seven vacancies in a closely divided House so far this year.

And the special election campaigns allow the parties to get involved, to test messages and for different power brokers to exercise influence — or at least try, like the campaign committees and former presidents such as Donald Trump. CQ Roll Call politics editor Herb Jackson and Inside Elections reporter and analyst Jacob Rubashkin join us on Political Theater to help take stock of where we are in this special time and to divine the special lessons we can learn.  

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