Republican operatives said privately that their party blew a chance to win the seat, and party leaders said they’ll have to study what went wrong.
“Tonight’s result was undoubtedly disappointing, but we will take the lessons learned from this campaign and move forward in preparation for November,” said Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Still,Democrats’ House special election winning streak is likely to come to an end Saturday, when voters in Hawaii fill the seat of former Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for governor.
Two Democrats are splitting their party’s vote in that liberal district, leaving Republican candidate Charles Djou ahead in the polls. That election is being conducted by mail.