After losing their second straight congressional election in 2017 and failing to win a runoff in a third, Democrats appear to be in complete disarray.

Republican Greg Gianforte, a Bozeman, Montana, businessman who allegedly assaulted a reporter the night before the Thursday election, easily dispatched his Democratic candidate, Rob Quist.

“The reasons [for losing] could include incompetence, weak candidates, or a mathematical limit to the appeal of trashing Trump.”

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The seat became open when Rep. Ryan Zinke left to become President Donald Trump’s secretary of the interior. An open seat in Kansas also went to Republicans in a race the media were eager to say was close. So far, electoral fallout from Trump’s presidency has been nonexistent.

It’s a sign that the Democrats are in disarray following their loss in the 2016 presidential election. Widely expected to win the White House and do well in Congress, the Democrats did neither on Nov. 8, 2016 — when voters stunned the world and elected Trump and many new Republican legislators.

After Gianforte’s Thursday win, there was a disappointment across Democratic and media precincts nationwide, especially after the media raised hopes Gianforte would lose after being cited for assaulting a reporter. And on Friday, there was anger: If only the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had done more to help Quist, some said.

Yet Democrats appear to be stuck in a post-2016 malaise, drifting at sea with the same tired strategies and policies that led to their historic rout in the Nov. 8 elections. Their most potent arms — opposition to all things Trump — are apparently not enough to dent Republican armor.

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Two other offensive measures failed on Thursday: the Democrats’ relentless pursuit of their Russian conspiracy theories, and their use of Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent socialist from Vermont, as a campaign surrogate for Quist.

In Montana, Gianforte beat Quist by roughly 7 percentage points. A Libertarian candidate drew 5.7 percent of the vote.

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Quist avoided taking on Trump directly, but national Democrats have been trying to engineer a nationwide environment in which Trump becomes toxic to the Republicans. The media also tried to use the American Health Care Act — the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare — against Gianforte.

It didn’t seem to work, although Gianforte was kept well under 55 percent of the vote. Republicans were quick to note on Friday morning that bashing Trump has not paid off in special elections for open congressional seats. The races are said by beltway pundits to signal which way the crucial 2018 midterm elections will go.

“Voters want to know what the candidate is for, not just what he or she is against,” said Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan administration official and CNN’s top surrogate for Trump. “The race in Montana was made by Democrats into a referendum on Trump, instead of issues like health care or jobs or foreign policy … Even with atrocious last-minute behavior by the GOP candidate in body-slamming [a reporter], the Democrats couldn’t pull out a win.”

Republican consultants told LifeZette on Friday that the Democrats’ wild anti-Trump efforts are not connecting with voters. And it’s not because of money. Despite the DCCC and Democratic National Committee getting a late start in the Montana race, Quist raised $3.26 million by May 5, with more coming in after that.

“Democrats need to explain why they keep losing winnable races with massive online fundraising advantages,” said Matt Mackowiak, a GOP consultant based in Austin, Texas. “The reasons could include incompetence, weak candidates, or a mathematical limit to the appeal of trashing Trump.”

Republican observers note that the Democratic message from Washington, D.C., has become stridently anti-Trump. The campaigns for the congressional seats that are opening up have tried to get on track, but they have failed to excite voters. The coordinated messages to voters seem skimpy on the issues, with a rich lather of anti-Trump rhetoric.

“Democrats are offering almost nothing of substance as a policy agenda,” said Mackowiak in an email to LifeZette. “And they have now wasted millions of dollars losing races … Trump often said we would get tired of winning. When will Democrats get tired of losing?”

On the other hand, Democrats may also be on the wrong side of many issues, to boot, something Democratic leadership in Washington seems loathe to admit. But one pundit said the issues are also a weak spot for Democrats.

“Voters are disillusioned with failed liberal policies that over the past eight years, under globalist President Obama, mainly served cronies and elites while hanging Middle America out to dry,” said Adriana Cohen, a columnist for, in an email to LifeZette. “Skyrocketing health care costs under Obamacare is one of many disastrous progressive policies that have slammed the middle class. As a result many voters, including blue-collar workers, trust President Trump and the GOP more than Democrats to create jobs, keep us safe and get our economy moving again. If this momentum continues, Democrats won’t be taking back Congress anytime soon.”

Republicans will next be tested on June 20, when a runoff election for former Rep. Tom Price’s Georgia seat will be held. Price also left Congress to join Trump’s Cabinet.

Lord said the Democrats have to start being “for” things rather than against Trump. With Democrats salivating for more investigations into Trump, Lord thinks it’s doubtful the Democrats will correct course.

“The easiest, cheapest gambit in American politics is to say no to ‘X’,” said Lord. “The fervent anti-Trumpism or, as I call it ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome,’ is a perfect example of this. In fact the ‘anti-X’ platform is usually never enough.”