Democrats have reason for optimism despite a loss in a special election for a House seat in Arizona.
Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko is projected to win Tuesday's election over Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a physician, in Arizona's solidly red 8th District, according to NBC News. The GOP is expected to notch about a 5 percentage point win and avoid its second special election debacle in two months.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Lesko for her "big win," saying she will do a "great job" in Congress. He suggested media outlets were "silent" about the result because a Republican won, even though every major political news site covered the election.
That's about where the good news ends for Republicans. Democrats added to a string of special elections in which they easily outperformed recent results in red areas. Trump had won the Arizona district by more than 20 percentage points in 2016.
That buoys Democratic hopes of potentially flipping the dozens of GOP-held districts that either Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by a closer margin. The minority party aims to win 23 Republican-held House seats in November to take a majority in the chamber.
The result could also give more hope to Democrats ahead of a Senate election in Arizona in November. The party likely needs to win the seat currently held by outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake if it has any chance of winning a Senate majority. Democrats are defending 10 Senate seats in states Trump won in 2016, giving them a difficult path to a majority.
Even though Tipirneni came up short, her performance adds to a string of results in which Democrats outpaced their 2016 performance: