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September 13, 2017

In special elections on Tuesday, Democrats in Oklahoma and New Hampshire won state legislative seats vacated by Republicans in districts President Trump won by double digits. In New Hampshire, Democratic small-business owner Charles St. Clair beat Republican Steve Whalley, 55 percent to 45 percent, for a state House seat that Trump won by 19 points last November. Democrats last held the seat in 2012, and Republicans had a 12-point party registration advantage. In Oklahoma, meanwhile, Democratic school teacher Jacob Rosecrants beat Republican Darin Chambers, 60 percent to 40 percent, in state House District 46, a district Trump won by 11 points and where Republicans have nearly 3,000 more registered voters.

Republicans still control the state legislatures in New Hampshire and Oklahoma, but Democrats celebrated the upsets, especially after falling just short in a heavily red Oklahoma district in May.

Democrats narrowly lost hard-fought national House special elections this year in conservative districts in Montana, Georgia, and Kansas, but they have fared much better at the state level. Before Tuesday night's flips, the Democrats picked up a GOP state House and Senate seat in Oklahoma in July, and another House seat in New Hampshire and a New York State Assembly seat in May. Republicans have picked up just one state seat this year, in a Louisiana district that swung so hard to the right that no Democrats ran. Peter Weber