Monday, November 05, 2018

Election Eve Final Predictions

1 Day Until Election Day

Below are the changes in classification I am making-


 All current Governors: 16 D, 1 I, 33 R

Alaska- Tossup (R)- change from Likely R
Connecticut- Leans D - change from Likely D
Nevada- Tossup (D)- change from Tossup (R)
New Hampshire- Leans R- change from Likely R
New York- Likely D- change from Safe D
South Dakota- Tossup (R)- change from Leans R
Vermont- Leans R- change from Likely R
Wisconsin- Tossup (D)- change from Leans D

24 D (7 holdovers, 2 Safe, 6 Likely, 4 Leans, 5 Tossup)
26 R (7 holdovers, 6 Safe, 5 Likely, 3 Leans, 5 Tossup)

Democrat net gain of 8
Republican net loss of 7 

Ten Tossups is truly a lot. The individual races this year are tougher to predict than ever. We simply do not know if there are fundamental problems with polling after a whole lot of wrong conventional wisdom on the Presidential race two years ago.

The main question of the election of course relates to turnout. Will Democrats have a huge turnout simply because this is the midterm of an unpopular Republican President? The reverse was certainly true in 2010 and 2014. The other option is that there is just something about midterms that means Republicans will outvote Democrats again. GOP turnout also seems energized.

The Gubernatorial "map" though is just bad for Republicans and the party simply picked the wrong nominees in a few primaries and that might cost them some of these races as candidates who ran as Trump acolytes in primaries will have had a hard time winning over enough swing voters.

Past cycles-
2006: 35-1 (97%)
2008: 10-1 (91%)
2010: 34-3 (92%)
2012: 9-2 (82%)
2014: 32-4 (89%)
2016: 9-3 (75%)

U.S. Senate

Current U.S. Senate: 49 D, 51 R

Nevada- Tossup (D)- change from Tossup (R)


47 D (23 holdovers, 15 Safe, 3 Likely, 3 Leans, 3 Tossup)
53 R (42 holdovers, 4 Safe, 1 Likely, 3 Leans, 3 Tossup)

Republican net gain of 2

I am making just one change, and again, I note the even distribution of Tossup races. There are several likely outcomes. The only one that would truly surprise me though is if Democrats win a majority outright. The Democrats could hold almost all their own and pick up two seats to net one. (And there may be some waiting for a Mississippi special election.)

It also would not surprise me if Republicans have an ever better night on the Senate side and pick as many as five seats.  This is due to a brutal map for Democrats in which they are defending seats in "red territory." Another important factor was the absolutely politically devastating way the left tried to defeat the nomination of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and how that energized Republican voters. Complete political malpractice. Since that episode has ended though, I think Trump's focus on divisive issues such as immigration is hurting Republicans more than helping in purple states.

Past cycles-
2006: 31-2 (94%)
2008: 34-1 (97%)
2010: 34-3 (92%)
2012: 28-5 (85%)
2014: 36-0 (100%)
2016: 31-3 (91%)

U.S. House


 1. Don Young R (Trump 51%) Tossup (R)- change from Leans R


13. Charlie Crist D (Clinton 49%) Likely D- change from Safe D
27. Open (Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R) (Clinton 58%) Leans D- change from Tossup (R)


6. Karen Handel R (Trump 48%) Tossup (R)- change from Leans R


6. Peter Roskam R (Clinton 49%) Tossup (D) - change from Tossup (R)
14. Randy Hultgren R (Trump 48%) Tossup (D)- change from Tossup (R)


4. Steve King R (Trump 60%) Leans R- change from Likely R


8. Mike Bishop R (Trump 50%) Tossup (D)- change from Tossup (R)


1.  Greg Gianforte R (Trump 56%) Tossup (R)- change from Leans R

Current: 195 D, 240 R
225 D (158 Safe, 33 Likely, 15 Leans, 19 Tossup)
210 R (97 Safe, 70 Likely, 26 Leans, 17 Tossup)

Democrat net gain of 30

The last two cycles, I was incredibly accurate in predicting House races, only missing single digit totals both times. This time, I expect to incur far more "losses" and there are many more Tossups than usual.

Democrats need to flip 23 seats to win control. It is not completely impossible that they fail (which would be complete and utter disaster for them), but that is highly, highly unlikely. 

My hunch, and that is basically all it is, is that Democrats are in better shape in the House than they were two weeks ago. The same factors which may have helped Republicans in the Senate map are perhaps helping Democrats in House races. I sense that while I have looked at this race by race and come up with 30, the actual Democrat pickup total may be closer to 40. I particularly hope to be wrong on the two Chicagoland races I have just changed. Perhaps, I am pre-determined to be overly pessimistic living in that media market.

Past cycles:
2006: 416-19 (96%)
2008: 418-17 (96%)
2010: 414-21 (95%)
2012: 415-20 (95%)
2014: 426-9 (98%)
2016: 429-6 (99%)

Past Cycles Grand Total:
2006: 482-22 (96%)
2008: 462-19 (96%)
2010: 482-27 (95%)
2012: 452-27 (94%)
2014: 494-13 (97%)
2016: 469-12 (98%)

In conclusion, voting is important, even if you are going to vote with zero enthusiasm as I will be doing tomorrow.

There are a plethora of races for federal, state, and local government on the ballot this year, for executive, legislative, and judicial offices.

For years, I was a proud Republican partisan who (minus some absolute extreme examples) always wanted the Republican to win. Under the Trump era, I cannot "root" for that, nor can I root for an opposition party I feel no connection with, such as today's Democrats.

I hope that the best candidate wins each race, based upon a combination of ideology, character, and competence. For me, that is still strongly likely to be Republicans, and on my ballot I will be voting thus tomorrow. However, there are definitely some Republicans around the country I hope lose tomorrow. May the best candidate win, whether they be Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

The Kavanaugh saga has reminded me that the Senate is very important, far more than the House this cycle, and thus, a result that has Republicans keeping the Senate (and thus advancing more conservative judges, which is basically the only enduring positive I can  see happening from the Trump years) would be a good thing. Race by race, I would want Republicans to keep the House as well, but I am pretty agnostic about the overall balance of power.

Needless to say, I have been very turned off by Trump being so involved in the final days of the midterm campaign and pushing his agenda of dishonesty and divisiveness. I try to look at the big picture though, and realize that one day DJT will be off the scene, and those who pledge loyalty to him now may be singing a completely different tune. 

Whomever is the next Speaker and whatever they propose is unlikely to get through a GOP Senate and can also of course be vetoed by Trump, provided he does not return himself to his Democrat roots (which would be welcomed in a sense by me in hoping to get the party back.)

The only thing that really may happen with a Democrat House is more investigation of the Trump Administration. If they overreach, they will pay the price at the next election (and yes, they will probably vote to impeach him, only to see it backfire on them, minus public support). If they do the oversight honestly, they may do a service to the country. If Trump and his ilk have done nothing wrong, there should not be anything to be afraid of. I can understand why they may be afraid though. At the very minimum, we can assure that Robert Mueller is able to conclude his investigation and provide the relevant information. Ultimately, it will be up to the American people to determine the future of the Trump Presidency, whether that comes in the 2020 election or before.

Come late December or early January, as always, I will itemize and explain each and every incorrect prediction.


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