For months now (maybe a year) the media has been telling us that this election will be a wipeout for GOP as they get buried under a blue wave. And they’re never wrong are they? We also have conventional wisdom telling us that the party of the President normally loses mid term elections. But ever since Trump announced his presidential bid in 2015, conventional wisdom has been stood on it’s head. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a political force of nature we have never seen in our lifetime. So attempting to use history as a guide is pretty futile. Besides, how did that work out for the left in 2016? If they were right we would be debating what the mid-terms mean for President Hillary Clinton. Thank God we’re not.
So where do we stand on election day? Trump has been barnstorming the country to keep the Senate and House in Republican hands. His approval rating in Rasmussen is 51% and has been pretty close to that the last couple of weeks. That’s a pretty good number heading into a mid term election. The generic polling has Democrats around the +7 margin. A decent margin but not the spread that would portend a major wave election like we saw in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Early voting has favored Republicans which is rare and a good sign.
But there are several unknown questions heading into Tuesday:
- How accurate are the polls? Is there still a hidden Trump factor caused by folks fearful of admitting they approve of Trump and are voting Republican. I think this is a very real possibility seeing as how radical leftists have hounded people at restaurants and democrat politicians have called for it to continue.
- What is Trump’s (and the Republican party’s) standing in the black and Hispanic community? I have seen polls giving Trump anywhere from 20% to 35% popularity among blacks. If this were to manifest itself on election day then the Democrats are in trouble.
- Will Trump’s popularity transfer itself to the congressional races?
- Despite the unbelievably good economic numbers, will voters get complacent and not vote? Trump has worked incredibly hard to make sure this does not happen. His rallies are not only a touting of his (and the Republicans) accomplishments but a warning that if the Democrats regain control it will all end. It’s an effective strategy (and the left is upset by it because this is what they normally do).
- What effect will the Kavanaugh hearing have? It’s hard to believe that the confirmation vote was less than a month ago. It seems like a lot longer than that.
- Will voters reward or punish the left for their non-ending accusations of racism and Nazism towards Trump and his supporters?
So let’s take a peak at the polling numbers, assuming they are close to accurate. Looking at the House, it is really, really close. The retirement of 45 Republicans really puts the GOP in a challenging position. If you go by the realclearpolitics polls, currently the Democrats are likely to win 202 seats to 196 for the Republicans. That leaves 37 toss up seats. And a look at some of the races show just how close it is:
NJ3 – R + 1
NV4 – D + 2
PA1 – R + 1
VA5 – D + 1
FL26 – D + 1
NC9 – R + 1
VT4 – Tie
FL15 – Tie
And that’s just a sampling. So you can see how close it is. If you take out the 4 ties and give the seat to the party that is currently ahead, no matter how small the margin, you come up with 219-212 for the Democrats. Assuming you split the ties then 221-214. That’s a pretty razor thin margin considering it could go either way. Definitely not a blue wave. We’re also trusting the polls to be accurate which is problematic as cited above. Since I am not Michael Barone and cannot analyze elections down to the street level (as it seems he can do!), my prediction will be based more on instinct and doing the opposite of conventional wisdom (which so far has worked out pretty good in the Age of Trump). So I predict the GOP holds the House at 219-216.
Over in the Senate I don’t see any scenario where the Democrats regain control. They will be very fortunate if they don’t find themselves further in the minority. They have 26 seats to defend as opposed to 9 for the GOP. Again from real clear politics, the current projection has 50 for the GOP to 44 for the Democrats and 6 tossup races. Let’s look at those (note: incumbent indicated by **):
Arizona – McNally (R) vs. Sinema (D), open seat. Polls are all over the place from McNally + 7 to Sinema + 4! I think McNally will win narrowly and keep Arizona red. Why would anyone vote for someone who insults their states own voters?
Florida – Scott (R) vs ** Nelson (D). Very close race. Last poll had Scott up by 1 but previous polls had Nelson up slightly. A nail-biter but I’ll go with Scott.
Indiana – Braun (R) vs. ** Donnelly (D). The last poll had Donnelly up by 7 but that was before his racial comments during a debate. That may hurt him but he’ll probably survive and win. If he was a Republican he’d be toast by now.
Missouri – Hawley (R) vs. ** McCaskill (D). A dead tie. Not sure how since McCaskill is lying like crazy about being a border hawk. I predict Hawley will pull this out. She deserves to lose.
Montana – Rosendale (R) vs. ** Tester (D). Tester looks to win this with a current lead of 3 and no poll has shown Rosendale ahead in the last month.
Nevada – ** Heller (R) vs. Rosen (D). This one is a little close for comfort as it could flip blue. But the last poll had Heller up 3. I think he squeaks through.
That would keep the Republicans in control at 54-46. I’ll stick with that but I would not be surprised at an upset on either end that would make it 55-45 or 53-47. Manchin and Menendez are both hanging by a thread but in the end both will probably be re-elected. Manchin may have saved himself with his confirmation vote for Kavanaugh.
One prediction I am 100% confident of though: no matter the outcome, the radical left will still be filled with rage, even if they win the House. Because Trump would still be in the White House and even if the House voted for impeachment, it will go nowhere in the Senate. And if they did win the House it would give Trump a welcome target to hammer them with for the next two years. And believe me he would. They are stuck with Trump until at least 2020 and probably until 2024. Weeping, nashing of teeth and tweeting will continue.
I won’t say that this is the most important election in our lifetimes. I believe 2016 was. But it is critical to keep the Republicans in control so the Trump agenda of Making America First can continue. Let’s get out and VOTE!