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2018 Midterm Congressional Elections: 300 days of excitement

There are times when I miss the Objectivist Living stalwart "Adam Selene." I am definitely going to miss his wonkish, passionate opinions on the coming mid-terms. I put this blog entry up to have a place for OLers who are interested in tracking the campaigns, the shoddy and unconvincing polls, and the final night of returns.  With the disbanding of President Trump's "voter fraud" commission** we will have no executive guidance on where or how various states are vulnerable to rigging or other hinkiness.

In among the news-hoopla today, a few reports that stand out. This from The Week: A record-breaking 31 House Republicans won't seek re-election in 2018

A whopping 31 House Republicans will not be seeking re-election in November, NPR reports, including Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who announced his impending retirement from Congress on Wednesday. The 2018 GOP exodus is a new record: The last time there was such a massive departure from Congress was when 28 Democrats left in 1994, and Republicans subsequently seized control.

Most significantly, Republicans in states won by Hillary Clinton are leaving in droves. "Vulnerable House Republicans would clearly rather call it quits than stand for re-election with a deeply unpopular agenda hanging over their heads," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law told NPR.

[...]

Democrats would need to flip 24 seats to take back the House, with the Senate being more of a long shot; in the upper chamber, Democrats have to defend 25 seats and pick up an additional three in order to take back the majority. A Washington Post/ABC News poll from November found that hypothetical Democratic candidates are favored by voters against their Republican counterparts 51 percent to 40 percent.

One of my favourite election handicapping sites is Decision Desk HQ, a relatively-nonpartisan group of wonks and dweebs. Their DDHQ 2018 House Midterm Forecast is a good place to come up to speed on the challenges and excitement ahead.

The 2018 House Midterm Election is bound to be one of the more interesting in recent memory. With Donald Trump in the White House, infighting on both sides of Congress, and an American public that is bursting at the seams we have a recipe for a perfect political storm. Keep your eye on this page, which houses our forecasts for all 435 congressional districts, and stick with us as we attempt to answer the ultimate questions: who will win majority control of the US House of Representatives?

Here is an image from that page:

http://www.thecrosstab.com/data/forecast-2018/leafletmap/index.html [Guy keeps 'fixing' his blog layout. He now works for the Economist]
https://www.thecrosstab.com/project/2018-midterms-forecast/

Click on the image above to go to the fully interactive version of this image, where you can zoom in and examine each race's details and present-day forecasts. Eg, 

DecisionDeskDetail.png

-- another very good site is Ballotpedia. Here is a link to their comprehensive 2018 elections page.

___________________

** a welter of reports on the controversial commission and its end can be accessed here. Click the following for a snapshot ...

Spoiler
About 12,600 results (0.38 seconds) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Prediction:  surprise surprise!  

Countdown clock.



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Update on the remaining races in the US House to be decided ...

On 11/11/2018 at 1:17 PM, william.scherk said:

So, how is the final tally of House representative elections shaping up?

According to the 'live' results posted at 270towin.com, there are eight races not yet certified (or called by the networks).

The outgoing House:

Current 195 240

Now:

On 11/11/2018 at 1:17 PM, william.scherk said:
Total (Live) 232 199

Updated to reflect the four seats called for the Democrats.

On 11/11/2018 at 1:17 PM, william.scherk said:

Each of the remaining seats to be called:

Texas 23rd
Maine 2nd  ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
California 39th
California 45th ↗️ 🗳️ Democratic flip
California 10th ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
Utah 4th
New Jersey 3rd ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
Georgia 7th
   

 

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Quote
Total (Live) 233 200 

Updated House totals ...

Quote

Each of the remaining seats to be called:

Texas 23rd GOP incumbent win
Maine 2nd  ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
California 39th ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
California 45th ↗️ 🗳️ Democratic flip
California 10th ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
Utah 4th
New Jersey 3rd ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
Georgia 7th 
   

Utah 4th is the seat of incumbent Mia Love. The lead has changed a couple of times in the last week. At the moment, Love's Democratic opponent is just slightly ahead, 50.1% to 49.9%.

If you are willing to read an analysis from the Fake, here's an article titled, "How Trump-skeptical Republicans swung the 2018 midterms." A sample:

Quote

Suburban Never-Trump and Trump-skeptical Republicans aren’t a myth. And they vote.

GettyImages_1067120812.0.jpg

 

Never-Trumper and Trump-skeptical voters defied conventional wisdom last week: They mattered. Their numbers were small, but in tight races, suburbanite registered Republicans voted for Democrats over Republicans, helping to send them to Congress.

My colleague Ezra Klein wrote that the 2018 midterms marked the fall of the “not-quite Trumpers,” noting the loss of some of Trump’s biggest critics within the Republican Party and in Congress, like Sen. Jeff Flake (who retired) and Sen. Mark Sanford (who lost his primary). But Trump should remember that Never Trumpers and the Trump-skeptical — or as Henry Olsen called them in the Journal for American Greatness, “RINOS” (Republicans in name only) — still vote — and still matter.

As Olsen wrote, “The biggest reason Martha McSally lost is the same reason Republicans lost control of the House: RINOs. Across the nation, moderate college-educated independents who had frequently backed Republicans in prior elections switched sides.”

If he wants to win in 2020, Trump will need to win again in suburban areas in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and win with Trump-skeptical Republicans. The GOP’s problem in 2018 wasn’t just that Democrats came out motivated and in bigger numbers than in 2014. Their problem was that a small percentage of Republicans who don’t like Trump didn’t stay home — instead, they showed up, and they voted for Democrats.

The GOP may not want to acknowledge it. But if they want to win in 2020, they should.

Republicans helped flip a Senate seat to Democrats for the first time in 30 years

In races across the country, from Washington’s Eighth Congressional District (which had never sent a Democrat to the House before) to Virginia’s Seventh District, where the Tea Party captured one of its biggest wins in 2014, suburban districts with Republican tendencies went for Democrats in 2018 — with many conservatives clearly choosing Democrats over Republicans.

Take Arizona, for example, where Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema won 12 percent of Republican voters and 14 percent of those who consider themselves “conservative” — 1 percent more than what Hillary Clinton received in 2016 from the same group. And while those numbers may seem small, Sinema won her race by just over 35,000 votes. In a piece for Ricochet, conservative writer Jon Gabriel argued that Sinema’s victory over McSally, the Republican, was indeed due in part to frustrated conservatives, particularly moderates turned off by her later embrace of Trump (though ironically, McSally was accused of being a “Never Trump” Republican during the primary campaign.)

Gabriel's article is "5 Reasons Why Sinema Won Arizona - Ricochet." An excerpt:

Quote

[...] Many non-Arizonans wonder how decorated fighter pilot Martha McSally could have lost to a progressive-turned-moderate like Kyrsten Sinema. Excuses like “Trump lost the suburbs” and “Democrats cheat” miss the point. Instead, here are five local reasons this race turned out as it did.
McSally’s Prevent Defense

McSally is no stranger to razor-thin votes. She lost the 2012 congressional race by less than 2,500 votes and won the 2014 rematch by just 167. A major reason for this is her campaigning style.

The Pima County Republican is very cautious. Very cautious. Instead of barnstorming the map and mixing it up with all comers, she carefully issues press releases and attends controlled events. She wouldn’t even agree to a debate with Sinema for months and then only participated in one.

Her style is reminiscent of the much-derided “prevent defense” in the NFL. A football team wants to protect a lead, so they stop trying to score and merely attempt to prevent the other team from scoring. It backfires so often, it’s often parodied as the “prevent-you-from-winning defense.” It definitely backfired for McSally.
Negative Ad Burnout

Most Arizonans would agree that the 2018 Senate race was the most negative statewide campaign they had ever seen. Traditionally, candidates buy a mix of positive and negative ads, a proven strategy that Sinema held to. But McSally and the outside groups supporting her were nearly all-negative, all-the-time. Focusing on the Republican’s remarkable achievements in the military and also in politics would have gone a long way to define a woman few in the state knew much about. Sure, there were a few ads like that, but not nearly enough to match Sinema’s seeming optimism.

5 Reasons Why Sinema Won Arizona - Ricochet

[...]

The Senate count remains at 52 - 47 in favour of the GOP, with one seat in Mississippi going to a run-off on November 27th.  The two candidates will be holding a televised debate tonight! 

I think it likely that the Republican will take the seat, but there may be a wee bit of the Arizona-style excitement, since the candidate has had a couple of minor false steps that of course are being exploited by Them. And of course because the President has scheduled two campaign rallies for his favoured candidate.

hyde-smithConfederate.png

She looks cute as a button with her Confederate cap on.  My money is on her.  

This kind of stuff is also endearing: "Hyde-Smith Demanded No Audience, No Press for Tonight’s Debate."

 

Edited by william.scherk

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Updated yet again ... one California district  (CA-21) has in late-counted mail-in balloting moved from an actual WIN for the GOP candidate to a toss-up.  DecisionDeskHQ just 'un-called' the race.

On 11/20/2018 at 2:37 PM, william.scherk said:
Quote
Total (Live) 234 200 

Updated House totals ...

Quote

Each of the remaining seats to be called:

Texas 23rd GOP incumbent win
Maine 2nd  ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
California 39th ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
California 45th ↗️ 🗳️ Democratic flip
California 10th ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
Utah 4th ↗️ 🗳️ Democratic flip
New Jersey 3rd ↗️ 🗳️ Democrat flip
Georgia 7th  GOP incumbent win
California 21st 

If the 21st district stays in GOP hands, then the Democrats will have picked up 39 seats over their 2016 performance.

I mean, if any of those Democrats are actually seated.  QAnon fanatics are suggesting that deeply bad Democrats and RINOs will be disposed of in some way on December 5th.  In order to prevent them taking seats in January.  By the power of She-Ra, perhaps.

Mark that on your calendars, Objectivism-Friendly Peoples of Reason!

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Today is the run-off election in Mississipi's race for the last remaining Senate seat to be called. If this race can be described as having 'excitement,' that may come in betting whether the GOP candidate outpaces the Democrat by five or ten percent. I am splitting down the middle ... Cindy Hyde-Smith will win by 7.5 percent.  If I am wrong, oh well.

Meanwhile the final seat to be won in California's Congressional contests -- the 21st district -- is still undecided, although the Democratic candidate has pulled ahead.

[Correction:  the New Mexico 2nd district has apparently not yet had certified final tallies.  The race was called by almost every outlet that calls races (projecting a winner). But, the Democratic edge many not hold.  Excitements!]

 

Edited by william.scherk

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As Q (and about seven thousand prognosticators) suggested, the final 2018 Senate results are 53 to 47.

23 hours ago, william.scherk said:

If this race can be described as having 'excitement,' that may come in betting whether the GOP candidate outpaces the Democrat by five or ten percent. I am splitting down the middle ... Cindy Hyde-Smith will win by 7.5 percent.  If I am wrong, oh well.

I am wrong.  She beat the Espy by 8 percent, roughly. 

Edited by william.scherk

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Update  ...

On 11/21/2018 at 6:00 PM, william.scherk said:

If the 21st district stays in GOP hands, then the Democrats will have picked up 39 seats over their 2016 performance.

Well, happily for some, sadly for others, the 21st California House district has been declared for the Democratic candidate. A 'come from behind' win ...

This count means the Democratic party increased its seats over 2016 by 40.  The house will be balanced 235 to 200.

On 11/21/2018 at 6:00 PM, william.scherk said:

I mean, if any of those Democrats are actually seated.  QAnon fanatics are suggesting that deeply bad Democrats and RINOs will be disposed of in some way on December 5th.  In order to prevent them taking seats in January.  By the power of She-Ra, perhaps.

Of course, we are told that QAnon has to salt the crumbs with false information. Where that leaves the corps of interpreters, I do not know. 

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A House of Representatives seat in North Carolina was "called" by AP and everybody else. The seat is the 9th Congressional district.  The presumed winner was the GOP candidate, Mark Harris.

In the last three days, scandal has arisen over the mechanics of voting-by-mail in one particular county in the district.  The state board of elections thus will not certify the victory of Harris until an investigation is closed.  This could mean that Harris's win will be certified. It could also mean that the race is judged 'tainted' and a new election will be necessary. 

The best reporting is the local reporting. I give two links, the second of which offers fine-grained analysis.

NC board again declines to certify Mark Harris victory as mail-in ballots questioned

Updated: NC's Closest Congressional Contest Gets a Last Minute Surprise

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I will shortly be closing this thread, as the days of excitement are long past ... but before I do that, one funny video. Bear in mind that there are 10 months and 22 days until the Iowa caucuses. Forty-six weeks and six days before the results are known in the first electoral sounding of 2020. Three hundred and twenty-eight days.  

The fun begins ...

 

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This thread is now closed to further comments. I will put up a fresh 300 Days of Excitement topic here at Friends and Foes to begin what will be a long trudge towards the first caucus in early February 2020, with the ultimate prize being given in Milwaukee July 13-16. I'll be thinking of Adam Selene at many places along the trudge.

Fiserv-Forum-at-Night.jpg

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