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2018 House Watch: Nothing is Settled and the GOP Could Still Win

2018 House Watch: Nothing is Settled and the GOP Could Still Win

“The big question right now, however, is enthusiasm.”

According to conventional wisdom, Democrats are going to win the House of Representatives next week. Historically, the party that controls the White House loses control of Congress in the midterms. But these are not conventional times and anything could happen.

Democrats and their friends in media have been essentially wish-casting about a ‘blue wave’ for months. A Democrat talks about it, then the media reports on it and more Democrats talk about it. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

In reality, know one knows what’s going to happen on election day. Even in blue California, the unofficial home of the so-called resistance, there is fierce competition.

John Wildermuth reports at the San Francisco Chronicle:

In key California House races, Republicans are turning out early and big

With the midterm elections just days away, there’s little indication that California is seeing a “blue wave” of Democratic votes, at least in the early returns of vote-by-mail ballots — and in some key races that will help determine control of the House, Republican voter response has been strong.

There are still a lot more ballots to come in, cautioned Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., which supplies voter information to a variety of political campaigns. But so far, according to a mail ballot tracker he runs, Republican votes are keeping pace with the number of Democratic ballots.

“Looking at the comparable numbers, the statewide mail ballot returns at this point are running about 40 percent higher than the primary, 1.7 million to 1.2 million,” he said…

But the boost might not be helping Democrats. In the Walters vs. Porter race, for example, Democrats made up 31 percent of those who received mail ballots, while Republicans made up 37 percent. As of Monday, however, the total number of ballots coming back favored Republicans, 45 percent to 31 percent.

Think back to the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. People on the right showed up to vote. Do you really believe they see this midterm as less important than the last two? It’s likely that they see this election as more important than the last two. In other words, there is every reason to believe the same coalition of conservative, Republican and Tea Party voters show up on Tuesday.

If the left can’t match them in turnout, Republicans definitely have a chance to hold the House. A new report from Julia Manchester of The Hill suggests turnout won’t be much different than previous years:

Pollster says midterm turnout will not be that different from past years

Pollster Dan Cox said that November’s midterm elections will likely not be that different from past midterms in terms of turnout in an interview that aired Tuesday on “What America’s Thinking.”

“I think if you look at the typical midterm demographics, this one may be a little bit different where you see the groups that don’t historically turnout in midterm elections, people of color, young people, Independents may see a little bit higher rates,” Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha.

“But I think historically this is not going to be that anomalous from previous midterm elections.”

If that’s true, it’s very good news for Republicans.

Sean Trende notes one of the defining factors is enthusiasm. He writes at the American Enterprise Institute:

Can Republicans hold the House?

Roughly a month before the election, the battle for control of the House is still in flux. Democrats retain a clear path to the majority, and have an overall edge. At the same time, there remain plausible pathways for Republicans to hold the majority. Making matters even more interesting, there are factors that point toward a wide range of potential outcomes.

The “fundamentals” for Republicans are not as bad as one would expect, given the national environment. The president’s job approval in the RCP Average is hovering between 43 and 44 percent. While this is not good, it is much better than it was during the “thumpin’” the GOP received in 2006, when the Republicans lost 30 seats while the president endured a 37 percent job approval…

The big question right now, however, is enthusiasm. For much of the past year, Democratic enthusiasm has outstripped that of the GOP. This has resulted in a number of nail-biting finishes for Republicans that never should have been single digit races. But with the Kavanaugh confirmation battle, that edge seems to have diminished; the most recent NPR poll shows the parties roughly even in terms of enthusiasm.

If you place more faith in polls, there is hope there as well. Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal tweeted this fascinating shift yesterday:

If there really was a blue wave, wouldn’t it be apparent by now? Nothing is certain. Keep calm, carry on and vote.


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Pray and vote!
Absolutely, we can still win!

I am in my 60’s. I was brought up in a household where my parents included the children in adult discussions about the world and current affairs. I have been politically involved since before I could vote. I have moved from liberal/libertarian to wholly conservative as I have aged and become more aware of the realities of the world.

This is the most important mid-term of my life. VOTE!

Just looking at the map of blue/red states makes me see that almost all trouble in the US comes from blue areas. If you take them out of the picture you have the US as it was in the ’50’s. I know that we will never go back but this vote coming up is the last chance we will have to see progress towards a more American future instead of the global mess that the left wants. VOTE!

The averages are being skewed by the inclusion of ridiculous outlier polls; polls that are sometimes 10 points off of the current average.

– in the FL race, RCP has one poll that’s Dem +8 when the average is maybe Dem +2.

– in the MT race, RCP has one poll at Dem +9 when the average is closer to Dem +2.

– in the MI race, there’s one poll that’s 10 points outside the average (again, favoring the Dems).

Then there’s all the House races that have been mis-categorized. It must be true because races that were previously in the “likely” category with ZERO POLLS suddenly shift to “tossup” upon the first poll being published. That’s a shift of two whole categories!

The polls and averages are mostly crap, and we won’t know the reality until the elections are over. Just take a lot of screencaps of the RCP prediction pages (Fivethirtyeight, too) so we can mock them when this is over.

Love the smell of managed expectations in the morning.

I’ve already voted. Any person on the right who doesn’t vote really has no business mouthing off if the Dems take back the House.

The Democrats, in their current insanity, can not be allowed to take either chamber in Congress.

I’d like to think losing this midterm will shake them up and finally get them to stop embracing the loony left but it’s now obvious that the cancer that is leftism has finally taken over the Democrat party. The Democrat party of JFK is dead.

In 2018 we should start calling the party the Commiecrat party as that is essentially what they are.

    Milhouse in reply to Blueshot. | October 31, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve already voted. Any person on the right who doesn’t vote really has no business mouthing off if the Dems take back the House.

    It depends where they live. I will be voting, but it really makes no difference whether I do or not. There is no chance at all of a Republican victory in this CD; the only question is whether my communist representative will get 75% or 80%. I will vote against her because it will make me feel good, not because it will do any good. So if for some reason I don’t end up voting, I will still have the same business mouthing off if the House goes D.

      Blueshot in reply to Milhouse. | October 31, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      Allow me to revise and extend my remarks:

      I’ve already voted. Any person on the right, who lives in a district where it is possible for the GOP to win, and doesn’t vote really has no business mouthing off if the Dems take back the House. If you live in a district with zero chance of the GOP winning it’s okay.

      (I always forget about the guys who don’t live in areas that the GOP can win.)


        I live in WA – Cantwell is up for re-election. I still voted for Susan Hutchison (R), and all the other R’s on the ballot. My prayer? Enough Dems sleep through 11/6 together with enough resolute and pissed off R’s to pull off a real shocker. Susan is well known and loved, a real class act. So glad she stepped up to run.

The RCP issue is the same as it always has been, namely bad polls are in the mix. By bad I mean polls with skewed Party ID samples and/or other skews like geography. If you overpoll either way the poll itself becomes invalid.

For polls in general they have major problems with lack of responses, especially by the Right where a large and growing percentage do not speak to pollsters. Trump voters likewise have a large percentage who do not speak to pollsters.

So, the best course is to treat things like there are no polls. Go vote.

    I suspect the more accurate polls are those that measure the ratings of things like CNN, MSNBC, NFL, Oscars, Acadamy Awards, Roseanne/Connners, Las Man Standing, Michael Moore’s last movie, et al. The one consistent message in all of it is that people are tired of Liberal BS.

    Speaking for myself, if I did receive a poll inquiry, I’d lie to the poll-taker about my voting intentions. Why? Crazed liberal mobs, doxxing, etc. I’m hoping I am not alone in that – refusing to engage the crazies except on 11/6 when I hope there will be a red rip-tide and carry all of them out to sea and drown ’em.

Historically, the party that controls the White House loses control of Congress in the midterms.

ENOUGH with this revisionist claptrap. History does indeed hint at what happens. What happens is that DEMOCRATS lose the House after voters realize what a putz their new Democrat President really is.

The overall situation is . . .

. . . from Herbert Hoover to 1995, the Ds controlled the House, with the exception of only two Congresses (one Truman, one Eisenhower).

From the middle of Billy Jeff’s first term, the Rs have controlled the House, with the exception of only two Congresses (last George W, first Obama).

The big losses were . . .

Eisenhower – first term, second Congress – Rs lose 18 Representatives and lose control of the House for the next 40 years

LBJ – end of last term – Ds lose 48, but retain control of House

Ford – end of term – Rs lose 48, no change in control of House

Billy Jeff – first term, second Congress – Ds lose 54 and lose control of House

Bush 2 – second term, second Congress – Rs lose 32, lose control of House. This begins the only post-1995 interval (a brief one, lasting two Congresses) of D’rat control of the House. Note that this R loss was not of the second Congress in W’s first term.

Obama – first term, second Congress – Ds lose 64, lose control of House

The pattern of big losses, enough to swing the House, in the middle of a President’s first term only happened with Eisenhower (loss of 18), Billy Jeff (loss of 54), and Obama (loss of 64).

A hallmark of the modern Democrat is sensitivity to patterns which don’t actually exist. Very much like their perpetual visions of “racist” dog-whistles.

Subotai Bahadur | October 31, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Vote, definitely. Pray if that is your inclination. However, for after the vote, be ready for violence. The Democrats and their street thugs will be attacking people in celebration if they win, and in rage if they lose. They are no longer our countrymen.

Polls do not count in the final vote tally. Cast your vote and ignore the pre-fight bluster.

The Black, and Hispanic vote, except for the minority voters that are bribed with a sandwich, a shot, and a ride to the polls, are not going to be energized to vote for democrat candidates. Republicans are super-energized this year. The reason the party in office typically does not do so well is that it’s supporters do not see a huge contrast between a republican congress and a democrat one. That’s not true this year. And in previous years the democrat candidate was not a complete loony, crazy, openly avowed socialist.

I think this will go down as a historic reversal of the norm. The common wisdom, at least in Florida, has always been that the early votes numbers favor democrats, and Republicans cast more votes on election day. After all we are traditionalist. Well this election season, Republicans are voting in higher numbers in the early vote, and we will also win the election day vote. I am not worried beyond the normal concern that the democrats will commit their usual Voter Fraud, but I don’t think it’s going to matter. We are going to enjoy the same show on NOV 6th this year, like we did in 2016. Have fun, stay safe.

Local elections have consequences also. Be sure and vote even on county issues. Liberalism roots are deep.

From New Hampshire, a district thought to be in the Democrat column.
“It’s not just the Emerson College poll that indicates something’s going on in the 1st Congressional District U.S. House race. It’s the influx of Democratic money as well. On Monday, the House Majority PAC, which is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure super PAC with close ties to U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, dropped $678,000 to air an attack ad hitting Republican Eddie Edwards on health care. More than $523,000 was spent on WMUR, according to public documents on file with the Federal Election Commission. The rest went to the Boston market and cable television, the PAC said. The ad was worn like a badge of honor by the Edwards camp in its intensifying battle with Democrat Chris Pappas. “The fact is that national Democrats are terrified. If this race were not close, they would not be spending over a half million dollars in a last-ditch ad that outright lies about Eddie’s position on these important issues,” said Edwards campaign consultant Derek Dufresne. And the Wednesday, an Emerson College poll could have shown why the House Majority PAC decided to spend big to help Pappas. The poll showed Edwards, with 46 percent, in a virtual dead heat with Pappas, at 48 percent. Undecided voters accounted for 5 percent, and the margin of error was 4.3 percent. The poll, by the way, was conducted before the Monday night Granite State Debate between Edwards and Pappas.” WMUR

Virginia 5th Congressional District, rated tossup.
Leslie Cockburn (D) vs. Denver Riggleman (R)
“When Congressman Tom Garrett announced he would not seek reelection back in May, Democrats were excited they might be able to pick up an open seat. But now, five months later, the 5th Congressional District hasn’t drawn nearly as much money or attention as three other competitive races in Virginia. “I wouldn’t say Democrats have given up on the Fifth because I don’t know that they’ve ever gone in heavily on the Fifth.” That’s Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University. He’s director of the Wason Center for Public Policy, which rates the race as a toss-up.“I don’t know that they’ve ever gone in with both feet like the DCCC has in the 2nd Congressional District race of the 7th or the 10th. So I would hesitate to say that they’ve either pulled out or that they’re pulling back because I don’t know that they’ve ever went in full force like that.”
Virginia Public Radio

Elizabeth Heng who is mounting hard fought challenge against incumbent Democrat Jim Costa in California’s 16th congressional district: