NYT: “Even modest late shifts among undecided voters or a slightly unexpected turnout could significantly affect results.”
Tomorrow is Election Day and for the longest time, we’ve heard that a massive blue wave will crash into the House and Senate.
But now it looks like the confidence has gone down and forecasters have started to admit that the blue wave has a possibility to dissipate.
You know what I find hilarious? While I update this post with the latest news, who knows what’s going to happen. After all, everyone was sure as the sky rises in the east that Hillary Clinton was going to demolish Donald Trump in November 2016.
West Virginia Senate Race Now a Toss-Up
Maybe incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin won’t have such an easy re-election. From The Washington Free Beacon:
RealClearPolitics changed the Senate race on Monday from “lean Democratic” to “toss up” in response to gains made by Morrisey in the polls. Manchin now has just a 5-point advantage over Morrisey going into Election Day, according to the website’s average.
A poll last week had Morrisey, the state’s attorney general, up two points. Disaffected Democrats flocked to see President Trump at a rally in Huntington on Friday, where the president urged West Virginians, who voted for him by more than 40 points in 2016, to vote for Morrisey.
Manchin called Tuesday’s midterms the “most important election we’ve ever voted in” and did not sound certain of victory during a pig roast hosted by Houn’ Dog’s Barn and Grill in Logan, W. Va. on Saturday.
The effective retail politician greeted every supporter in and outside the event, which was attended by several hundreds.
“It’s gonna be close,” said one supporter on the election.
“It’s tight,” a Manchin volunteer agreed.
“We’re coming to the end of a very active, a very aggressive campaign,” Manchin said. “And there’s been a lot of distortion out there. It’s people that don’t know who we are. They’re not from West Virginia. They don’t understand what we’ve gone through.”
Manchin called his race a “tough” election and said as a Democrat, he “shouldn’t even be in the ballgame.”
“If you can’t get people out and know the truth, we’re going to be in trouble,” Manchin told supporters. “These are tough elections. There’s no way that [congressional candidate] Rich [Ojeda] and I shouldn’t even be in the ballgame. When you look at how hard this state has flipped.”
“We’re dealing with basically the most important election we’ve ever voted in,” Manchin said.
Cook Political Final House Ratings: Nine Seats Change to Favor Democrats
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report released its final House ratings of the 75 races it deemed competitive. Observers changed ratings for 10 seats and nine of those now favor the Democrats.
From the report:
Just by winning all of the races at least “leaning” their way, Democrats would net 16 of the 23 seats they need for a majority. In that scenario, Democrats would only need to win eight of the 30 races in Toss Up to win control (they currently hold one Toss Up, Minnesota’s 1st CD). Conversely, Republicans would likely need to win 23 of the 30 Toss Up races to keep their majority. That’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult.
If the 30 races in Toss Up were to break evenly, Democrats would score a net gain of 30 seats. However, history shows that one party typically wins a lion’s share of close races. In 2006 and 2010, the party riding the “wave” averaged 100 percent of all the seats at least leaning their way, 57 percent of the Toss Ups, 19 percent of the opposite party’s “Lean” seats, and nine percent of the other side’s “Likely” seats.
If that historical pattern were applied to our final ratings, Democrats would gain 40 seats. But high enthusiasm on both sides of the partisan divide may limit how deeply Democrats can drive into Trump country. Bottom line: anything from a Democratic gain of 20 to 45 seats remains well within the realm of possibility, but a gain of 30 to 40 seats – and House control – is the most likely outcome.
Politico has Democrats Winning House, GOP Maintaining Senate
Politico’s final race ratings has the Democrats picking up the needed seats to take control, but the GOP will hold onto the Senate:
Democrats have pulled ahead in nearly enough races to claim a majority of the 435 seats up for grabs in the first national election of Donald Trump’s presidency, with POLITICO’s final race ratings showing 216 seats in the Democratic column — those are either solidly Democratic, likely Democratic or at least leaning Democratic.
That’s a significantly stronger position than Republicans, who have 197 seats leaning or solidly in their camp, but still just shy of the 218 needed to control the House next year. Republicans would need to win at least 21 of the 22 toss-ups — races that are currently considered too close to call — to get to 218 seats.
According to the race ratings — which are based on extensive reporting over the final weeks of the campaign, conversations with roughly two-dozen party strategists and operatives, examination of public and private polling data and monitoring campaign and outside-group strategies and advertising — the most likely gain for Democrats is between 25 and 40 seats.
The GOP may even pick up more seats in the Senate. Democrat incumbent Sens. Claire McCaskill (MO) and Joe Donnelly (IN) are basically tied with their challengers.
More than likely Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) will lose. Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester remains vulnerable, too.
To Vote or Not To Vote…
Joshua Hardman, a campaign volunteer, wrote at The Washington Examiner that people shouldn’t feel guilty if they do not vote. I agree:
But it’s a useless endeavor to make these folks feel guilt for not participating. Instead, we should ask ourselves why they aren’t.
For the past month, I’ve canvassed hundreds of undecided voters in the Dallas area to support Republicans in several local races — yet many of these folks have expressed antipathy to voting altogether. The most prudent nonvoters want to dedicate as much time as possible to things within their control, including their career, families, and charitable work. Of course, some express regret that they haven’t had time to deeply research the candidates and issues, but they have better things to do.
We should be thankful some citizens know voting is something that should either be done well or not at all. Implicit in this admission is that we all have limited energy to pursue our priorities and enjoy the best parts of life. Do the best parts ever really include politics?
Agreed. Don’t vote just to vote. If you find yourself unable to support candidates in a box then don’t do it.
That’s what is so great about America. We have that choice.
Florida: Democrats Have Slight Lead in Polls
An NBC News/Marist poll shows that Democrat governor candidate Andrew Gillum and Democrat incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson have slight leads in their races:
At the top of the ticket, Democrat Andrew Gillum is up among likely voters against Republican Ron DeSantis, 50 percent to 46 percent, within the poll’s margin of error. That’s a similar margin to the five-point lead NBC News and Marist found in September, when Gillum led 48 percent to 43 percent.
Among all registered voters, Gillum’s lead increases slightly to five points, 50 percent to 45 percent.
The margin is identical for Democrats in the closely watched Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson and outgoing GOP Gov. Rick Scott.
Nelson leads Scott 50 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. Among the larger pool of all registered voters, Nelson leads 50 percent to 45 percent.
In September, Nelson got 48 percent support to Scott’s 45 percent among likely voters.
Nate Cohn at NYT:
Cohn’s confidence of a blue wave has gone down as well:
On the day before the midterm elections, two vastly different outcomes remain easy to imagine. There could be a Democratic blowout that decisively ends Republicans’ control of the House and even endangers their Senate majority. Or there could be a district-by-district battle for House control that lasts late on election night and perhaps for weeks after.
The first would be interpreted as a repudiation of Donald J. Trump, the second as another example of his political resilience. But the difference turns on just a few percentage points across dozens of House districts that remain exceptionally close, according to New York Times Upshot/Siena College surveys conducted over the last few weeks.
After more than 10,000 interviews, the result, in the aggregate, is that Democrats and Republicans are essentially tied in the 30 districts rated as tossups by the Cook Political Report, with Democrats leading by around half a percentage point.
Democrats need to win only a handful of these tossup districts — perhaps as few as six — to gain the net 23 seats needed to take control, which is why they’re considered favorites. But Democrats haven’t put them away. Instead, those races remain startlingly close. Each of the final 28 poll results in the tossup districts was within the margin of error, and 20 of the 28 were within two percentage points, a margin that pales in comparison with the typical measurement error in a poll.
With so many close contests, even modest late shifts among undecided voters or a slightly unexpected turnout could yield significantly different results, with very different consequences for government and the future of Trump presidency.
Nate Silver: Tuesday Can Go Either Way
FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver admitted on Monday that Democrats winning the House or the GOP maintaining control remains possible. From The Hill:
“So in the House we have Democrats with about a 4 in 5 chance of winning,” Silver told ABC’s “This Week.”
However, he noted that “polls aren’t always right.”
“The range of outcomes in the House is really wide,” he explained. “Our range, which covers 80 percent of outcomes goes from, on the low end, about 15 Democratic pickups, all the way to low to mid 50s, 52 or 53.”
“Most of those are under 23, which is how many seats they would need to win to take the House,” he said.”
“But no one should be surprised if they only win 19 seats and no one should be surprised if they win 51 seats,” Silver added. “Those are both extremely possible, based on how accurate polls are in the real world.”
The midterms are just two days away and most prognosticators predict that the Democrats will flip the House and Republicans will hold out in the Senate.
However, most also predicted that President Trump would lose in the 2016 elections to Hillary Clinton. The morning of election day two years ago, FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton a 71 percent chance of becoming president.
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