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Midterm Open Thread: Forecasters tempering their confidence about Blue Wave

Midterm Open Thread: Forecasters tempering their confidence about Blue Wave

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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Cold Anger. Coming tomorrow, everywhere.

    Valerie in reply to Demonized. | November 5, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Coming from my direction, anyway. I watch a lot of the Kavanaugh hearing, and that wrap-up smear by Diane Feinstein was the last straw.

    I knew the flouncing Kamala Harris would say whatever Chuck Schumer said, but Diane Feinstein has been around a while, and she knows better.

    Dr. Ford brought nothing to that hearing. If the Democrats had been honest, she would have never been allowed to testify, and they would not have wiped her social media history in preparation for her testimony.

    The treatment of Judge Kavanaugh was unethical.

    Colonel Travis in reply to Demonized. | November 5, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    The past few elections I’ve thought about voting early and never did. Just waited until election day.

    This year was the first time I’ve ever voted early, and it was because I was, in fact, extremely angry at the (D) party trying to destroy this country.

    I hope my kind of motivation (and yours) will win the day.

    persecutor in reply to Demonized. | November 5, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    This has the same feel as 2016 did, so I’m going to call it a blue ripple (at worst), but more like a red tsunami.

These polls never cease to remind me of the Car Talk show on NPR with Tom and Ray Magliozzi and their closing credits citing Marge Inoferror. Good times.

I’d like to think cold anger will be enough. As we’ve just seen in Georgia (and in every election here in Illinois), it’s not who votes, it’s who counts the votes. I’m worried that there will be enough shenanigans to deny Pubs a few seats in the House — which may be all it takes for the House to flip. Vote fraud might flip a close Senate seat or two, and the governors’ races in Georgia and Florida.

We’ll see. As the fellow once said, if it’s not close they can’t cheat.

I suspect the Cuban community in Florida has rarely been this motivated.

    Elzorro in reply to Petrushka. | November 5, 2018 at 9:29 am

    The SE Floriduh Hive has been whipping their democrats to early vote big time. That cesspool known as Broward County is the center of it all. Just hope they used up thier election day ammo on the early vote.

I see a repeat of 2016, conservatives are laying low. Several people I’ve talked to are not responding to polls and are not talking about who they are voting for.
And most people vote with their wallets. Just saying…

    Another Voice in reply to Beauslx. | November 5, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Agree. None of the polls have in the past 3 cycles consisting
    of 2 midterms and 1 presidential race produced the outcomes predicted. For the most part, like the media they are also biased. As they say “Garbage In-Garbage Out”. I believe more conservatives than liberals are more private in putting out their intentions and they are the potential votes which go missing if not altogether discounted. The same votes/voters who put put Donald Trump in the White House.

      C. Lashown in reply to Another Voice. | November 5, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      I ‘never’ tell the truth on a political poll, and seldom sign up for political petitions. The political parties have their thumb in all aspects of my life. Why would I volunteer more information? They can see my vote when they tally all the votes. The last time I voted Democrat was for Mr. Peanut; one putz voting for another putz! I’m still asking for forgiveness about that error of judgement….

Happens every election, to one degree or another. A year before, the Dems are in happy-happy-joy-joy mode with plans for a 100% turnout and majorities in every elected office ever. Then ever so slowly over that year, the cold tar of reality presses in until the actual election day when one last burst of optimism sprays up into the chilly November air, and the weeping and wailing begins.

Obama merely managed to hold that vacant, meaningless optimism for a full year longer than most to the point where some journalists still have little shivers of joy whenever his name is mentioned. The rest of us just shiver.

    The PROG-nosticators have a great job. Every season they go from 98% chance to 50/50 chance and at 50/50 they can say they called it. But they made such abject fools of themselves in 2016 that they must fear that Tuesday will be more like Groundhog Day than election day.

And I’m reading reports of Democrats being very cautious and gun-shy. Cancelling big Gala events, not tempting fate.

I don’t know what it means. The polls don’t make any sense. And again my mum shared that she and her friends are deliberately lying to posters as a disformation operation. They see the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, as per instapundit.

Imagine that, Democrats worst nightmare could be a conspiracy of grandmother’s rocking in their chairs shouting “Alinsky you bastard! I read your book!”


I’m going to be a good dog and avoid predictions, since my 0-12 record forecasting SCOTUS decisions makes me a jinx.

    Another Voice in reply to Fen. | November 5, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Fen, You made me laugh…I’m not your Mum but I do subscribe to the club of “misinformation”. Since 2007 when it became obvious that it was exactly what the pollsters were doing with what they were collecting. So yes, I give fodder for grist.

    mariner in reply to Fen. | November 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    The never tell us the truth; why should I tell them the truth?

    I like your mum.

    Mike H. in reply to Fen. | November 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    “Imagine that, Democrats worst nightmare could be a conspiracy of grandmother’s rocking in their chairs shouting “Alinsky you bastard! I read your book!”” Fen

    That should be made into a trailer. “Night of the rocking chair”

    gospace in reply to Fen. | November 5, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Any fireworks displays Republicans can buy?

I think that a big portion of Trump supporters are the silent people who do not make the news or get interviewed. They are the ones who appeared in 2016 and none of the pollsters knew they were out there. They are still there!

my prediction?

people here in #Failifornia will vote stupidly…


    That’s not a prediction, that’s an inevitable fact, like the sun coming up in the morning or the media running endless puff pieces about Democrats the day before an election.

    barnesto in reply to redc1c4. | November 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    not so fast. this is the first time in a long time I think there’s a chance we don’t. all the races that were supposed to flip blue aren’t really materializing.

    also, we have a pretty energized base that have suffered through years of not even seeing a Republican on the ballot in most cases. not this year. you can almost vote straight red for state. even Pelosi is running against a Republican. too bad Feinstein isn’t. Kevin DeLeon is evil on a number of levels, but if he does win, he’ll be exposed and to junior to lead the committees the DiFi is on.

    sadly, here in SF, we only have Democrats to choose from. it’s either progressive crazy or nowhere near center left crazy.

Tonight the Democrat poll workers will be working the “graveyard shift” working to make the election a ” dead ” heat and write the ” obituary” of the Republican party

As Mark Levin said last night – if we turn out we win. If we stay home, we lose.

My prediction: assuming the House stays GOP by a few seats and their are pick ups in the Senate. The MSM will say Trumps poor showing is an indication that Trumps support is eroding.

Regarding Gillum in Florida: do you remember the Bradley effect?
link here:

Bradley wasn’t a bad mayor. Retired police officer. I don’t think he would recognize his party today.

But, I voted for Deuk, largely because I knew his history in neighboring Long Beach and after. But, I would not have wept if Bradley had won.

Voted yesterday. Did not vote in California Senatorial race.

Tomorrow will be dramatic one way or another.

    barnesto in reply to erc. | November 5, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    when your choice is DeLeon or Feinstein, abstaining is a valid choice.

    as much as it pained me to do, I voted for DeLeon. he’s horrible on so many levels. but him being on the national stage would expose him and he’d never win a second term – he’d also be out of day to day state politics, yay! (he co-authored SB54) he wouldn’t replace DiFi on any committees because he’s too junior. the bad outweighs the worse imo.

    sure, he’d make the state look like a joke, but we’ve been that for a long time anyway.

      JDmyrm in reply to barnesto. | November 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      I’d vote for Difi’s opponent only to teach her a lesson for that Kav disgrace. Sure De Leon is poison for the country but practically he’d vote no differently than Difi anyways.

      There is no better choice in DPRC senate race.

I’ve always wondered about those of us on the right who don’t answer polls. I just don’t trust the pollsters to keep me anonymous.

    MrE in reply to pfbatt. | November 5, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    My mental process on poll-calls is curmudgeonly … first, I’m on do-not-call lists and have MR Number installed to ID and block calls. When one does make it through it pisses me off. Did I mention I’m curmudgeonly?

    Pollster: “So, whoya fer?”
    Me: “Ain’t decided yet”
    Pollster: “Mind if I putya down fer H?”
    Me: “Knock yerse’f out”

    So I vote to spite ’em soon as my ballot arrives in the mail, drive it to the PO and get a mocha frappe grande on the way home. All the funnier ‘cuz I imagine ’em to be pimple-faced kids working temp-jobs who on 11/7 will be unemployed and living in mom’s basement for the next 23 months.

Is everyone else excited for the kick off of the 2020 Presidential campaigns on Nov 7th, 2018?

” the blue wave has a possibility to dissipate.”

ROFLMAO!! That’s like saying rain MIGHT be wet.

Hey Mary are you done beating us over the head with the Cook Report?

I will be back to beat you mercilessly for trying to use the Democrat propaganda know as the Cook Report as something other than what it is.

Remember back in July when you said it was all over because of what you saw in the Cook Report? House gone for sure and probably the Senate too.

I do.

Nov 7th I start reminding you of how hard you worked to make us all feel helpless and like losers at the bidding of the Cook Report and the Democrats.

If you find yourself unable to support candidates in a box then don’t do it.

I have to disagree. There may not be any reason for you vote for either candidate- or any of the 3 or 4. But there’s always a reason to vote against at least one of the candidates, and you should. Every time.

I think Sarah Hoyt’s comment this morning should give people sufficient reason to vote: “Slap the fake “resistance” back, put an end to their antifa tantrums, their Kavanaugh slimings, their “exactly like Hitler” slanders. Slap them so hard they’ll still be reeling by 2020. Vote. If there’s no one you wish to vote for, vote against your local democrat/socialist/progressive/whatever the heck they call themselves this Tuesday. Vote like your life depends on it. Stop Nancy Pelosi’s announced contract on America.”

Jimmy Buffet SUCKS!!!

DieJustAsHappy | November 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Fuel for thought ~ An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” ~ American Indian Proverb

Given what we’ve seen and heard from the DNC and the GOP these past two years wHich wolf do you want to feed? The answer is obvious to me. How ’bout you?

DieJustAsHappy | November 5, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Those who are opposed to borders, boundaries, might do well to reflect upon these words of Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. “Tolerance without boundaries, in particular tolerance of cruelty, falsehood and intolerance, has proved fatal to liberty.”

DieJustAsHappy | November 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm

One more. “I said before that the most sublime picture in American history is of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. That image personifies a people who know that it’s not enough to depend on our own courage and goodness. We must also seek help from God our father and preserver.” ~ President Ronald Reagan

As we continue our conflict with those who would so undermine our nation can we do no less?

Re: not feeling guilty if you don’t want to vote. Screw that. The freaking country is on the line. A non-vote , this midterm , is a vote for Democrats. Democrats are putting outsized pressure on kids to vote. At every University in the country and those kids vote 80% for Dems. The Democrats are putting enormous pressure on infirm and minorities to vote. The Democrats promise walking around money.

Normally, I’d agree, if you don’t know what you want to do, don’t vote. But this time, a non-vote is a vote for chaos… and Democrats. Same goes for any third party vote.

If this poll is accurate it could be huge…

New poll: (From a democratic pollster)

Debbie Stabenow: 49%
@JohnJamesMI: 47%

Among independents:
John James: 47%
Debbie Stabenow: 44%

I foresee the end of the “Crazy” Democrats. Claire McCaskills words.