“I think this is probably a Category 2 or 3 hurricane headed Democrats’ way, just not a Category 4 or 5.”
You may know Wasserman as the guy on Twitter who calls elections by saying “I’ve seen enough.”
He was recently interviewed by NY Magazine about the midterms:
‘A Category 2 or 3 Hurricane Headed Democrats’ Way’
With less than three weeks to go before the midterms, the GOP appears to be gaining momentum, as inflation and the economy dominate voters’ concerns. And while the Senate outlook still remains plausibly optimistic for Democrats, the House presents a darker picture. Dave Wasserman, House editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, has been closely tracking the relatively small number of competitive races, and he sees Republican momentum. I spoke with Wasserman, whose Twitter catchphrase “I’ve seen enough” signals a race’s conclusion for many political junkies, about the forbidding landscape for Democrats, why even big names like Katie Porter and Sean Patrick Maloney may be in trouble, and the muddled state of political polling.
On the heels of some Democratic strength last month, is this shaping up as a more standard midterm, where the opposition party does well after all?
I think Nate Silver, my friend and fellow prognosticator, asked the right question over the summer when he wondered whether this would be an asterisk election. Today, we’re somewhere between an asterisk year, in which there’s a minimal wave, and a classic midterm election, where Republicans do quite well. I think this is probably a Category 2 or 3 hurricane headed Democrats’ way, just not a Category 4 or 5.
Biden’s approval ratings have sucked all year. That hasn’t changed much. Democrats have come home a bit to him since Dobbs, gas prices have come down a little bit, and he’s been able to pass an agenda during an election year, which is impressive — but that’s only gotten him to between 42 and 43 percent. Historically, that’s still a very rough place to be. The silver lining for congressional Democrats is that their approvals are still outpacing Biden’s. And the main reason is that the Democratic incumbents had the luxury of stockpiling cash all year while Republicans were locked in bitter primaries. That allowed Democrats a head start to communicate what benevolent bipartisan people they were, and to run as moderates, whereas the Republicans were stuck running to the right.
. . . . . You tweeted a couple of weeks ago that Democrats need to win about 80 percent of the seats you deem tossups at Cook in order to retain their majority. Has the situation worsened since then for the party?
We’re still in a similar place, where Republicans only need to win about one in every five tossups to win the majority, and Democrats would need to win more than four out of five. That’s a really tall order. It’s true that in most years, tossups break heavily in one direction or another. But I would also point out we have a bunch of races — 17 to be exact — in our Lean Democratic column, which means there are a lot of races teetering right on the edge, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see some of them fall to Republicans. And those races include some pretty prominent names. I don’t think Katie Porter is out of the woods, despite her ridiculous fundraising numbers.
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