One Month Out

One month before the midterm elections the analysis of the likely outcome of the elections from one of the best sources of which I’m aware, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia summarizes the state of the House:

Our best guess in the House right now remains a Democratic net gain in the low-to-mid 30s, with enough uncertainty that we would not rule out the Democratic gains sputtering out short of the 23-seat net gain they need.

and Senate:

As we noted last week, Democrats need to win 80% of all the Senate races this year (28 of 35) to win the Senate, something a party has accomplished only twice before in more than a century of Senate popular elections. We remain skeptical of their ability to do so but we won’t rule it out either.

Let me summarize it this way. It is possible that the Democrats will take both the House and the Senate. It is possible that the Republicans will eke out a victory and continue to hold both the House and the Senate. It is likely that the Democrats will narrowly take control of the House while the Republicans continue to control the Senate. Which is about what I said six months ago.

If the elections actually turn on who shows up to vote and in what numbers, judging from the polling data the Democrats have made a strategic error. Back in July the Democrats were favored in the “enthusiasm gap” by a comfortable 14 points (the prevailing wisdom is that if the Democrats are up by 7 points or more, they win). Now they’re up by 1 point, well within the margin of error meaning Republicans might actually be more motivated than Democrats at this point.

7 comments… add one
  • Ben Wolf Link

    I think we’ve learned two things:

    #1 Democrats refused to oppose Kavanaugh on the basis that he’s a brutally stupid imbecile with a stunted ideology of service to power. I suspect that’s because they approve of it and so went with a narrative that, while probably true, would never be sufficient to stop the man from being confirmed if that was ever really the goal. The refusal to hold Joe Manchin to account while demanding Republicans vote against Kavanaugh speaks volumes about Democratic intent.

    #2 Nothing riles up Republicans more than a chance to own the libs.

  • Guarneri Link

    As I noted in comments about a week ago, the Democrats stepped on a rake.
    Do you realize how you marginalize yourself, Ben, by referring to Kavanaugh as a brutally stupid imbecile?

  • Gray Shambler Link

    As a retired Teamster living on a withering pension fund (central states), I’m not sure whether I want a Democratic house or not. Last year, out of power, Democratic Reps Came together solidly to preserve my pension through bonds, but the pension problem was obvious in 2012 when Dems held all power, and they did not act. Should I trust them?

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    One unnoted fact is given what has transpired; Murkowski is likely to switch to parties if Democrats can win control of the Senate in the next few years. There is also a good chance Manchin will switch parties if the Senate becomes significantly more Republican next year.

  • Andy Link


    Democrats opposed Kavanaugh because they wanted a scalp for Garland. Note that many of them, including the leadership, came out against him before they knew anything about his record.

    What’s ironic is if they hadn’t tried to filibuster Gorsuch, and saved it for Kavanaugh, they probably would have prevented his confirmation. Democratic leadership for the past couple of years is an endless series of own-goals thanks to their crappy leadership, who they refuse to replace.

  • Andy Link

    The evidence for my firm anti-partisan stance continues to pile up. Neither of these wretched parties deserve my support (or anyone’s for that matter IMO).

    I hope the Democrats take the House only because divided government is better than the alternative.

  • steve Link

    “Should I trust them?”

    Hard to tell. They “might” duo something, might not. OTOH the GOP would only bail you out if you were a wealthy finance guy.


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