Final Pre-Election Update
Vote. Vote now. And take friends.
The party in the White House usually loses 28 House seats in the President’s first midterm (12 if you factor out the outliers of 1994, 2002 and 2010). Republicans have also suffered 39 retirements in the House this year, creating way too many open seats. It’s a tough year, and as I’ve said from the beginning, if Republicans can match Democrat voter enthusiasm, we can hold the House and dramatically expand our majority in the Senate.
There’s a lot of reason to hope for that this morning. Republicans historically win the House at D+5 on the Generic Ballot. Rasmussen — the most accurate poll of 2016 — has us at R+1. Morning Consult has D+3, Harris has D+6. A lot of other polls have it worse; but they also had it worse two years ago.
Race-by-race it gets grimmer. I think we could very easily lose 34 House seats. But if Rasmussen is closer to the truth on the generic ballot than most other numbers suggest, we could also hold that to 19 loses and thus keep the majority. I won’t go into all those details here. I’ll just say what I said at the outset: go vote. And take friends.
On the Senate side:
1. Trafalgar Group (the other best poll of 2016) has Jon Tester (D-MT) down to just a 1-point lead. That race has been winnable but just out of reach all year. But today we could pick it up.
2. Trafalgar also has Ted Cruz (R-TX) up 9 points. Beto will have to try again (and thanks for sucking up all that Dem cash, buddy).
3. Mitchell Research has Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) down to a 3-point lead over John James (R-MI), which is within the margin of error; and Change Research has it down to 2. I doubt that’s accurate, but it’s exciting: Stabenow is terrible, James is fantastic, and this is a race we didn’t expect could be close.
4. Three polls in the last 24 hours have Martha McSally (R-AZ) up, three more have her down, all by an average of 1 point.
5. Rick Scott (R-FL) always pulls it out by about 1.5 points. Right now he’s down an average of 2.4, but Trafalgar has him up by 2. (Trafalgar also has Ron DeSantis beating Andrew Gillum by 3, but they’re the only ones who do.)
6. Mike Braun (R-IN) and incumbent Joe Donnelly (D-IN) are back-and-forth within the margin of error.
7. Three polls yesterday have Josh Hawley (R-MO) beating the awful incumbent Claire McCaskill (D-MO), including Harris which had him down most of the past week.
8. Both Harris and Trafalgar also have incumbent Dean Heller (R-NV) pulling out a win, which will be a minor miracle.
9. Stick a fork in Heidi Heitkamp (D-SD): she’s done.
10. Ditto Phil Bredesen (D-TN). Barring an upset, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)has this.
11. Finally, Joe Manchin (D-WV) will probably pull it out, but it’s now close enough that a last-minute surge by Patrick Morrisey (R-WV) could upend him.
If we have an especially good night, that means we might pick up a net-6 Senate seats (assuming we split the difference on Montana and West Virginia), for a new majority of 57 (the GOP’s modern high being 55). If we lose both Montana and West Virginia (likely), plus either of Arizona and Nevada, plus either of Florida or Indiana, that makes it 54, which would still be great compared to our current 51. Obviously it could get worse, but it’s nearly impossible for me to see how we actually lose the Senate.
Losing the House would be terrible. But keeping — or even expanding — our Senate majority means lots more conservative judges, and that really is the ballgame.
I’ll be live-Facebooking tonight: join me at: facebook.com/RodDMartin.
And vote. Vote now. And take friends.
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