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  1. #101
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Those turkeys voted for Xmas.

  2. #102
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    when the 49 year old speaker of the house opts to not run for re-election, you know your party's chances in the upcoming election are not strong.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey View Post
    when the 49 year old speaker of the house opts to not run for re-election, you know your party's chances in the upcoming election are not strong.
    Just saw that on the news. Doesn't bode well for the GOP.

  4. #104
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    ...opinion of Ryan from conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post):

    Paul Ryan is abandoning the ship before it sinks
    Jennifer Rubin

    House Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for reelection

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) told friends and colleagues that he will not seek reelection, in the ramp-up to a risky midterm election for Republicans.(Video: Jenny Starrs/Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)


    The Post reports:
    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has told friends and several colleagues that he has decided not to seek reelection this year and will soon inform colleagues of his plans, according to several people familiar with his plans.The decision comes ahead of mid-term elections that were already looking treacherous for Republicans, who risk losing control of the House.The party has seen a large number of retirements, and Ryan’s exit is certain to sap morale as Republicans seek to contain a surge in enthusiasm from Democrats, whose fortunes have been buoyed by the unpopularity of President Trump.

    In a written statement, his longtime adviser Brendan Buck said, “After nearly twenty years in the House, the speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished and is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father. While he did not seek the position, he told his colleagues that serving as speaker has been the professional honor of his life, and he thanked them for the trust they placed in him.”

    Ryan: 'I have given this job everything that I have'

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) announced his decision not to seek reelection on April 11, and said that Republicans have a "bright future" in the House. (Reuters)

    The political reality is less noble. One can hardly imagine a more obvious signal that Ryan fears the prospect, if not of losing his own seat, than of losing the majority and hence his speakership. In the past, speakers — understanding the demoralizing impact that premature white-flag-waving would have on their troops — had the good sense to wait until after the election to announce that they would exit the leadership of their party. Ryan’s move has several consequences.
    Read These Comments newsletter

    First, Democrats (who were heavily spending to defeat Ryan) can declare victory in that race and save the money it would have taken to knock out a sitting speaker. Get ready for Democrats’ taunts that Ryan lacked the courage to stand before the voters with a record like his.

    Second, this is a flashing light to donors and candidates on both sides. For Republican money-men, the message is: Don’t throw away cash trying to save the House. (One wonders whether Ryan, previously a strong fundraiser, will still be able to get donors to open their wallets when he’s abandoning ship.) For Democrats, it will be further encouragement to add to the record number of candidates and to get on board for a Democratic sweep. In a wave year with the GOP leaderless, why not throw your hat into the ring?

    Third, this will be seen in some quarters as a sign that Ryan cannot bear defending the president from potential impeachment. It has been a chore to act as Trump’s lead apologist, ignoring Trump’s outbursts and justifying his zigzags. Trump is now going down a protectionist road that Ryan deeply opposes. As much as this is a sign of no confidence in his House majority, it is effectively an admission: “I can’t take it anymore!” Imagine how much more stressful it will be if and when the special counsel returns a report that makes the case for impeachment.


    Fourth, as we have noted, it is highly unlikely that Trump is going to deliver any more items on the GOP domestic wish-list. With tax cuts under his belt, Trump shows little interest or ability to proceed with arduous negotiations on infrastructure, health-care fixes, entitlements or much of anything else. Trump surely is not going to abandon his base to push for comprehensive immigration reform. Ryan seems to agree with our analysis that the GOP has gotten whatever it is going to get from this president.


    Fifth, Ryan’s departure makes his refusal to remove from committees characters such as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) — who colluded with the White House in smearing the FBI and wrecking the intelligence-oversight system — all the more inexplicable. Why not take the heat to do the right thing, especially if Ryan is not going to run anyway? The lack of political courage still stuns onlookers who regarded Ryan at one time as a genuine policy wonk and serious leader.
    In sum, Ryan retreats from the scene after loading the country up with debt and leaving virtually every other agenda item save tax cuts undone. He fantasized that in backing Trump, who lacks conservative principles (or any principles), he’d have carte blanche to enact the entire GOP agenda. He made his Faustian bargain with Trump on the false assumption that Trump would be compliant, take direction from House Republicans and demonstrate enough discipline to get through a slew of initiatives. That did not come to pass, because Ryan, in making his disastrous decision to place party over country and corporate tax cuts over defense of democratic values, failed to comprehend the depth of Trump’s unfitness and the centrality of character in determining a president’s success.

    Instead of achieving the entire GOP agenda, Ryan will leave a besmirched legacy defined by his decision to back, enable and defend Trump, no matter how objectionable Trump’s rhetoric and conduct. Ryan has come to embody the nasty scourge of tribalism that dominates our politics. The inability to separate partisan loyalty from patriotic obligation — or to assess the interests of the country and the need to defend democratic norms and institutions — is proving to be the downfall of the Republican Party and the principle threat to our liberal (small “l”) democracy. And no one is more responsible for this than Ryan. No one.

    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Paul Ryan is abandoning the ship before it sinks
    It is a great day! More evidence of the coming bloodbath this fall.

  6. #106
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    More evidence of the coming bloodbath this fall
    ...I'm still wary of Dem incompetence turning an anticipated bloodbath into a pinprick...

  7. #107
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    ^ I am not seeing that. Lots of new blood has jumped into the ring. Seeing lots of Dems running in places they wouldn't have in the past. If this pace keeps up they will have a real shot at taking the senate as well.

  8. #108
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...'tis devoutly to be wished...and then on to impeachment...

  9. #109
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    Trump a 'mixed blessing'? Why Ohio's squeaker election is a win for Democrats eyeing

    A win is a win is a win. Unless it's the sort of win Republicans looked like they would eke out on Tuesday night in Ohio. The race remained too close to call early Wednesday morning, with the Republican slightly in the lead but a recount possible after provisional ballots are counted.

    One way or another, political analysts say, the potentially devastating news for Republicans is this: the solidly red 12th Congressional District is no longer dependable for the Grand Old Party, and neither are their chances of holding the House of Representatives in the fall midterms.

    To do it, Democrat Danny O'Connor defied demographics, history and disadvantageous gerrymandering to end up in a virtual tie with Republican candidate Troy Balderson.

    The squeaker outcome could strengthen Democrats' resolve that they're on the verge of a "blue wave" to win a tsunami of seats and flip the lower chamber. It could also spell trouble when it comes to how closely the Republican Party's candidates can afford to align themselves with U.S. President Donald Trump.

    'Democrats have already won'

    "At one level, the Democrats have already won," Ohio State University politics professor Herb Asher said. "They've sent their message. It becomes an indicator that November may be a happier time for the Democrats. A narrow victory indicates [Republicans] do have things to worry about."

    Just how narrow was it? Balderson was leading O'Connor for a House seat in the special election by less than 1 percentage point, with all precincts reporting. However, there were at least 3,367 provisional ballots left to be reviewed. That's enough for O'Connor to potentially pick up enough votes to force a recount.

    The margin of victory is tiny enough, analysts say, to send Republicans into a panic over whether they'll lose the House come November, even as Asher predicted Republicans would spin the outcome positively.
    "This is closer than it should be, but listen — a win is still a win," said Ryan Stubenrauch, an Ohio-based Republican strategist who lives in Delaware County in the 12th district.

    'No such thing as moral victories in politics'

    As for the suggestion that Democrats, despite likely losing this special election, still have reason to celebrate, Stubenrauch wasn't so sure about that.

    "There's no such thing as moral victories in politics."

    However, the state's Republican governor, John Kasich, last weekend told ABC News it shouldn't have even been a tossup. (Republicans have represented the district since the early 1980s and won the most recent House election by 37 percentage points. Trump won the district by 11 percentage points in 2016.)


    It's pretty surprising," Kasich told ABC, adding that Trump's "chaos" presidency was unnerving Ohioans.

    "It really doesn't bode well for the Republican Party because [the 12th district race] shouldn't really be contested."

    His remarks were prescient.​

    'A big under-performance'

    Balderon's likely single-point win "would still be a big under-performance of the president who won it by 11," said Geoffrey Skelley of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

    "Republicans dodged a bullet tonight, but they have to find a way to match the Democrats' voter intensity going forward if they want to hold the House," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell wrote in an email.
    "Some Republicans candidates might want to hold President Trump at arm's length, but running away from the president entirely is a fool's errand."

    Some previously skeptical Republicans may begin to view the much-hyped blue wave as very real. A victory for Democrats in the election in central Ohio would have provided compelling evidence, and a narrow loss is nothing to sniff at.

    "That's what everybody was trying to figure out. Is this blue wave election going to happen in November?" Stubenrauch said.

    Bringing in Trump a calculated risk

    Bringing in Trump, whose approval rating stands at just 46 per cent in the district, was a calculated risk.

    "The calculation was: What is going to get the base to turn out for an August congressional election — the president being quiet, or doubling down?" Stubenrauch said. For Democrats, he said, "this was an opportunity for some people in more liberal districts to stick their thumbs in President Trump's eye."

    Balderson's likely wafer-thin victory might give Republicans hope that the House isn't completely lost. It might also suggest Trump's polarizing leadership can attract enough of a base to win elections. But Trump can also be a liability, making off-message statements that may distract from local issues.

    Last weekend, as the president stumped for Balderson in Ohio, he chose, hours before his rally, to tweet insults at one of Ohio's favourite sons, NBA luminary LeBron James.

    Trump a 'mixed blessing'

    Balderson has called himself a "Trump guy" and received the president's endorsement, but he hasn't directly addressed the claim that he didn't invite the president to the rally over the weekend, sidestepping the question to say only that he was "honoured" the president came.

    "There was talk of, will Trump's visit be a net positive?" Asher said. "Will it get the Republican energized to come out and vote? Or will it be a negative because it will energize Democrats and offend a large number of independents?"

    Trump, he said, has proven to be a "mixed blessing" for the party.

    "Trump will claim he put Balderson over the top. Balderson will probably claim that, too, just to be a good loyal Republican," Asher said. "But tonight does suggest the Trump brand — and the Republican brand, for that matter, as defined by Trump — is not as popular in districts like this."

    Buyer's remorse?

    The president later did indeed tweet that Balderson owed his victory to a Trump bump:

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/...wave-1.4777077

    Unlike in 2016, when voters gave Trump a comfortable lead, this time they seemed to be communicating "buyer's remorse," said Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf.

    "If [Balderson] can lose in Ohio, it's a clear indication Trump is bad news for the Republicans in congressional races in the heartland," he said. "They won't want him around because they don't want to lose their seats."

    Trump's practice of using polarization and "fear" to send Republicans to the polls was also being tested, Stubenrauch said. Trump and Republican groups warning about Democrats have offered dark visions of violent immigrants and the restriction of the right to bear arms, while drawing links between O'Connor and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

    Last competitive race before midterms

    "In the 12th district, you've got a bogeyman in Nancy Pelosi," Stubenrauch said. "And fear is a motivator. They were saying, 'They're gonna take your guns away, or targeting pro-life … or talking about sanctuary cities.'"

    The payoff, he said, was for conservatives to go stampeding to the polls to prevent a far-left takeover of Congress.

    It may have worked to an extent, but Democrats now get to seize momentum in the last competitive race before the midterms, despite losing. They need to flip 23 seats to regain the lower chamber, a goal that was already in range before Tuesday. Their narrow loss in Ohio could give Democrats reason to believe that other solidly red districts might also be in play.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ohio-s...wave-1.4777077

  10. #110
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    ^ regarding that ohio special election last night....the margin currently stands at ~1,800 votes......and my understanding is that there are ~5,000 provisional and absentee ballots yet to be counted.

  11. #111
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  12. #112
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    Either way this is an astounding outcome and a sign of what is to come in November. Tomorrow there will be much more analysis of this so it should be interesting.

  13. #113
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    GOP tsunami sirens should be sounding as the blue wave arrives

    e question of the year in politics is: How big is the blue wave? The answer from Tuesday’s primary is that around Puget Sound, and even in some of the redder parts of the state, it could be a monster.

    The voting Tuesday ought to set off a tsunami siren for two of the state’s three remaining congressional Republicans who are running for re-election. Both Spokane Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, from southwest Washington, finished with less than 50 percent of the primary vote.

    Democrats dramatically outperformed the norm in many of their districts up and down the ballot. Maybe it’s from a backlash to President Donald Trump or a record influx of new Democratic candidates, or both.

    “As a rough guide, Republicans in R+15 or less districts should be panicking,” wrote G. Elliott Morris, a data journalist for The Economist magazine, about the trend around the country.

    Whether that trend washes all the way down the ballot to state legislative races is another big question. But on Tuesday, there were signs that it was just as strong, maybe even more so.

    By November, if conditions don’t improve for the GOP, there may not be a single Republican officeholder left in King County, save those from the 31st District down in the southwest reaches of the county around Enumclaw (a part of the county that voted for Trump in 2016).

    Every Republican incumbent in a suburban King County district underperformed the margin of his last election victory by at least 10 points. Example: Incumbent state Rep. Paul Graves, R-Fall City, won his 2016 campaign by 7.5 percentage points. Tuesday he was trailing Democratic challenger Lisa Callan by 7 points — a net swing against the Republican of minus 14.5 points.

    Also endangered in this way are state Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way (-14 point swing); Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington (-12 point swing); and to a lesser extent, Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn. But Fain’s race is a testament to the strength of the blue wave. He is King County’s most popular Republican, winning his last election, in 2014, by a whopping 28 points. On Tuesday he was leading a candidate who has never run for any political office, Mona Das, by 8.5 points — a lead, but also a nearly 20-point drop-off from his last election.

    Sean Trende, an elections analyst for Real Clear Politics, has noted that adding up the vote shares for the parties in each primary contest is a pretty good predictor for who will win in November. Historically, Democratic candidates here have also tended to add between 3 percent and 5 percent in November to what they got in the summer primary.

    If that formula holds at all this year, Republican Dino Rossi, who is trying to replace retiring GOP U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, is also running behind. A Democrat has never won in the 8th District. But Republicans in the first day of returns Tuesday were scoring only 47 percent of the total, with Democrats pulling in 50 percent (five third-party candidates had the other 3 percent.)

    “These are pretty dismal top-two primary numbers for Rs in WA,” summed up Dave Wasserman, of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

    The other remarkable thing about the big blue wave? The leading Democratic vote-getter in every race I’ve mentioned above, including all four Republican-held congressional district races, is a woman.

    If the 2016 election was the year the white man roared, then the sound of Election 2018 is shaping up to be more like a chorus of women.

    Maybe a full-on opera before this is done.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...-wave-arrives/

  14. #114
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    I wouldn't get your hopes up.

  15. #115
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...neither would I...early headlines screaming "Blue Wave" may attract internet eyeballs, but the reality on the ground is that many voters are still suffering from a kool-aid overdose...

  16. #116
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    dems have put up a tough ad against the party of corruption...


  17. #117
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    They really are a bunch of corrupt bastards.

    Forecasting the race for the House

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com...orecast/house/

  18. #118
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    The 5 Big Takeaways From Our House Forecast

    Follow up to the forecast posted above...

    Democrats are favored to gain control of the House of Representatives in this year’s midterm elections, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast model. But — a very FiveThirtyEight-ish sentence follows — the range of possible outcomes is wide and Democrats’ prospects are far from certain. Relatively small shifts could allow Republicans to keep control of the House, or could turn a blue wave into a tsunami.

    What’s behind all of this? Our methodology post goes into a lot more detail about how our forecasts are calculated. But that explanation is rather abstract, so in this article, I’m going to focus on how these factors are playing out given what we know about the political environment this year.

    Theme No. 1: A broad consensus of indicators point toward Democrats performing well

    In contrast to our presidential forecasts, which are heavily dependent on polling, our House model uses a broad mix of polling and non-polling indicators, including factors such as fundraising totals and historical trends in midterms. Those indicators look both pretty good for Democrats and remarkably consistent with one another:


    • The Lite version of our forecast, which focuses as much as possible on district-level and generic ballot polls, projects Democrats to win the popular vote for the House by 7 or 8 percentage points.
    • The Classic version of the model, which incorporates a lot of non-polling metrics such as fundraising and past voting in each district, also shows Democrats winning the popular vote by 7 or 8 points.
    • The generic ballot, which influences all three versions of our forecast, has generally shown Democrats with a lead of … 7 to 8 percentage points.
    • And finally, our model calculates a starting assumption about the race based on historical trends in midterms since 1946 and presidential approval ratings. It also implies that Democrats “should” win the House popular vote by about 8 percentage points — just what the other metrics show.

    So you’d expect Democrats to do pretty well based on the historical propensity of opposition parties to gain ground in midterm elections, especially under unpopular presidents. And Democrats are doing roughly as well as you’d expect them to according to most indicators of the national environment.

    There are a couple of exceptions — indicators that are a little out of the consensus — but both of them fall on the better-for-Democrats side of the consensus. First, Democrats have done really impressively in fundraising. Their candidates have raised more in individual contributions than Republicans in 71 of the 101 districts rated as competitive by the Cook Political Report, despite the fact that about two-thirds of these districts feature Republican incumbents. That’s unusual. Most challengers significantly trail in fundraising at this point in the cycle. Meanwhile, the results of special elections have been very good for Democrats. Our model doesn’t actually use special election results in its forecasts, but they’re part of a coherent alternative narrative in which there’s upside for Democrats relative to what our forecast shows. Donating money and voting in special elections are tangible indicators of voter engagement, and it’s possible that they point toward a Democratic enthusiasm advantage that could become clearer later on in the cycle.

    Theme No. 2: However, there’s some feast-or-famine risk for Democrats

    It’s much to Democrats’ credit that there are so many districts in play in all corners of the country. (Based on our accounting, Democrats have fielded a nominee in all but three of the 435 congressional districts nationwide.) But if you had to pinpoint the exact districts that Democrats should hope to win to gain 23 seats and take the House majority, you’d have a pretty hard time. We have only 215 seats rated as favoring Democrats — “lean Democrat” or stronger — which is fewer than the 218 they need to take the House.

    Nonetheless, Democrats are favored to win the majority if current conditions hold because they’ll have a bunch of opportunities, even as underdogs, to win those extra seats: 14 toss-up races, 19 “lean Republican” races and 53 “likely Republican” contests. Those are a lot of lottery tickets to punch, even if Democrats aren’t necessarily favored in any individual race.

    But Democrats would have a problem if there’s a shift in the national climate toward Republicans, or even if there’s a relatively modest systematic polling error in the GOP’s favor on Election Day. All of the sudden, they’d lose most of the toss-up races along with some of the “lean Democrat” races — and the “lean Republican” and “likely Republican” seats would become an uphill climb at best.

    The flip side to this is that if the political environment gets better for Democrats, their seat gains could pile up at an accelerating rate. There are a plethora of districts that are 10 to 20 points more Republican than the country as a whole, a lot of which were gerrymandered to be “safe” for Republican candidates — but where the gerrymanders could fail in the event of a large enough wave.

    Theme No. 3: Incumbents — especially Republican incumbents — are really vulnerable

    The first line of defense for a party hoping to maintain its majority is incumbency. Even if the national political climate is unfavorable, its incumbents may be popular enough in their districts to withstand the wave.

    The issue for Republicans is that the incumbency advantage has been weakening over time — and it appears to be especially flimsy this year. In the 1990s, incumbents overperformed the partisan baseline of their districts by somewhere on the order of 20 percentage points. (So, for example, a district that might favor Republicans by 2 points in an open-seat race would go to the GOP by 22 points if there were a Republican incumbent running.) In more recent elections, as Congress has become less and less popular, the incumbency advantage has eroded to more like 10 to 12 percentage points. And between Republicans’ anemic fundraising, GOP incumbents’ voting records — which are highly aligned with President Trump’s positions, even in purple districts — and reasonably good district-by-district polling for Democratic challengers, our model is projecting only about a 6-point advantage for GOP incumbents this year. Plus, a lot of Republican incumbents have retired.

    Our forecast also shows a relatively narrow advantage for Democratic incumbents. But Democratic incumbents have little exposure in the House: Any Democratic representative who was strong enough to survive the GOP waves in both 2010 and 2014 probably won’t have any problems this year. (It’s a entirely different story in the Senate, where there are lots of vulnerable Democratic incumbents who were last re-elected in the strong Democratic year of 2012.)

    Theme No. 4: Potential Democratic gains are broad-based, across all regions of the country

    One factor helping Trump in 2016 was that he really needed to beat his polls in only one part of the country, the Midwest, to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College. (Outside of the Midwest, the polls were reasonably accurate and even underestimated Clinton in some states.) By contrast, Republicans are facing a multi-front assault in the House this year:


    • In the Northeast, they have a lot of exposure in New York and New Jersey, which were once bastions of moderate Republicanism but which have become increasingly inhospitable to this brand of politics — and in Pennsylvania, where court-ordered redistricting resulted in a bad map for Republicans and where a lot of GOP incumbents have retired.
    • In the South, they face pressure because of demographic change in states such as Georgia and Virginia — and increasingly in Texas.
    • In the Midwest, there’s the risk of reversion to the mean with Trump off the ballot, especially as the GOP coalition in these states has come to rely on voters without a college degree who don’t always participate in midterm elections.
    • And in the West, there are 14 Republican-controlled seats in California and another four in Washington that look increasingly out of place as the Pacific Coast becomes a somewhat literal “blue wall.”

    As it happens, projected Democratic gains are almost evenly distributed between the four Census Bureau regions: The Classic version of our model projects them to gain nine seats in the Midwest, nine in the South, nine in the Northeast and eight in the West. Note that Democrats could completely flop in any one of these regions and yet still (just barely) win enough seats to take the House.

    Our forecast shows Democrats gaining House seats all over the country

    Census Region Total Seats Current FORECASTED* net gain
    Northeast 78 51 60 +9
    Midwest 94 33 42 +9
    South 161 48 57 +9
    West 102 63 71 +8

    Theme No. 5: Democrats need to win the popular vote by a fairly wide margin

    The Classic version of our model gives Democrats a near certainty (about a 98 percent chance) of winning more votes than the GOP in the race for the House — but “only” a 3 in 4 chance of winning the majority of seats. This discrepancy between votes and seats reflects a combination of gerrymandering, voter self-sorting1 and incumbency, all of which favor Republicans to some degree. Thus, in the Classic version of our forecast, Democrats would need to win the popular vote by about 5 percentage points in order to become favorites to win the majority of seats in the House. And in the Lite and Deluxe versions, the break-even point is closer to a 6-point popular-vote win.

    Nonetheless, these margins aren’t as bad for Democrats as they might be. At earlier points in the cycle, Democrats had appeared to need more like a 7- to 8-point advantage in the national popular vote to be favored to claim the majority of seats. Since then, the Republican edge has been eroded by retirements, by Pennsylvania’s redistricting and by the relatively weak GOP incumbency advantage (see Theme No. 3). All of this might seem like splitting hairs, but because so many indicators (see Theme No. 1) point toward Democrats winning the popular vote by a margin of something like 7 or 8 percentage points, these subtle differences are important.



    I’ll be on vacation next week — excuse me, I’ll be investigating ground-level conditions in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District — but we’re going to be returning to these themes again and again between now and Nov. 6, so let’s call it a day. As a bonus, though, here’s a table put together by my colleague Julia Wolfe showing what our Classic forecast thinks of the race in every district in the country.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...for-the-house/

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    But — a very FiveThirtyEight-ish sentence follows — the range of possible outcomes is wide and Democrats’ prospects are far from certain. Relatively small shifts could allow Republicans to keep control of the House, or could turn a blue wave into a tsunami.
    538 gets a bad rap for missing the 2016 election when everyone (including the trump campaign) thought clinton would win.

    and the fact is they never said clinton was a lock...just incredibly likely to win....something along the lines of 75% likely to win....so in other words if the election were held 4 times and all the variables played out in each, trump would win it once...and that's what happened in 2016. they're pretty much ving the same odds for 2018, but i don't see the same outcome because it's the left that is amped up to have its voice heard.

    time will tell.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey View Post
    538 gets a bad rap for missing the 2016 election
    They were not far off and between Comey and the Russians they have justifiable reasons that they got the midwest wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    One factor helping Trump in 2016 was that he really needed to beat his polls in only one part of the country, the Midwest, to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College. (Outside of the Midwest, the polls were reasonably accurate and even underestimated Clinton in some states.)

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Follow up to the forecast posted above...

    Democrats are favored to gain control of the House of Representatives in this year’s midterm elections, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast model. But — a very FiveThirtyEight-ish sentence follows — the range of possible outcomes is wide and Democrats’ prospects are far from certain. Relatively small shifts could allow Republicans to keep control of the House, or could turn a blue wave into a tsunami.

    What’s behind all of this? Our methodology post goes into a lot more detail about how our forecasts are calculated. But that explanation is rather abstract, so in this article, I’m going to focus on how these factors are playing out given what we know about the political environment this year.

    Theme No. 1: A broad consensus of indicators point toward Democrats performing well

    In contrast to our presidential forecasts, which are heavily dependent on polling, our House model uses a broad mix of polling and non-polling indicators, including factors such as fundraising totals and historical trends in midterms. Those indicators look both pretty good for Democrats and remarkably consistent with one another:


    • The Lite version of our forecast, which focuses as much as possible on district-level and generic ballot polls, projects Democrats to win the popular vote for the House by 7 or 8 percentage points.
    • The Classic version of the model, which incorporates a lot of non-polling metrics such as fundraising and past voting in each district, also shows Democrats winning the popular vote by 7 or 8 points.
    • The generic ballot, which influences all three versions of our forecast, has generally shown Democrats with a lead of … 7 to 8 percentage points.
    • And finally, our model calculates a starting assumption about the race based on historical trends in midterms since 1946 and presidential approval ratings. It also implies that Democrats “should” win the House popular vote by about 8 percentage points — just what the other metrics show.

    So you’d expect Democrats to do pretty well based on the historical propensity of opposition parties to gain ground in midterm elections, especially under unpopular presidents. And Democrats are doing roughly as well as you’d expect them to according to most indicators of the national environment.

    There are a couple of exceptions — indicators that are a little out of the consensus — but both of them fall on the better-for-Democrats side of the consensus. First, Democrats have done really impressively in fundraising. Their candidates have raised more in individual contributions than Republicans in 71 of the 101 districts rated as competitive by the Cook Political Report, despite the fact that about two-thirds of these districts feature Republican incumbents. That’s unusual. Most challengers significantly trail in fundraising at this point in the cycle. Meanwhile, the results of special elections have been very good for Democrats. Our model doesn’t actually use special election results in its forecasts, but they’re part of a coherent alternative narrative in which there’s upside for Democrats relative to what our forecast shows. Donating money and voting in special elections are tangible indicators of voter engagement, and it’s possible that they point toward a Democratic enthusiasm advantage that could become clearer later on in the cycle.

    Theme No. 2: However, there’s some feast-or-famine risk for Democrats

    It’s much to Democrats’ credit that there are so many districts in play in all corners of the country. (Based on our accounting, Democrats have fielded a nominee in all but three of the 435 congressional districts nationwide.) But if you had to pinpoint the exact districts that Democrats should hope to win to gain 23 seats and take the House majority, you’d have a pretty hard time. We have only 215 seats rated as favoring Democrats — “lean Democrat” or stronger — which is fewer than the 218 they need to take the House.

    Nonetheless, Democrats are favored to win the majority if current conditions hold because they’ll have a bunch of opportunities, even as underdogs, to win those extra seats: 14 toss-up races, 19 “lean Republican” races and 53 “likely Republican” contests. Those are a lot of lottery tickets to punch, even if Democrats aren’t necessarily favored in any individual race.

    But Democrats would have a problem if there’s a shift in the national climate toward Republicans, or even if there’s a relatively modest systematic polling error in the GOP’s favor on Election Day. All of the sudden, they’d lose most of the toss-up races along with some of the “lean Democrat” races — and the “lean Republican” and “likely Republican” seats would become an uphill climb at best.

    The flip side to this is that if the political environment gets better for Democrats, their seat gains could pile up at an accelerating rate. There are a plethora of districts that are 10 to 20 points more Republican than the country as a whole, a lot of which were gerrymandered to be “safe” for Republican candidates — but where the gerrymanders could fail in the event of a large enough wave.

    Theme No. 3: Incumbents — especially Republican incumbents — are really vulnerable

    The first line of defense for a party hoping to maintain its majority is incumbency. Even if the national political climate is unfavorable, its incumbents may be popular enough in their districts to withstand the wave.

    The issue for Republicans is that the incumbency advantage has been weakening over time — and it appears to be especially flimsy this year. In the 1990s, incumbents overperformed the partisan baseline of their districts by somewhere on the order of 20 percentage points. (So, for example, a district that might favor Republicans by 2 points in an open-seat race would go to the GOP by 22 points if there were a Republican incumbent running.) In more recent elections, as Congress has become less and less popular, the incumbency advantage has eroded to more like 10 to 12 percentage points. And between Republicans’ anemic fundraising, GOP incumbents’ voting records — which are highly aligned with President Trump’s positions, even in purple districts — and reasonably good district-by-district polling for Democratic challengers, our model is projecting only about a 6-point advantage for GOP incumbents this year. Plus, a lot of Republican incumbents have retired.

    Our forecast also shows a relatively narrow advantage for Democratic incumbents. But Democratic incumbents have little exposure in the House: Any Democratic representative who was strong enough to survive the GOP waves in both 2010 and 2014 probably won’t have any problems this year. (It’s a entirely different story in the Senate, where there are lots of vulnerable Democratic incumbents who were last re-elected in the strong Democratic year of 2012.)

    Theme No. 4: Potential Democratic gains are broad-based, across all regions of the country

    One factor helping Trump in 2016 was that he really needed to beat his polls in only one part of the country, the Midwest, to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College. (Outside of the Midwest, the polls were reasonably accurate and even underestimated Clinton in some states.) By contrast, Republicans are facing a multi-front assault in the House this year:


    • In the Northeast, they have a lot of exposure in New York and New Jersey, which were once bastions of moderate Republicanism but which have become increasingly inhospitable to this brand of politics — and in Pennsylvania, where court-ordered redistricting resulted in a bad map for Republicans and where a lot of GOP incumbents have retired.
    • In the South, they face pressure because of demographic change in states such as Georgia and Virginia — and increasingly in Texas.
    • In the Midwest, there’s the risk of reversion to the mean with Trump off the ballot, especially as the GOP coalition in these states has come to rely on voters without a college degree who don’t always participate in midterm elections.
    • And in the West, there are 14 Republican-controlled seats in California and another four in Washington that look increasingly out of place as the Pacific Coast becomes a somewhat literal “blue wall.”

    As it happens, projected Democratic gains are almost evenly distributed between the four Census Bureau regions: The Classic version of our model projects them to gain nine seats in the Midwest, nine in the South, nine in the Northeast and eight in the West. Note that Democrats could completely flop in any one of these regions and yet still (just barely) win enough seats to take the House.

    Our forecast shows Democrats gaining House seats all over the country

    Census Region Total Seats Current FORECASTED* net gain
    Northeast 78 51 60 +9
    Midwest 94 33 42 +9
    South 161 48 57 +9
    West 102 63 71 +8

    Theme No. 5: Democrats need to win the popular vote by a fairly wide margin

    The Classic version of our model gives Democrats a near certainty (about a 98 percent chance) of winning more votes than the GOP in the race for the House — but “only” a 3 in 4 chance of winning the majority of seats. This discrepancy between votes and seats reflects a combination of gerrymandering, voter self-sorting1 and incumbency, all of which favor Republicans to some degree. Thus, in the Classic version of our forecast, Democrats would need to win the popular vote by about 5 percentage points in order to become favorites to win the majority of seats in the House. And in the Lite and Deluxe versions, the break-even point is closer to a 6-point popular-vote win.

    Nonetheless, these margins aren’t as bad for Democrats as they might be. At earlier points in the cycle, Democrats had appeared to need more like a 7- to 8-point advantage in the national popular vote to be favored to claim the majority of seats. Since then, the Republican edge has been eroded by retirements, by Pennsylvania’s redistricting and by the relatively weak GOP incumbency advantage (see Theme No. 3). All of this might seem like splitting hairs, but because so many indicators (see Theme No. 1) point toward Democrats winning the popular vote by a margin of something like 7 or 8 percentage points, these subtle differences are important.



    I’ll be on vacation next week — excuse me, I’ll be investigating ground-level conditions in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District — but we’re going to be returning to these themes again and again between now and Nov. 6, so let’s call it a day. As a bonus, though, here’s a table put together by my colleague Julia Wolfe showing what our Classic forecast thinks of the race in every district in the country.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...for-the-house/
    Iow, the Dems will win the House unless they don't.

  22. #122
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...I have a deeply lurking suspicion that dems will find ways to muddle the wave and almost gain control of the House...

  23. #123
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...I have a deeply lurking suspicion that dems will find ways to muddle the wave and almost gain control of the House...

    ....and what, if any, beneficial difference might that create?

    They all come from the same root character/mindset. Been of this nature forever.

  24. #124
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    ....and what, if any, beneficial difference might that create?
    ...more turbulence, of course, a greater number of tweets for the handicapped...etc...

  25. #125
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...I have a deeply lurking suspicion that dems will find ways to muddle the wave and almost gain control of the House...
    Is that kinda like the democrat 'feelings' of needing their 'safe spaces'?

    Might not happen after Team Trump does the October surprise.

    Run and hide little preciousnesses. Safe space, safe space!

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