Sunday, November 4, 2018

As predicted, a deeply unpopular Trump stomped on the GOP message; early races I'll be watching Tuesday night

 - by New Deal democrat

As I wrote a few weeks ago, whatever message Congressional GOPers might have wanted to put out (like, "our tax cuts helped spur the best economy in years!") got stomped on by Donald Trump.

As it turns out, (please be sitting down for this) he was being truthful when he talked about momentum having been going his way. Here's Gallup's weekly polling through last Sunday:

Until the bomb attempts and several mass shootings derailed things, his approval ratings in the weeks following the Kavanaugh confirmation were the best since spring 2017.

Then, during the week of actual and attempted mass murder he went down 4 points. 

Trump being Trump, he had to grab back the limelight, so he blamed the press (and even the victims for not having armed guards in their place of worship!), and amped up the anti-immigrant volume, thus guaranteeing the the ugliest face of the GOP is what has been last shown to the public before Tuesday's polling.

I'll update this post with Gallup's final pre-midterms weekly number when it comes out tomorrow.

By the way, Gallup also supplied a nifty chart of Presidential and Congressional approval for each of the last 10 midterms in addition to current polling:

Only George W. Bush had worse numbers in 2006, and only the Congressional democrats had worse numbers in 2014.

Just based on those numbers, I would expect the incumbent President's party to take a pasting.

We ought to get some clues from some east coast races early Tuesday night. So here's a handy list of the tightest ones, that I will be particularly watching:


Toss up
Georgia - Stacey Abrams (D) vs. Brian Kemp (R)

D-slight favorite
Florida governor - Andrew Gillum (D)  vs. Ron DiSantis (R) 

D-higher favorite
Maine governor- Janet Miils (D) Shawn Mills (R)

D-slight favorite
Florida senator -  Bill Nelson (D) vs. Rick Scott (R)

D-higher favorite
NJ senator - Bob Menendez (D) vs. Bob HUgin (R)

Most of the contested races for governor or senator are in the midwest and mountain west, so the issue in the East is whether there are any upsets. Florida, of course, is perennially tight. Meanwhile NJ voters have been asked to hold their noses and "vote for the crook, it's important." If there is a race where bashful voters lied to pollsters, the NJ senate race is it.

House of Representatives

D higher favorites
ME-2 Janet Golden (D) 5/8 vs. Bruce Poloquin (R)
NY-19 Antonia Delgado (D) 5/8 vs. John Faso (R) 

D-slight favorite
FL-26 Debbie Mucarsel-Powell 5/9 vs. Carlos Curbelo (R)

NY-22 Anthony Brindisi (D) 1/2 vs. Claudia Tenney (R)
NJ-3 Andy Kim (D) 1/2 vs. Tom MacArthur (R) 1/2

R-slight favorites
VA-5 Leslie Cockburn (D) vs. Denver Riggleman (R) 5/9
NC-9 Dan McCready (D) vs. Mark Harris (R) 5/9
VA-7 Abigail Spanberger vs. Dave Brat (R) 4/7
PA-1 Scott Wallace (D) vs. Brian Fitzpartrick (R) 3/5
FL-15 Kristen Carlson (D) vs. Ross Spano (R) 3/5

R-higher favorites
GA-8 Lucy McBarth (D) vs. Karen Handel (R) 5/8
NC-13 Kathy Manning (D) vs. Ted Budd (R) 7/10
VA-2 Elaine Luria (D) vs. Scott Taylor (R) 5/7

Outside of California and a few seats in the upper midwest, the east is really where most of the action is in the House of Representative races. If there are upsets in the "slight favorites," that will give us a lot of information as to whether or not there is a "blue wave." Meanwhile, if democrats lose both "higher favorited" races, their ability to take the House is in real trouble. Contrarily, if the GOP loses one or more the the races where they are "higher favorites," be on the lookout for a blue tsunami!

I plan on watching the returns and following these races Tuesday night, so I will update this post with  results as they come in.