The amount of consternation conservatives might feel over the midterm elections which will be upon us in less than three weeks is probably directly related to how much said people internalize the narratives fed to them by the mainstream media. Talk of a “blue wave” which sweeps out the Republicans’ majority in the House of Representatives and perhaps jeopardizes the GOP’s tenuous hold on the Senate has persisted for months and in some quarters is even increasing.
And yet if the “blue wave” is real, rather than a figment of the Left’s overactive imagination, it certainly doesn’t carry with it as much water as one would imagine.
Let’s remember a number of things.
First, true wave elections don’t come as a result of voter excitement on one side, as the touting of next month’s Democrat result is touted to be. Most wave elections happen when turnout is down, not up – one side’s voters abandon it, and thus hand the election to the winner. And what we know is Republican voters are showing no sign whatsoever of abandoning the midterm elections to the Democrats this year.
For example, here are some results of early voting in North Carolina, courtesy of Phil Kerpen…
2018 Day 1 Early Voting
133,502 ballots cast
57,449 Democrats (43%)
40,840 Republican (30.5%)
34,443 Unaffiliated (25.7%)
2016 Day 1 Early Voting
165,938 ballots cast
87,056 Democrats (52.5%)
40,602 Republicans (24.5%)
37,937 Unaffiliated (22.9%)
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 19, 2018
Early voting has traditionally been a bulwark of Democrat turnout models. If they’re not doing as well this year as they did in 2016, when Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 51-47, then that could be a problem in a purple state.
It’s still early, but there’s no sign of a blue wave in the initial wave of mail ballot returns in Florida.
Figures filed Wednesday with the state show that more Republicans than Democrats are returning their mail ballots, 20 days before Election Day. Nearly 2.6 million voters have been sent mail ballots — what used to be called absentee ballots — and 554,000 arrived through Tuesday.
Republican mail ballot returns of 247,530 accounted for 45 percent of the total returns statewide, even though Republicans account for 35 percent of all voters. The Democratic returns of 207,171 accounted for 37 percent of the total, the same as the party’s share of the statewide electorate.
Returns are updated daily. But if this trend continues, it means Democrats must outperform Republicans in early voting and on election day if any of the party’s major candidates are to prevail on Nov. 6.
Republicans have consistently outperformed Democrats in voter turnout in recent midterm elections in Florida. The stakes are especially high in 2018, with an open race for governor and all three Cabinet offices, a tight contest for U.S. Senate, several highly competitive congressional races and a dozen proposed constitutional amendments.
Those numbers aren’t dispositive of anything, mind you, but they’re indicators which are most significant than the constant polling the mainstream media is subjecting Americans to.
Those polls should have been largely discredited after their failure to predict the 2016 elections, but for some reason they’re still driving the media’s narrative of an impending House takeover.
They’re not claiming a Senate takeover anymore, though – and that’s a change from what had been the case.
Why? Because such claims aren’t credible anymore.
The Democrats were expecting to hold all 25 Senate seats of theirs which are up for re-election this year, plus win in three of the four races in Texas, Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada. Outside of an outlier poll in Tennessee showing Phil Bredesen ahead of Marsha Blackburn 44-43, which contradicts results in five previous polls, there is no indication the Democrats will win any of those Senate seats. They certainly won’t win in Texas, where Ted Cruz is beating Beto O’Rourke by between 7 and 10 points in every poll despite O’Rourke raising a record $60 million for a hopeless campaign. And in Arizona, Martha McSally is beginning to pull away from the unhinged and unelectable Kristen Sinema, while recent polling gives Nevada Republican Dean Heller a seven-point advantage. We don’t see any Democrat Senate pickups at present, which would mean Republicans will be adding Senate seats.
How many? Could be a decent number.
It’s a foregone conclusion at this point that Heidi Heitkamp is finished in North Dakota. Heitkamp knew she was cooked when she voted against Brett Kavanaugh despite 60 percent of North Dakota voters wanting him confirmed. That race isn’t even competitive anymore. So that’s at least one GOP pickup.
Will West Virginia be another? Right now the conventional wisdom has it that Joe Manchin will survive, largely on the strength of his pro-Kavanaugh vote. But even if Manchin wins re-election it’s entirely possible the GOP could take that seat, because he’s been the likeliest party flip in the Senate Democrat caucus for some time – and with the Democrat moving hard left, away from him, and with there being little prospect of that party controlling the Senate any time soon if it doesn’t happen next year, the pragmatic choice for Manchin (himself a pragmatist) would be to negotiate the best deal possible and then switch to the GOP. There hasn’t been a poll of the race since the end of September, when Manchin led Republican Patrick Morrissey 46-38.
In Indiana, Democrat Joe Donnelly is only at 44 percent in a three-way race, with a small four-point lead over Republican challenger Mike Braun. There is a Libertarian candidate in the race who’s polling at seven percent; our experience tells us that on Election Day libertarian voters generally flip to Republican, especially against a Democrat incumbent. Forty-four percent for Donnelly means he’s in serious danger.
In Florida Rick Scott holds a minute edge over Bill Nelson in the polls, but some of those same polls have been saying that Tallahassee mayor and out-of-control socialist Andrew Gillum is leading over Rep. Ron DeSantis. Nobody really believes Gillum is going to win that race, and Republican turnout of the absentee ballots referenced above indicates that DeSantis and Scott are likely underpolling. We’d be surprised if Scott doesn’t win that race.
In Montana there is practically no polling at all. The most recent major poll was taken Sept. 22 by Gravis, and in that poll Democrat incumbent John Tester led Republican state auditor Matt Rosendale by a 49-45 count. But since then President Trump has made multiple trips to hold rallies in Montana, and out of state money has flooded Montana’s media markets. Nobody really knows what the effect of that will be; it’s a good bet Tester’s vote against Kavanaugh will hurt him in that state.
In Missouri, Claire McCaskill is in a lot tougher fight against that state’s attorney general Josh Hawley than she was against the bumbling Todd Akin six years ago. Polls of the race indicate it’s very close and also that McCaskill can’t get much above 45 or 46 percent, which for an incumbent is a problem as undecideds generally break away from an incumbent. McCaskill has a further problem, in that Project Veritas infiltrated her campaign and captured hidden video of her staff admitting she’s lying on more or less all of the centrist positions she’s taken, and worse that she’s lying about taking money from Planned Parenthood. McCaskill’s response has been to call for a “special prosecutor” to be appointed to investigate Project Veritas for committing the crime of investigative journalism. There is no way this plays well.
And in New Jersey, which shouldn’t be a contested race but nevertheless is thanks to Bob Menendez’ corruption and legal problems, Republican Bob Hugin is mounting a serious challenge. The last poll of the race was taken by Monmouth last week; it had Menendez with a 49-40 lead. Hugin is hammering Menendez with a TV ad playing up the old underaged Dominican hookers allegations, which the FBI investigated but the feds didn’t ultimately prosecute, and we’ll see how it goes. The Monmouth poll did indicate that Trump’s unpopularity in New Jersey is what’s weighing Hugin down.
So that’s seven potential GOP pickups, with North Dakota a virtual certainty and a decent bet of half the others going Republican (we’d bet on Missouri and Florida for sure, and of the rest it’s a decent bet either Indiana or Montana could make for another, plus there’s the potential Manchin flip).
If the Republicans were to gain four seats in the Senate, exactly how are the Democrats supposed to gain 23 seats in the House to take control of that body?
There are 66 House seats which are considered competitive based on demographics and voter registration. To take control of the House the Democrats would need to win 45 of those 66.
And while much has been made of the Democrats’ supposed 53-42 generic ballot advantage in the ABC News-Washington Post poll released Monday, what no one is talking about is that in those 66 critical districts the Republicans actually hold a 47-46 lead in the generic ballot.
It does you no good to run up a score in safe districts in New York and Massachusetts, or to win 90-10 in Philadelphia and Cleveland rather than 80-20, when you then lose elections in Missouri and North Dakota and in the Dallas suburbs. That’s what the Democrats are facing right now, because there is no way to carry 45 of those 66 contested seats while being upside down 47-46 in generic ballot polls of their voters.
Earlier this week in a Hayride guest post, political consultant Lionel Rainey said it was his judgement no blue wave was approaching, because he didn’t think the country had gone over to the kind of Hard Left ideology the Democrats are embracing. Rainey was correct, though he admitted he didn’t have data to back up his estimation. Well, now you’ve seen the data. It lends credence to the fact there is no blue wave. Democrats might gain a half-dozen Congressional seats while losing four or five in the Senate, and that’s about all they can expect at this point.
The question then becomes what happens to the credibility of the pollsters, pundits and media operators who have been pushing this narrative when the elections have come and gone and it turns out to be false? Where do they, and the Democrats, go from there?