Less Than A Week To Go & No One Really Knows

Less than a week to go and no one really knows. 

Excerpt: The 2018 midterms are working their way toward a conclusion.  In a week, we should finally know who will control the House (although if the outcome is close, it could take weeks to finish counting ballots in California). 

The consensus view is that Democrats are favored to take the lower chamber.  Analysts disagree on just how large a majority they are likely to win, and how likely that majority is.  

  • Will there be a late break? 
  • How many votes are Democrats wasting? 
  • How correlated are the errors? 
  • Are we relying too much on one pollster? 
  • What is early voting telling us?  

Bottom Line: Those were the six questions posed by RCP yesterday. They’re all interesting and potentially valid points. They all also point in one direction. A week from today we’ll know who’ll control, Congress. Today no one credibly can tell you. It’s hard to get good data out of most House districts as it is and when most of what is produced suggest dozens of toss-ups, that speaks volumes about how likely it is that we’re in for a super-tight election when determining specifically, control of the House. Here’s what I am confident in with under a week to go. First, this isn’t a wave election either way. Second, Republicans are set to outperform a typical midterm election cycle and lastly, Republicans will control the US Senate.

Unless there’s a dramatic sea change in the electorate in the final five days, those three I have confidence in saying. On the first. Engagement, turnout is up across the board. What causes a wave election in a midterm cycle is when there’s a strong shift in sentiment towards one party with a turnout advantage that reflects the shift. We aren’t seeing that thus far. Instead, engagement is up across the board on all sides of the political age that reflect the shift. 

Regarding the second and third, in the typical cycle, a President’s party loses four Senate seats and 30 House seats. Republicans not only won’t lose four seats in the Senate, there's a better chance they’d gain four than lose four. Performance alone in the Senate will ensure it’s a better than average cycle for Republicans nationally. Meanwhile, there’s potentially a chance they outperform in the House, though potentially still losing it. It’s way too early and close to know, but most of what I’m wading through suggests that fewer than 30 seats will be lost.

Photo by: Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images

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