2018 Mid-Term Elections

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2018 Mid-Term Elections

Postby Ken Carson » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:46 pm

I've been making a few posts about these and people seem interested, so I'll create this thread. I'd prefer if the focus can stay on commenting on the races, not the politics of the day if possible.

As of today, October 4, 538 has a 7 in 9 chance for Republicans to maintain a majority (50/50 tie is a majority with Pence as tiebreaker).

The most likely outcomes are as follows:
- Republicans retain current balance (+1 R) 16.3%
- Republicans gain 1 seat (+2 R) 14.9%
- Democrats gain 1 seat, but Republicans retain control via Pence (even) (14.6%)
- Republicans gain 2 seats (+3 R) 11.9%
- Democrats gain 2 seats (+1 D) 11.2% chance

That covers 70% of the outcomes, so I'll stop there.

Races that matter:
North Dakota
Heidi Heitkamp is a single-term Senator from a deep red state. She barely won in 2012, likely riding some Obama optimism to a narrow 0.9% margin against a fellow non-incumbent. This seat is critical for Ds if they want to pick up net seats, but right now things don't look great for Heitkamp. What was a close race early in September has widened to a 10.5 point lead for the Republican challenger Kevin Cramer. These polls were conducted following the Kavanaugh hearings, which seem to have greatly influenced the race in Cramer's favor at this point. With a month to go, can Heitkamp close the gap? Doubtful. Looking highly likely the 'Pubs re-take this seat.

Tennessee
The good news for Democrats is that there is a real chance they win in Tennessee, a state that they have been shut out in since 1995. And with former governor Phil Bresden, the Dems have the more experienced candidate. Early polling has had Bresden with a small advantage over Republican US Rep Marsha Blackburn most of the summer, but most recents polls (again, taken from immediately after the Kavanaugh hearings, though should be less impactful here as neither is an incumbent) have Blackburn pulling ahead by 5 points. Bresden has some work to do to win this seat for Democrats.

Indiana
Joe Donnelly is defying the odds so far in a deep red state. Even in a state that went for Trump by 20 points, Donnelly still has a 2 point lead over his challenger, and this is despite him saying that he would vote no on Brett Kavanaugh. In fact, the same poll which is reporting a 2 point lead for Donnelly had him down 2 points to Republican Mike Braun. What makes this race so interesting is the high number of undecided voters, a full 17% of them. How those voters break in the next month will surely determine the fate of this seat that Democrats might see as far more competitive than they would have liked. However, Donnelly has been a moderate Democrat, and his opponent has never held an office higher than state senator, which should give him just the edge he needs to keep this seat blue.

West Virgina
Joe Manchin annihilated his challenger 6 years ago by 24 points and has been a very moderate Democrat (64% voting record). And that has kept him fairly safe in the polls, though there is not anything particularly recent available that isn't a partisan poll. I'm calling this seat safely blue until something changes, though I would expect Manchin to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, unless he wants to turn this into a dogfight. West Virgina went overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.

Florida
Bill Nelson's seat wasn't supposed to be contested closely, but it is, as termed-out governor Rick Scott, noted Skeletor impersonator, has maintained a dead heat with Nelson since polling opened. This seat is a coin flip, a far cry from Nelson's 12 point win in 2012.

Arizona
Arizona is a very interesting race, as the state has been a fairly safe Republican seat while John McCain held it down for a generation. However, new blood enters the fray on both sides in an all-female matchup. Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally are in a tight race, currently led slightly by Sinema, the Democrat. A potential barrier could be Angela Green, running unironically for the Green Party, currently polling at around 2.5%. Right now, this looks like a Democrat seat, but it's on the edge of a knife.

Missouri
Claire McCaskill won this seat going away in 2012, but like many of her contempories, her state has drastically shifted right in national politics. She is in a dogfight with former attonery general Josh Hawley with latest polling showing a dead heat. The smart money is on McCaskill, and she has raised $16 million dollars to Hawley's $4 million for this race, but this has got to be uncomfortable for her and Senate Democrats. This one is a complete toss up at this point.

Nevada
This is a Republican seat that is in some real trouble, and the bad news for Democrats is that this first time I've said that so far. Incumbent Dean Heller does have a difficult battle in a state that went for Hilary Clinton in 2016, and he only managed to win this seat in 2012 by 2 points. This one is even closer than Missouri, and I'd call it complete toss up ass well.

Texas
Yes, you read that right. Ted Cruz is in a battle for his seat. There are not many recent polls, and the ones that are recent are Democrat-partisan polls which show Cruz with a lead, albeit slim. Why is this race even competitive? One answer could be that Cruz is a <insert colorful phrase>. However, it's more likely money. Beto O'Rourke has raised $23 million, more than double Ted Cruz's warchest. It's unlikely that O'Rourke has exhausted those formidable resources (more than any other candidate I researched), so expect this one to be close up until the final week. It would be a very massive blow to the Republicans to lose a seat in Texas, and probably the best path Democrats have to flipping the Senate.

That's all for now. Hope you enjoyed my breakdown.
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Re: 2018 Mid-Term Elections

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:09 pm

Thought on the races I know about in the OP

West Virginia -Joe Manchin, despite being a corporate Democrat, was a pretty popular Governor for the state before winning Robert Byrd's seat in the Senate. Patrick Morressy had a run as attorney General of West Virginia that was not without controversy. This is an internal fight within the state rather than a national one, and I think West Virginians re-elect Manchin by a less than comfortable margin based on them disliking Manchin less than they dislike Morressy. If this thread gets any traction, I'll show some stuff about the WV 3rd House district race that is really interesting.

Florida- Bill Nelson should be running away with this election right now since even Florida Republicans seem to have had enough of Rick Scott. But he's not because the only thing Bill Nelson has left to run on is not being Rick Scott. I'll be voting for Nelson in November, but I'm not exactly enthusiastic about it.

Texas- Beto would be getting crushed if he were running against Cornyn, but Ted Cruz is about as icky a Republican Senator that you could ask for. Beto has a tall hill to climb to convince enough Texans that he is safe enough a candidate to allow them to dump Cruz which is something I think a majority of Texans secretly would be okay with if it is the right guy. I'm pulling for Beto, but I don't know if he's going to have enough support to pull it out. If he wins, Democrats will start talking about flipping Texas blue again, but again, I think Beto would be getting his ass handed to him if he were running against Cornyn.
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Re: 2018 Mid-Term Elections

Postby DreadNaught » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:22 pm

Beto is going win Texas just like Hillary did, amirite MB??
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Re: 2018 Mid-Term Elections

Postby Zarniwoop » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:23 pm

DreadNaught wrote:Beto is going win Texas just like Hillary did, amirite MB??



Beto is making me do the near impossible -- vote for Cruz. And he Lib candidate is actually quite decent for a change.
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Re: 2018 Mid-Term Elections

Postby MJW » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:02 am

Ken Carson wrote:North Dakota
Heidi Heitkamp is a single-term Senator from a deep red state. She barely won in 2012, likely riding some Obama optimism to a narrow 0.9% margin against a fellow non-incumbent. This seat is critical for Ds if they want to pick up net seats, but right now things don't look great for Heitkamp. What was a close race early in September has widened to a 10.5 point lead for the Republican challenger Kevin Cramer. These polls were conducted following the Kavanaugh hearings, which seem to have greatly influenced the race in Cramer's favor at this point. With a month to go, can Heitkamp close the gap? Doubtful. Looking highly likely the 'Pubs re-take this seat.


She ended all doubt when she said she'd vote No on Kavanaugh today. Now she's just building up her cred for her soon-to-be-announced CNN gig.
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Re: 2018 Mid-Term Elections

Postby MJW » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:02 am

DreadNaught wrote:Beto is going win Texas just like Hillary did, amirite MB??


I didn't think Hillary would win Texas, but once Wendy Davis shocked everyone...
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Re: 2018 Mid-Term Elections

Postby Buc2 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:04 am

Virginia
2016 Vice President candidate and incumbent U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is riding name recognition to an 18 point lead over Republican challenger, Corey Stewart, per the latest Quinnipiac University poll. With 10% undecided, coupled with the large Dem populations in the NoVA and Tidewater areas, I think it's safe to say that this seat will remain solidly on the D's side. Nothing to see here.
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