Skip to comments.Prominent Electoral Prognosticator: The GOP's Chances Are Suddenly Looking Better
Posted on 10/17/2018 8:59:43 AM PDT by Kaslin
If you're a regular reader, this trend doesn't come as a surprise. We've been tracking and flagging it since the Kavanaugh ordeal, which galvanized legions of previously-disengaged or underwhelmed GOP-leaning voters. We've demonstrated how that impact has continued to reverberate, particularly in Senate races. And now, the mainstream conventional wisdom appears to be catching up. Charlie Cook, who leads the vaunted Cook Political Report, is out with a new detailed analysis pointing to a clear uptick in Republicans' fortunes:
Charlie Cook: “One question that keeps coming back up is whether those who led the out-of-control demonstrations on Capitol Hill against the Kavanaugh nomination have any understanding of how much damage they did to Democrats” https://t.co/DfbkIhUmGo— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) October 16, 2018
The most dramatic change over the last six weeks in the midterm election picture is clearly in the Senate, but the House situation has subtly changed as well. Not long ago, the most likely outcome for the Senate was either no net change at all, or a shift of one seat, so the Senate would remain under GOP control, with the majority holding 50-52 seats. Today, a Republican net gain of a seat or two seems most likely, moving the GOP up to either 52 or 53 seats, though a gain of three seats or no net change are entirely possible. There remains some chance of Democrats picking up two seats and a majority, but those odds are long, no better than 1 in 5, and seemingly getting longer...Once you saw Republicans and conservative voters coming home and getting energized for the first time this election cycle, on top of this lopsided Senate map of seats overwhelmingly in GOP-friendly states, Democrats' hopes went down precipitously.
In the House, Democrats remain heavily favored to capture a majority; the change is that their chances of blowing the House wide open with a gain of 40-50 seats or more have diminished. In the suburban-oriented districts where most of the competitive House races are, things remain extremely challenging for Republicans. A large gender gap driven by suburban, college-educated, and younger women remains a very strong dynamic. But the more rural- and small-town-oriented districts—those with substantial numbers of Republicans, conservatives, and Trump backers—are now fully awake and engaged, moving some of those districts back away from the edge of competitiveness. Republicans were looking quite vulnerable through the summer in districts that one would never guess they would have to worry about. Today, Democrats seem more in line to score a net gain of between 20 and 40 seats.
Three weeks out, the GOP looks like it has a real opportunity to improve upon its current Senate (bare) majority, and has perhaps put itself in a position to mitigate expected losses in the House. Some of these polls are undoubtedly too close for comfort (especially with the distinct possibility of undecideds stampeding toward the Democrats at the last minute), but they're vastly improved over the doomsday scenario some polling projected several months ago. Again, this is not to say that Republicans don't face some real struggles. But things could be, and have been, markedly worse. On the Senate side, the most endangered incumbent on either side is Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Already trailing considerably in the polls, Heitkamp's campaign committed a truly dreadful unforced error, publicly identifying a number of women -- some erroneously -- as survivors of assault against their consent. Cornered with concrete evidence of malfeasance, Heitkamp appeared on a conservative radio show in North Dakota yesterday, profusely apologizing for a "colossal" screw-up:
Heitkamp: "This is on me. This has got my name on it... The worse thing you can do is take away their privacy... And I did exactly that. And I need to personally apologize and say I was wrong... There's no sugarcoating this... This was a collosal error."— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 16, 2018
This comes on the heels of her 'no' vote against Justice Kavanaugh, which flew in the face of the overwhelming sentiment of her constituents. And her explanations left a lot to be desired. Any hope she had of painting her opponent as insensitive toward female victims vanished when her own ad outed alleged victims without their permission. Meanwhile, I always view New Jersey Senate races as fool's gold for Republicans, but it's clear that national Democrats are getting anxious about scandal-plagued Bob Menendez's status in the Garden State:
Senate Majority PAC, leading Dem super PAC, going up w/ a $3 million statewide ad buy in the New Jersey Senate race -- their first spending in the race— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) October 16, 2018
Luckily for Bob, despite this brutal ad dropping on him this week, the cavalry is arriving to help. And by 'cavalry,' I mean Hillary Clinton doing what she does best -- raking in money. But perhaps this wasn't the best omen Team Menendez could have hoped for:
LIVE LOOK at @HillaryClinton trying to save @SenatorMenendez. (Spoiler alert: she crashes.) #NJSen pic.twitter.com/7poUpIYxl6— The Senate Majority (@NRSC) October 16, 2018
I'll leave you with this hilarious fake ad from the Free Beacon team, mashing up Krysten Sinema's damage control commercial with her various attacks against her own state:
Kyrsten Sinema’s new Arizona ad: Elect me Senator, you crazy meth heads. #AZSEN pic.twitter.com/Rcrql1hLjE— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) October 15, 2018
One careful statistical review shows Republican Martha McSally on the rise, but the media is doing what it can to run interference for Sinema -- including mischaracterizing an accurate line of criticism from McSally:
Not only did the Washington Post spell “Kyrsten Sinema” wrong, but they also got the quote completely wrong. McSally never accused Sinema of “treason.” She accused Sinema of “saying it’s okay to commit treason,” which is backed up by video evidence.
Delete this @washingtonpost. https://t.co/S7grQGOXsv— Caleb SkHull ?????? (@CalebJHull) October 16, 2018
Yes, Sinema told someone that she didn't object to the prospect of him joining the Taliban to take up arms against the United States. And, contra the best efforts of the hopeless spin artists at Politifact, it's also true that while McSally was bombing terrorists after 9/11, Sinema was protesting the Afghanistan war in a pink tutu. In fact, here's the ad again, just for good measure:
Sinema's post-9/11 radicalism is undeniable.
Cook, always behind the real curve by about two months.
Charlie Cook having totally blown 2014 and 2016, knows his credibility is dead if be blown 2018 as badly. Suddenly being a tame mouthpiece for the DNC isn’t looking to be the smart career move for Charley boy
Were gonna hold the House.
A 40 seat loss strikes me as outlandish. If its in the single digits, Im happy.
And three weeks is an eternity in polltics.
Bottom line: Cook’s team still has the Senate staying Republican, as he has all along, and the House probably flipping to the Dems, but now with little chance of a big wave of 40 or more seats, more like around 30 and some chance of as low as 20 in which case the GOP stays in control.
Polls will get better nearer the election...if they cannot depress the GOP vote..
6 months ago I said the lying American hating Democrats were going to get KO’d come the midterms. These political experts are really on the case. Amazing.
It’s dnc propagandist, Charlie Cook, trying to cover his @ss.
To me, the most disgusting moments were Democrats giving Christine Ford BJ's on broadcast TV......
Democrats sucking up to the liar for her "bravery and truthfulness" for "coming forward" after her 36 years past ordeal (yuck).
IMHO, most Americans were disgusted at this fawning Democrat display......that surely lost them thousands of votes
Is that like “unexpected”?
we all here knew that that the fake polls would be forced to start shifting towards actual reality as the election approached, basically shifting asymptotically on a scale that ranges from complete bullshit to actual reality ...
I predict we gain 6 to 9 Senate seats and lose 4 to 10 House seats.
Kudo’s to you - you really did a ‘yeoman’s job’ putting all those links in the story.
It's going to be really close as to who runs the House. We probably won't even know til the weekend after the election - there's always 5-6 House races too close to call.
Nice information. So long as the Republicans don’t screw it up, go for some shiny bait, things are beginning to look good. Hard to top what Warren did this week, but I fear, though, that they will do something stupid in the remaining days.
I hear we lose 10 or so total. As long as we hold majority, Im happy. What a mess it would be if Dems get the house. Constant investigation, impeachment hearings. We need to at least hold the house by 1 seat. Even if nothing is done in the house, the senate will continue with judges which is most important for the future.
I know. 19 days to screw it up is not out of the question. Paul Ryan out campaigning is not great in my opinion.
In 2016, Charlie was right on the money for the House, the actual result was +6 seats for the Democrats. The piece that he missed was the Presidential contest. Of course, everyone missed that one.
You can see the House results for 2016 and the pundit predictions here:
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