Not Quite a Wave

5 November 2018


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Predictions for Mid-Term Elections 2018


The American people will go to the polls tomorrow to vote in the mid-term elections. Usually, these are humdrum affairs with only the politically committed turning up. However, there is a sense here that the stakes are exceedingly high. The Democrats believe that this may be America's last chance to avoid a fascist future, while the Republicans believe this is the last chance to save America from becoming Venezuela. Neither are right, but it does get the base motivated. So, with that in mind, here are the expected outcomes.

In the House of Representatives, the Democrats need to pick up a net 23 seats to take control of the chamber. They will gain something like 33. The simple fact is that they have a target rich environment. There are 25 Congressional Districts that Hillary Clinton won that elected Republican members of the House. Almost all of those will fail to win re-election. In addition, there are sufficient suburban areas where Mr. Trump's sturm und drang doesn't sell to run the total up a bit. However, given the Republicans control of state governments, they have gerrymandered defensive walls that will prevent the Democrats from realizing a 50 or 60 seat swing.

In the Senate, the Democrats just need a net gain of two seats to take control, but the map has always favored the Republicans. The senators up for re-election now won their seats in the 2012 election that gave Barack Obama his second term. Naturally, this cadre of senators is heavily Democratic, despite many of the states backing Mr. Trump in 2016. Every two years, a third of the Senate seats are filled, so 35 seats (a third and a couple special elections to fill vacancies) are up for grabs. Of the 35, 26 are currently held by Democrats and 9 by Republicans. In other words, the Democrats need to hold all 26 of their seats and take two more from the GOP to control the Senate. It's a bridge too far. This journal believes the Republicans will actually pick up 2 seats.

The governors races are a mirror image of the Senate. Here due to coincidence alone, 26 Republican governors are facing the voters as are 9 Democrats. There is also one independent. Of the 26 GOP held governorships, 12 have no incumbent; the Democrats have 2 such seats to defend. It is not unreasonable to think the Democrats, therefore, could net anywhere from 4-10 of these offices. This journal believes 7 will swing to the Democrats. This is be important in the redistricting that will follow the 2020 census. The Democrats can undo some GOP gerrymandering.

The two biggest governors races are in Florida and Georgia where the GOP holds both. The Republicans in each state are hard-right fans of Donald Trump and face two black leftish Democrats. In Florida, Governor Rick Scott of the GOP is aiming for a Senate seat due to term limits. He will lose to Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by 6-7%.

In Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp gets to be the referee in his race for governor. In the US, elections are not run by non-partisan professionals but by elected officials. Mr. Kemp has decided not to resign as Secretary of State in order to run for governor, so he is both pitching and calling balls and strikes. Stacy Abrams, his Democratic opponent, would be the first black woman governor in US history, and she will win a plurality. That won't get the job done.

In Georgia, if a candidate doesn't win with 50+% of the vote, there is a run-off a month later. The Libertarian candidate Ted Metz will take just enough votes to prevent any candida from getting a majority. In the run-off, the Democrats will have trouble turning out their voters for a second time. This journal believes that Mr. Kemp will win in December.

The Republic's institutions are being stress tested. So far, they are managing. It will take a few more years of direct attack to break them.

© Copyright 2018 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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