Prior publications in this series:
Well, here we are in the 3rd edition of this series. And as predicted in the first iteration of this series, the Republicans, for whatever reason, have started to “come home”. Suggested reasons are Russia and/or Impeachment fatigue, the strong performance of the economy, the achievement of certain long held foreign policy preferences of the Right, e.g. the Jerusalem embassy move and the demise of the Iran deal, the North Korea progress, and/or the fact that in some districts, the batshit-crazy candidate is beating the sane Democrat in the primaries.
(To be honest, though, I haven’t got a strong opinion on that last one yet. It may just be another excuse being queued up by the centrist Dems to bludgeon their progressive wing with, later.)
The first datapoint to be mentioned here is that the Generic Congressional preference polling has now narrowed into the margin of error. Historically, if the GOP is -3, the election is a push; neither party gains or loses seats. Here’s the way the GOP trend is now reducing the “Blue Wave” to a trickle from a faucet:
Although the above trend started in March and has been moving positively for the GOP since then, the RCP District by District analysis has been rather static; since my last post on the matter, it’s been showing 201 seats safe or leaning Dem, 204 seats safe or leaning GOP, and the rest up for grabs; those numbers gave the GOP a slight advantage, when when talking about the “Blue Wave” was all the rage; hence the title of my articles in this series.
Suddenly, however, the seat counts have started to move. It currently looks like this:
Here is a list of the moving parts:
- The Dems have six fewer “Safe” seats than they did.
- The GOP has three more “Safe” seats than they did.
- The number of GOP seats that were in the “Leaning Dem” category has dropped from 9 to 3. Those seats have now moved into the “Tossup” category.
- There has been no notable change in status for any seats currently held by the Dems. If they were Safe, Likely, Leaning, or Tossup before, they still are. Same goes for that Dem seat now in “Likely GOP”.
- On the GOP side, GA 6, NE 2, and PA 10 have moved from Tossup to “Likely GOP”.
All told, the prevailing historical observation that previously disgruntled partisans might tell a pollster one thing a year out from an election, but “come home” when the election approaches, appears to be holding pat.
Current outlook, then, would be a House that would lean GOP, 223–212. So, the overall Generic indicator is more beneficial to the (R)s than the more specific district-by-district outlook.
No change on the Senate outlook at this time. Most likely scenario is 52 (R), 48 (D’s and I’s that caucus with D’s). (I would add that this is a moral victory for the D’s if it turns out that way. With a popular GOP president, the R’s would be looking at 56–58 seats, and an outside shot at the magic 60.)