October 12, 2018

Midterm Watch

As of early Friday morning, FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 78.5 percent chance of taking the House and an 18.3 percent chance of taking the Senate. Both sides are focused on firing up their base and getting a strong voter turnout on Election Day.


See past issues

From the Left

The left is optimistic about a blue wave, but cautions that “a Democratic victory in the midterms is far from a sure bet."


In the Senate, they have said they will fixate on health care in the coming weeks... Democrats [also pledged] to focus on creating well-paying jobs through infrastructure investment and on tackling Washington corruption... polls have shown for months now that a strong majority of voters are favorably inclined toward congressional candidates who will provide a check on this White House.”

New York Times

Democrats need to do “a much better job explaining how Republicans have utterly failed in their oversight obligations. Republicans have not addressed possibly unconstitutional emoluments, conflicts of interest, improper White House interference with the Justice Department, endemic corruption throughout the executive branch and suppression of government data the administration doesn’t like — to name just a few items...

"Instead, Republicans, either by omission or commission, have enabled the executive branch to run amok.”

Washington Post

At the state level, “Democrats see a golden opportunity to win back hundreds of state legislative seats across the country, rebuilding a bench decimated by midterm election results in 2010 and 2014."

The Hill

But “they face a tough-to-crack Republican firewall... In 2010, the Republican Party put $30 million into a project called Redmap, short for Redistricting Majority Project... The numbers speak for themselves. Nationwide, from 2009 to the present, Democrats lost 960 state legislative seats to the Republicans... This year, for the first time in recent memory, Democratic and liberal organizations are investing heavily in the battle for state legislatures."

New York Times

Finally, some are looking ahead to congressional races in 2020, with grim prospects. “The next cycle is the one where the harsh reality of the Senate’s structural bias towards smaller, less dense states truly begins to sink in for Democrats...

"Rather than a pendulum shift in Democrats’ favor, the 2020 Senate election is shaping up to be the moment when the organic Republican majority within the Senate falls into place. Trump won 46 percent of the popular vote in 2016 but 60 percent of states, and states like Idaho and Wyoming get just as many senators as California. Unless a whole bunch of red states suddenly turn blue, Democrats will be stuck where they are: in the minority.”


From the Right

The right makes the case that GOP candidates should focus on far-left positions taken by prominent blue-state Democrats, and are optimistic about holding the Senate.

The right makes the case that GOP candidates should focus on far-left positions taken by prominent blue-state Democrats, and are optimistic about holding the Senate.

“What have we learned about the Democratic Party over the past two years?... They are against his Supreme Court nominee, before that person is even named. They are against cutting the corporate tax rate, even though both Presidents Obama and Clinton were for it. They have refused to work with President Trump in any policy area — not on energy, not on prescription drugs costs, not on rebuilding the military, not on health care, not on regulatory reform."

Washington Times

GOP candidates should “join President Trump in pounding the Democrats’ left wing... many Democrats want to end private health insurance in favor of a $32 trillion government program...

"Others back Sen. Bernie Sanders’s ‘free college’ and ‘job guarantee’ proposals. Every Democrat should have to account for these wacky positions of their party’s left flank. GOP candidates can force them to choose sides and either alienate independents or disappoint their bases.”

Wall Street Journal

In the Tennessee Senate race, for example, “rather than target [the Democratic candidate] Bredesen, who is generally liked... [the GOP] makes the case that the majority in the Senate is razor-thinand that Tennessee voters could be responsible for turning the Senate to a Democratic majority...

"Featuring clips of radical senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Cory Booker, (D-Spartacus), [they note] that ‘If Bredesen wins, Dianne Feinstein picks your judges, Bernie Sanders runs the budget and Chuck Schumer runs everything.’”

The Federalist

This approach makes sense given that, “as with everything else in the Trump era, the midterm elections are about Donald Trump... Trump dominates the public life of this country like no other modern commander-in-chief. He dominates politics, the media, Twitter, entertainment and the cultural debate. He is the driving force in the most hyperpolarized climate in a generation... It's all base politics now as each party has abandoned the mushy center."

Fox News

Regarding complaints about representation in the Senate, “there is no structural advantage for Republicans in small states. As much as Democrats love to hate the sparsely populated regions of what they call ‘flyover country,’ any advantage the Republicans have there is matched by Democratic strength in New England, Delaware, and Hawaii...

"Four years’ absence from power is not a structural defect; it is a flaw in the quality of their Senate candidates. Instead of tearing down institutions, Democrats should gain power the old-fashioned way: by nominating candidates who can win elections.”

The Federalist

You could get paid $25/hour to binge-watch sports.


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