Friday, November 24, 2017

Things Will Only Get Worse For Ryan And His House Republicans As The Midterms Approach


Every poll that asks about who voters would rather see in control of Congress shows the same thing: by large and growing numbers, registered voters and likely voters want to see the Republicans lose control of Congress. Except for hard core Republicans-- and not even all of them no one wants to see another Paul Ryan speakership and even fewer people want to see Mitch McConnell in control of the Senate. But the caveat is always "but a lot could happen between now and the 2018 midterms. And that's true; a lot could happen. And there's no reason to believe what happens will help the Republicans' situation in any way. In fact, every indication is that the GOP will be in worse shape next November than they are in this November.

Harry Enten endeavored to explain this at FiveThirtyEight a couple weeks ago, with a logical post, There’s No Reason To Think Republicans Will Be In Better Shape A Year From Now. Polls that week by CNN and the Washington Post/ABC News "both found Democrats leading Republicans by 11 percentage points on the generic ballot... But the really bad news for Republicans: There’s a good chance they won’t be able to eat too much into that lead by the 2018 midterms."
The generic congressional ballot, even more than a year before a midterm, has historically been quite predictive of what will eventually occur in the following year. It was predictive in April, and it’s even more predictive now. You can see this phenomenon in the chart below. The chart shows the margin by which the presidential party leads on the generic ballot in an average of polls in October a year before the midterm compared with the national House margin in the midterm election. Every midterm cycle since 1938 is included, with the exception of 1942 and 1990, for which we don’t have polling at this point in the cycle.

The generic ballot polls a year from the election and the eventual House results are strongly correlated (+0.90). Importantly, past elections suggest that any big movement on the generic ballot from this point to the midterm tends to go against the president’s party. That movement explains why the Democrats lost ground in 2010 and 2014 in the generic ballot polls when they controlled the White House, while they maintained their lead in 2006 when Republicans held the White House. (With a similar set of data, I used the generic ballot to forecast Democratic problems early on in the 2010 cycle.)

Indeed, recent election outcomes show that Republicans should be worried about what the generic ballot is showing. The results in Tuesday’s gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey were called perfectly by the generic ballot once we control for the partisan lean of each state. The special election results this year have also been in line with a big Democratic lead on the generic ballot... [T]here’s no reason to think that Republicans will be in any better shape nationally a year from now. The Democratic lead on the generic ballot has about doubled since April... The bottom line is that although Republicans may see the national environment improve, there’s no reason to think it will. That’s bad news for them heading into 2018.
And this kind of analysis doesn't take other factors working against the Republicans, like Roy Moore, for example... or their inability to get anything done in Washington... or how much the public hates what they are trying to get done. Can they outspend the Democrats? Can they outwork the Democrats? They can, but even if they do, it won;'t save them.

In both the 2006 Democratic wave and the 2010 Republican wave, incumbents who outspent challengers by as much as five to one, were swept away anyway. Challengers need enough money to create name recognition but-- unlike in non-wave elections-- they don't need to come anywhere close to matching their opponents in spending. And as for outworking the Democrats... Republicans are demoralized and unenthusiastic about the midterms-- and like to get more so in the next 11 months.

Early Thanksgiving morning New Jersey's Observer showed one way how that is manifesting itself. Recall that a couple of weeks ago New Jersey Republicans had their heads handed to them. In the gubernatorial race, mediocre Wall Street Democrat Phil Murphy beat Republican Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno 1,178,628 (55.8%) to 886,966 (42.0%). At the same time, the Democrats increased their state Senate majority from 24-16 to 25-15 and they increased their majority in the Assembly from 52-28 to 54-24 (with 2 seats still in recount). What the Observer reported yesterday was that Democrats have outpaced Republicans in voter registration gains in battleground congressional districts, converting a larger share of unaffiliated voters since 2012.
Republicans still outnumber Democrats in the 7th and 11th congressional districts, where incumbent Reps. Leonard Lance (R-7) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) are expected to face tough re-election bids. But the gap between registered Republicans and Democrats has tightened since 2012 as the number of unaffiliated voters fell.

In the 7th congressional district, the share of unaffiliated voters dropped from 47 percent to 41 percent. Democrats converted more of those voters than Republicans, going from roughly 24 percent to 28 percent of all voters from 2012 to November. Meanwhile, Republicans increased their registration totals by less than one percentage point, rising to nearly 31 percent. Republicans still outnumbered Democrats, 160,458 to 147,799, as of Nov. 7, according to the state Division of Elections.

This pattern-- more Republicans overall, but larger Democratic gains in terms of voter registration-- also appeared in Frelinghuysen’s 11th congressional district. Registered Democrats grew from 25 percent to 29 percent of the electorate there, while the share of Republicans ticked up from 30 percent to 31 percent. Unaffiliated voters make up less than 40 percent of district, down from 45 percent. Republicans outnumbered Democrats, 167,812 to 156,422, as of Nov. 7.

The reduction in unaffiliated voters and accompanying surge in registered Democrats is largely a result of the 2016 presidential primary, said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. Even though the presidential nominations were essentially determined by June, many voters were still enthusiastic about their candidates, particularly Bernie Sanders supporters, Murray wrote in an email.

But Murray said the recent spike is also part of a “statewide phenomenon representing slightly more Democratic enthusiasm.” Republicans are still holding their own in pro-Trump areas, such as Ocean County, he added.

...The 3rd district saw both Democrat and Republican registration grow by roughly 3 percentage points since 2012, as the number of unaffiliated voters fell by 6.5 percentage points. Democrats outnumber Republicans there, 154,664 to 143,328 as of Nov. 7, according to the Division of Elections. The district is represented by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3), who is also being targeted by Democrats in the 2018 midterms.

In the 2nd District, where Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2) is retiring at the end of his term, Democrats outnumber Republicans, 147,472 to 131,799. Democratic registration grew by 3 percentage points since 2012, while Republicans saw a 2-point increase. The number of unaffiliated voters fell by nearly 6 percentage points.

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At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

While things are looking good for the Democrats, it is rather disheartening to see how many people still strongly support Republicans in the polls. They are a sizable group. How an average person in his right mind could still support them is beyond belief. It must be mostly racism and stupidity, as the middle class, including many people in these polls, will be destroyed if this new tax plan goes through, particularly in NY, NJ, the New England states and the west coast where people pay the most taxes. As the middle class goes, so goes the nation, as Robert Reich would tell you. A strong middle class is what fuels our economy. But the rich and corporations don't care about anything except their own pocketbooks. However, since they already avoid paying taxes through a zillion loopholes and by planting money off shore, why should they even care so much? Just to F..K everyone else and our country? Unfortunately, throughout world history, this has always been the pattern - THEY WANT IT ALL.

At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There remains plenty of time for the Democrats to aid and abet continued Republican dominance in the Congress. Who, for example, will be the next sexual predator to be revealed? Consequences for such action are only for Democratic chastisement.

Such public punishment is not intended to be applied equally to Republican abusers. Evangeliban voters LOVE Roy Moore, for he practices what they preach, especially female submission and sexual servility. I'm waiting for Donald Trump to prove his assertion that he could murder someone on the street and no one will care.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are all capitalists here, and ensure that they divert every dollar toward HER!2020.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... just what *IS* a generic democrat in the imaginations of these polled voters?

Is it someone imagined to be like Ted Kennedy? HST? FDR? Those types are all but extinct in that party. Voters pulling the blue handle with delusions of these guys will always be disappointed.
Is it Pelosi or scummer or harriet reid or hoyer or conyers or Crowley or ... joe manchin? If so, then it matters not a tiny bit whether they flip either chamber or get the lying bank whore elected in 2020. Nothing will change and another, much worse, Nazi R will be a guarantee by 2024.

Celebrating these polls is either celebrating that the lefty voters are delusional fucktards or are the avowed lesser evilists that got us where we are today.

I don't see a reason to celebrate at all.

And this is several months before we find out what misanthropic garbage the DxCCs come up with to actually run.


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