Tuesday, March 06, 2018

A Lot Could Happen Between Now And November, But Chances Are Good That They Will All Conspire To Make The GOP Lose Even More Seats


If this guy can win next week, any Democrat can win in November

The special election to replace Tim Murphy in PA-18-- southwest Pennsylvania, including the suburbs south of Pittsburgh-- is a week from today. It's a very red district. McCain beat Obama 55-44%, Romney beat Obama 58-41% and then Trump eviscerated Clinton 58.1% to 38.5%. The PVI is R+11, beyond what a Democrat can win, even in a wave election. And Lamb, a Blue Dog Democrat who sounds as weak and unconvincing as Jon Ossoff and is running a terrible campaign. The election next week will be held under the gerrymandered old boundaries which favor the GOP and the Republicans have spent almost $10 million on a district that should be a freebie, while outside Democratic groups have spent pocket change. (As of the February 21 FEC reporting deadline Lamb had raised $3,869,247 to Saccone's $916,392.) I would have bet that Saccone would win by close to double digits-- and I would have lost the bet. This race is now incredibly tight... neck and neck. How is that possible? Have you heard of Donald J. Trump, the psychopath voters hate?

Mike Allen went so far, yesterday, at Axios as to assert that "top Republicans sound increasingly resigned to losing" the race. I'm dumbstruck. I mean no one is a bigger believer is a Blue Wave than I am and no one predicted it before I did. But in an R+11 district? In a district where Clinton couldn't even score 40%? 20 point swings in a series of basically inconsequential legislative districts is one thing but the GOP giving up a district like PA-18 in the middle of Trump Country and to a truly mediocre and uninspiring candidate... that's something else entirely.

If Lamb wins next week, the race for the exits-- and to K Street jobs-- among GOP congressmen will get really serious. And Paul Ryan will announce by spring that he's retiring from Congress to spend more time teaching his sons how to hunt with bows and arrows. No, I'm not joking. Mike Allen wrote that "It's one of the increasingly bearish signs for the GOP ahead of November's midterms, with mammoth stakes for the West Wing: If Dems take the House and there's a Speaker Pelosi, President Trump faces endless subpoenas and perhaps impeachment proceedings. We had a very clarifying conversation with an analyst who's reliably ahead of the curve, and he agreed to share his findings with Axios. Chris Krueger, managing director of Cowen & Co.'s Washington Research Group, said he sees four "glaring red flags for the House GOP majority":
1- The correlation between the president’s approval number and first-term midterm losses by the president’s party: In the six times that the president’s job approval was under 50%, the average loss was more than 43 seats. The Democrats need 24 to flip the House.

2- CA + PA = half-way there: California is the citadel of the resistance, which has 14 House Republicans. Between retirements, losing state-and-local tax deductions in the tax bill, and Trump’s California disapproval, the Golden State could lose half its GOP delegation. The new Pennsylvania redistricting map-- and similar anti-Trump trend lines-- could cost Rs as many as six seats. These two states get you halfway to a Democratic House.

3- Suburban danger zones: 2018 could make the suburbs great again for the House Democrats. The Democratic victories in last year's Virginia and New Jersey governor's races could well be the canaries in the coal mine. Remember that there are 23 House Republican seats in districts Clinton won-- and most are suburban.

4- Trump Coalition Unique to Trump: This is the biggest wildcard. Just like we saw with Obama voters in the midterms of 2010 and 2014, we suspect the unique coalition that supported the president will not turn out for generic House members of that President’s party. Just as Obama voters didn’t turn out for generic House Democrats, Trump-centric voters won’t come out for generic House Republicans. You do not drain the swamp by reelecting the establishment and the deep state.
Goal ThermometerIf you follow DWT regularly, you may have noticed that last June, when many Beltway prognosticators were poo-pooing the idea of a wave or tepidly admitting the Dems might win a bare 24 seats to win back the majority, we were already talking about progressive Democrats winning in seats like OK-05, a district the DCCC hasn't considered in decades. Trump beat Hillary there 53.2% to 39.8%. That seems like a lot more favorable to the PA-18 race. And OK-05 was Bernie country. It won't be too long before those Beltway prognosticators gradually put GOP incumbent Steve Russell on the endangered species list. The key now-- with these districts the DCCC is ignoring-- is to make sure the nominees are progressives, like Tom Guild in OK-05, not Republican-lite corporate shills, like the DCCC is installing wherever they can. Please consider helping the progressive Democrats by tapping on the ActBlue thermometer on the right and contributing what you canto the candidates who appeal to you. Let's not wind up with a Congress filled with Blue Dogs and New Dems who will all lose their seats in 2022 and stick us with a Republican Congress again.

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At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Trading Republican slime for Republican-lite slime! Why, I can almost wait! To quote that famous philosopher Suzy Sorority of the Silent Majority: "Rah!"

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta agree. If your end point is simply Ds winning some seats, then mazeltov.

If your end point is reversing the galloping fascism and returning to some form of altruistic socialist capitalism, then you'll fail. And you should know it.

As even fools know from 2009, simply putting assholes claiming to be Ds in seats won't change ONE. GODDAMN. THING.

So, Cleveland Browns fans, celebrate your No. 1 draft choice. You won!!!

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm gratified that you termed it from the proper perspective.

Whatever the number of seats flipped, it won't be because democraps earned it. It'll be because the trump stink makes them lose them.


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