Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Way--Albeit A Weak Way-- Of Looking At The Midterms


Inside-the-Beltway, there are just a few people who create the conventional wisdom that the electoral experts in the two parties base their decisions on. One is David Wasserman of the Cook Report. When it comes to House races, his wisdom is an infinite feedback loop with the DCCC and the NRCC. Friday he published his latest analysis of the upcoming wave. Always petrified to go out on any limbs or offending anyone he wrote that "Multiple indicators including generic ballot polls, President Trump's approval ratings and recent special election results, point to midterm danger for Republicans. But without robust race-by-race polling, it's trickier to predict individual races six months out. Are Democrats the favorites to pick up the 23 seats they need for a majority? Yes, but it's still not certain which races will materialize for Democrats and which won't. He's come up with what he calls "seven risk factors to gauge Republican incumbents' political health and readiness for a wave election. In the past, those incumbents with a high number of risk factors have typically been the ripest targets, while those with fewer risk factors could still be vulnerable but may be better able to withstand a hostile political environment."
Our latest ratings point to 56 vulnerable GOP-held seats, versus six vulnerable Democratic seats. Of the 56 GOP seats at risk, 15 are open seats created by retirements. Even if Democrats were to pick up two-thirds of those seats, they would still need to hold all their own seats and defeat 13 Republican incumbents to reach the magic number of 218. Today, there are 18 GOP incumbents in our Toss Up column.

That Toss Up list is likely to grow as the cycle progresses. Out of the 65 GOP incumbents rated as less than "Solid," 49 were first elected in 2010 or after, meaning more than three quarters have never had to face this kind of political climate before. And, Democrats have a donor enthusiasm edge: in the first quarter of 2018, at least 43 sitting Republicans were out-raised by at least one Democratic opponent.

...The seven risk factors are:
1- Sits in a district with a Cook PVI score of R+5 or less Republican.
2- Sits in a district that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.
3- Received 55 percent of the vote or less in the 2016 election (or a 2017 special election).
4- Voted in favor of the American Health Care Act in the May 4 roll call vote.
5- Voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the December 19 roll call vote.
6- Raised less money than at least one Democratic opponent in the first quarter of 2018.
7- Has a Democratic opponent with at least $200,000 in cash on hand as of March 31.
Only one incumbent, Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25), has all seven risk factors. Eight incumbents have six risk factors, 23 incumbents have five, 23 incumbents have four and 32 have three. This is not a hard and fast list, and over the next quarter, many incumbents will add or subtract factors based on their own and their opponents' progress.
In the universe Wasserman has created-- which doesn't take into account anything about how good or terrible challengers and incumbents are beyond ability too raise money, here are the other candidates with 3 rick factors and above:
Six Risk Factors

CA-10- Jeff Denham
FL-26- Carlos Curbelo
IL-12- Mike Bost
IA-01- Rod Blum
KS-03- Kevin Yoder
MN-02- Jason Lewis
PA-01- Brian Fitzpatrick
TX-23- Will Hurd

Five Risk Factors

CA-21-David Valadao
CA-45- Mimi Walters
CA-48- Dana Rohrabacher
CO-06- Mike Coffman
FL-18- Brian Mast
IL-14- Randy Hultgren
IN-09- Trey Hollingsworth
IA-03- David Young
ME-02- Bruce Polquin
MI-01- Jack Bergman
MI-06- Fred Upton
MI-07- Tim Walberg
MI-08- Mike Bishop
MN-03- Erik Paulsen
NE-02- Don Bacon
NJ-03- Tom MacArthur
NJ-07- Leonard Lance
NY-22- Claudia Tenney
OH-01- Steve Chabot
PA-11- Lloyd Smucker
PA-17- Keith Rothfus
TX-32- Pete Sessions
VA-10- Barbara Comstock

Four Risk Factors

AK-AL Don Young
AR-02- French Hill
CA-04- Tom McClintock
CA-08- Paul Cook
GA-07- Rob Woodall
IL-06- Peter Roskam
IL-13- Rodney Davis
IA-04- Steve King
KY-06- Andy Barr
NY-19- John Faso
NC-09- Robert Pittenger
NC-13- Ted Budd
OH-07- Bob Gibbs
OH-14- David Joyce
PA-16- Mike Kelly
SC-01- Mike Sanford
TX-07- John Culberson
UT-04- Mia Love
VA-02- Scott Taylor
VA-05- Tom Garrett
VA-07- Dave Brat
WV-01- David McKinley
WI-06- Glenn Grothman

Three Risk Factors

AL-02- Martha Roby
CA-01- Doug LaMalfa
CA-22- Devin Nunes
CA-50- Duncan Hunter
CO-03- Scott Tipton
FL-16- Vern Buchanan
FL-25- Mario Diaz-Balart
GA-06- Karen Handel
IN-02- Jackie Walorski
IN-03- Jim Banks
KS-04- Jim Estes
MD-01- Andy Harris
MI-02- Bill Huizenga
MO-02- Ann Wagner
MT-AL- Greg Gianforte
NY-01- Lee Zeldin
NY-02- Peter King
NY-11- Daniel Donovan
NY-21- Elise Stefanik
NY-23- Tom Reed
NY-24- John Katko
NC-02- George Holding
OH-10- Mike Turner
OH-15- Steve Stivers
PA-10- Scott Perry
SC-05- Ralph Norman
TN-04- Scott DesJarlais
TX-31- John Carter
TX-36- Brian Babin
WA-03- Jaime Herrera Beutler
WA-05- Cathy McMorris Rodgers
WV-02- Alex Mooney
What Wasserman isn't looking at-- aside from the talent of individual candidates-- is factors like resignations, (leaving loads of open seats) and of the ungerrynadering of Pennsylvania. For example Pat Meehan's old district went from a R+1 to a D+13. Anyone want to guess which party will hold that seat after January? I don't want to say Wasserman's tables are utterly useless, but if media and the party committee's use it for anything they'll be-- as usual-- lost at sea. Note for example, there's no mention on any of his tables of WI-01, the Randy Bryce seat; what a joke! But conventional wisdom has caught onto that one yet-- and probably won't until the first Wednesday of November.

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At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this presumes that the DCCC actually wants to win those seats. Their actions on an awful lot of them indicate they really don't.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

The Dems are always winning every race ...until they start counting the votes. Just ask Senators Feingold and McGinty and Coakley and Brawley and Grimes who were all going to win by triple digits until election day threw a monkey wrench into the D Party master plan.

If I had a ranch, I would be willing to bet it that on the day after election day 2018, the R's still control the House of Representatives and that Nancy Pelosi announces one more bid for Minority Leader.


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