Wednesday, April 25, 2018

When Will Beltway Pundits Feel Safe Enough To Predict An 80 Seat Swing?


Trump beat Hillary in Mississippi 700,714 (57.9%) to 485,131 (40.1%). Basically, Hillary won the black belt counties in the western part of the state and Trump won the rest. She won Bennie Thompson's congressional district 64-35% and Trump won the 3 other congressional districts by around the same number, reversed. The statewide PVI is R+9 so those numbers were predictable. A new Mason-Dixon poll of Mississippi released yesterday was anything but predictable. It shows Democrat Jim Hood ahead of Republican Lt. Governor Tate Reeves in the gubernatorial race-- 44-39%. Similar story from today's Tennessee Mason-Dixon poll-- Democrat Phil Bredesen leading GOP extremist Marsha Blackburn, 46-43% in a state with an R+14 that Trump won 1,522,925 (60.7%) to 870,695 (34.7%). That's part of what you hear people talking about when they mention the word "swing." Like they did last night while the votes in New York and Arizona were rolling in.

Yes, the Republicans held onto AZ-08 in the suburbs west and northwest of Phoenix... so why were Republican celebrations this morning ringing a little hollow? The swing away from the GOP was frightening. Trump had won that district by 21 points. The district is so red that the Democrats hadn't bothered running a candidate in 2016-- nor in 2014. The last time a Democrat ran was in 2012 and the result was ugly. Right-wing extremist Trent Franks beat Democrat Gene Scharer 63.3% to 35.1%. Last night Debbie Lasko, a lunatic fringe GOP extremist, who already announced she's joining the neo-fascist Freedom Caucus, beat random Democrat Hiral Tipirneni 91,390 (52.6%) to 82,318 (47.4%). Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight noted that "Lesko’s margin of victory was only 5 percentage points in a district that typically votes Republican by much, much more than that. The outcome represented a 20-point swing toward Democrats relative to the district’s FiveThirtyEight partisan lean, which is derived from how it voted for president in 2016 and 2012 relative to the country... If Republicans are winning by only 5 points in this sort of extremely red district in November, dozens of more competitive seats will flop to Democrats-- more than enough for them to take the House. In fact, Cook's David Wasserman, tweeted, while the last votes were still be counted that "There are 147 GOP-held House seats less Republican than #AZ08. It's time to start rethinking how many of those are truly safe in November."

This morning, Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen painted a dismal picture for the Republican Party as they were taking solace that at least the million dollars they spent shoring up Lesko allowed them to keep the seat. Trump's Election Nightmare brings up how the far-fetched possibility that the Democrats could win both the House and the Senate is turning into a probability. "Republicans," they remind us, "have underperformed in every special election since Trump became president... Even the reddest of districts in a red state can be in play this year."

Steven Law, a top Mitch McConnell ally who runs American Crossroads, the most powerful and well-funded outside group supporting Republican Senate campaigns, said it's "not likely but not out of the question" to lose the Senate.
Law said: "[W]e do have more defensive terrain to hold than when the cycle started... And targeted Democratic incumbents have been over-performing in terms of their early fundraising activity."
A Republican lobbyist who is well-connected in the Senate is becoming increasingly bearish about holding the chamber: “Everyone just universally assumed it would be status quo or Republicans would win a seat or two. And now it feels like Republicans are at a risk of losing one, which would be a 50-50 Senate or two, which would be a Democratic Senate.”
Goal ThermometerGOP Senate candidates are in trouble in Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee... and even Texas, where longshot Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke-- anything but a DSCC Schumer candidate-- is running neck-and-neck with right-wing crackpot Ted Cruz. And we all know that in the House, Democrats need to pick up 2 dozen seats. At the rate things are going, they'll be closer to 80 seats than to 24 seats. Things keep getting worse for the Republicans... and with Trump off his leash, there's no reason they won't get even worse.

If you'd like to help the Democrats win back the Senate-- and not turn it into a conservative hellhole, please consider tapping on the Blue America Senate Thermometer on the right and contributing what you can, especially to Beto O'Rourke and Dianne Feinstein's progressive opponent, Kevin de León. And keep in mind, if Bernie and Elizabeth Warren run as a ticket in 2020, anything they collect in their 2018 Senate campaigns can be transferred to the presidential race.

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At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note also that Tipirneni lost by only five percentage points with ZERO participation from the DCCC. Now we can look at this in more than one way. We can say, and why not, that the DCCC screwed the pooch yet again, when an effort on their part might have swung this race, or we can say, with maybe even more justification, that if we can come this close, in this district, with even a "random Democrat" (your words, not mine), then what bloody use is the DCCC at all?

Note also that Pramila Jayapal sent out several fundraising emails for Tipirneni, so not all national Democrats were asleep at the wheel in this particular election.

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe me, if the DCCC had jumped in to that race, Tipirneni would have lost by 30 points. The DCCC is just as toxic as trump is.

The cheney/bush shit show caused a 63 seat anti-red wave in 2008. So, if you think the trump shit show is worse (remember the 2008 crash was a factor), then an 80-seat anti-red wave might be possible.

There will be a civil war brewing. The Nazi electorate is nearly in deity worship mode with trump, likely because he is so overt with his hatred and protectionism. This is a lot more devotion than cheney/bush. All they had was losing 2 wars, torture and anti-gay hate.

Again, remember what the 'craps did (and refused to do) with that 2008 windfall/mandate. And the result in 2010 was losing nearly all of that windfall.

Again, remember Einstein. He was pretty smart. Might be worth thinking about.

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see civil war breaking out, but I do see the sudden imposition of an authoritarian police state. That is much more likely since it is already partially in place thanks to feckless "democrats" who play along to get along.

At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:47, at this point, recognizing that the 'crap electorate could not cobble together a single ball or functioning synapse, I would not be surprised at any outcome like that.

The level of pious trump-worship among the Nazi electorate does worry me the most right now. I don't know why since the 'craps are doing their all to not capitalize on their windfall.


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