Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How Are Arizona And New Jersey Shaping Up For The Republicans This Cycle?


When Trent Franks retired in December after a sexual harassment scandal, I told a friend of mine to calm down, saying that the district is so red that if it flipped-- or even got close to flipping-- the GOP would have to pack it in and forget the idea of even an effective minority next year. The PVI is R+13 and Trump beat Hillary 58.1% to 37.0%. Romney and McCain even did slightly better than Trump did. This is really Republican district in the suburbs and exurbs west and northwest of Phoenix. It includes Sun City, Peoria, Litchfield Park and Surprise. In 2016 Franks beat Democrat Clair Van Steenwyk 71.1% to 28.9%.

Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko (R) faces off against emergency room physician Hiral Tipirneni (D) April 24. As of the April 4 FEC reporting deadline Tipirneni outraised Lesko $734,937 to $564,404. The NRCC, the NRC, Ryan's Congressional Leadership PAC and the right-wing Defend US PAC spent $1,125,575 in the district. It's a district the GOP has never spent a dime on before. Lesko has been endorsed by Franks, Ted Cruz, Steve King, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadow, Jan Brewer, Joe Arpaio and others from the far, far right.

Emerson College released a poll yesterday that shows a dead heat-- 46% (Tipirneni) to 45% (Lesko), quite the swing from Trump's 21 point win. And it's all about independents abandoning the GOP, favoring Tipineni 42% to 28%. Tipineni's favorable rating is 49% and Lesko's is 45%.

There was another poll released Monday, all the way on the other side of the country. This one was by Monmouth and it reported pretty bad news for the GOP in New Jersey. Remember, the PVI is D+7 and Hillary beat Trump statewide 2,148,278 (55.5%) to 1,601,933 (41.4%)-- 13 counties to Trump's 9. But the way the congressional districts are drawn has given the Democrats only 7 seats to the GOPs 5. The new poll. In the new poll, Democrats have a 19 point advantage among registered voters, putting all 5 Republican seats in jeopardy. The single biggest factor is Trump's drag on Republicans in the state. "The recently enacted federal tax reform plan doesn’t help either since most New Jerseyans think they are getting the short end of the stick." Only 35% of registered voters say they would vote for a Republican running for Congress.
If this result holds, it would mark a substantially better result for Congressional Democrats in New Jersey than in recent elections. Democrats won the statewide House vote by 8 points (53% to 45%) in 2016 and an even smaller 2 points (50% to 48%) in the 2014 midterm. Moreover, the poll finds that the overall swing is coming mainly from GOP-held seats.

In the five House seats currently held by a Republican, voter preference is split nearly evenly at 46% for the GOP candidate and 44% for the Democrat. The aggregate vote from these five districts in the past two House elections averaged a sizable 22 point advantage for the Republicans (59% - 38% in 2016 and 61% - 38% in 2014). On the other hand, the poll’s vote share in the seven seats currently held by Democrats-- 59% Dem to 28% GOP-- is in line with the average 30 point advantage Democrats held in these districts in both 2016 (65% - 32%) and 2014 (62% - 36%).

“This is pretty astounding. Not only are New Jersey Democrats doing better on the generic House ballot statewide, but the shift is coming almost entirely from districts currently held by the GOP. If these results hold, we could be down to just one or two-- or maybe even zero-- Republican members in the state congressional delegation after November,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Murray added: “Voters will certainly take a closer look at the quality of the candidates nominated by the Democratic Party in each of these seats this fall. That could certainly change the equation in any individual district. However, these results suggest that New Jersey Republicans are facing hurricane-force headwinds right now.”

The main factor feeding this electoral environment is the decidedly negative view New Jersey residents have of Pres. Trump. Just 34% approve of the job he is doing and 61% disapprove. His rating is slightly better, but still in negative territory, among residents in the state’s five GOP-held congressional districts at 43% approve and 53% disapprove. In the seven Democratic districts, the president gets a 29% approve and 66% disapprove rating.

Another potential drag on GOP prospects is the fact that the recently enacted federal tax reform plan is not particularly popular in New Jersey. Just 35% of state residents approve of the plan and 46% disapprove (including 32% who strongly disapprove). This is more negative than national opinion on the new tax code, which garnered a 41% approve and 42% disapprove rating in Monmouth’s national poll last month. Nearly half (49%) of New Jerseyans expect that their own federal taxes will go up because of the new changes and just 19% expect their taxes to go down. Another 25% expect to feel no impact. These state results are more pessimistic than the national mood, with a smaller 37% of the country expecting their federal taxes to go up, 23% expecting them to go down, and 31% expecting no change.

In GOP-held House districts, 42% of residents approve of the tax plan and 46% disapprove. Still, 47% of these residents expect their federal taxes to go up. In Democratic-held districts, just 31% of residents approve of the tax plan and 46% disapprove, with 51% of these residents expecting their taxes to go up.

A majority of state residents (56%) say that New Jersey taxpayers will do worse under the new tax code compared to taxpayers in other parts of the country. Just 6% say New Jersey will be better off and 29% say New Jersey taxpayers will do about the same as other Americans. Residents in GOP-held House districts (64%) are even more likely than those in Democratic-held districts (51%) to feel they will fare worse than taxpayers in other parts of the country.

“Most New Jerseyans feel like they’ve ended up with the short end of the stick from these tax reforms. That’s what makes this plan a particularly tough sell for Republican House candidates here,” said Murray.
Albatross by Nancy Ohanian

The GOP is most likely to lose the seats where incumbents have retired, NJ-02 (Frank LoBiondo) and NJ-11 (Rodney Frelinghuysen), but Leonard Lance' seat (NJ-07) was won by Hillary. These are the PVIs of the 5 Republican seats:
NJ-02- R+1
NJ-03- R+2
NJ-04- R+8
NJ-07- R+3
NJ-11- R+3
It's very unlikely that the GOP will retain any R+1, R+2 or R+3 seats anywhere in the country. And if Trump keeps on going the way he has been, it's hard to imagine the Republicans winning any R+4 or R+5 seats either. On top of that almost all GOP-held seats below R+10 will be up for grabs. R+13 seats like AZ-08 seems out of reach-- but, then so did PA-18, which had a PVI of R+11.

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At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to celebrate this news, but the"democrats" don't deserve such victory. They will use this "mandate" to continue to rule like Republicans for the benefit of corporations.


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