2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-17 10:34pm

Fivethirtyeight's projections, if anyone's curious, currently give the Dems a 5 in 6 (83.9%) chance of taking the House, with the average gain being +39 seats- but only a 1 in 5 (19.2%) chance of taking the Senate, with the likeliest outcome being no change in the number of seats and the second likeliest being a Republican gain of one (counting the two independents as Dems).

Personally, I find it somewhat baffling that any Democratic incumbent (with the possible exception of that fucking turncoat Manchin) would be likely to lose in this climate, but we'll see.

However, Silver also forecasts that the majority of state governorships will go Democrat come November.

The Senate worries me. All the talk of a blue wave has raised expectations, and I worry that if we don't take the Senate, a lot of people will conclude (with some justification, given the widespread voter suppression) that it was rigged- and that a lot of people will conclude that there is no point to voting Democrat, which would be very bad for 2020, and for democracy in general.

Then again, it may be a moot point. Not taking the Senate means two more years of Trump filling the judiciary with fascists and their enablers. I'm not sure what kind of democracy we'll have left at that point, though at least we can block his legislation in the House.

Edit: Correction: the projection is that the Democrats will win governorships representing about 60% of the US population, not the majority of state governorships. Ie, big states are going blue, while small states are more often going red.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Mr Bean » 2018-10-17 10:52pm

This is an off year election meaning just something as simple as Democratic turnout being at Presidential year levels can swamp a Republican district. If Democrats show up in 2008 numbers and Republican show up in 2006 number for example that's a twenty plus point swing just because a 3%-4% lead is blow up by much higher than expected Democratic turnout and much less than expected Republican turnout.

Flip side is if Tennessee Republicans show up in higher than expected numbers all the +6 or +11 generic ballots meaning nothing. But with that said... if Democrats turn out like this is a Presidential election year and Republicans don't with their built in Trump anger... we might see that one in ten chance for a 15+ swing and then the Democrats not only gain the house but the Senate as well. As mentioned here by 538 a three or four point win is not that huge a deal seat wise but Democratic +6 to +8 net doubles the seat gain.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Mr Bean » 2018-10-18 07:02am

Speaking to my point
NPR
NPR wrote: The 2018 elections could see the highest turnout for a midterm since the mid-1960s, another time of cultural and social upheaval.

"It's probably going to be a turnout rate that most people have never experienced in their lives for a midterm election," Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who studies turnout and maintains a turnout database, told NPR.

McDonald is predicting 45 to 50 percent of eligible voters will cast a ballot. That would be a level not seen since 1970 when 47 percent of voters turned out or 1966 when a record 49 percent turned out in a midterm.

In 1966, Democrats were the ones facing a backlash. President Lyndon Johnson was in the White House and Congress had just passed his Great Society measures on Medicare, voting rights and civil rights.
Battle For The Senate: 10 Races That Will Determine Control
Politics
Battle For The Senate: 10 Races That Will Determine Control
In Danger Of Losing, Iowa Governor Enlists Republican Heavy Hitters Ahead Of Midterms
National
Republican Governor Seats Across The Country Are In Jeopardy, Including Iowa

Democrats wound up losing 47 House seats and three Senate seats, "heralding the end of the New Deal coalition and the realignment of voters that will put Richard M. Nixon (R) in the White House in 1968," as T.A. Frail at the Smithsonian put it.

On average since World War II, only about 40 percent of Americans eligible to vote cast a ballot in midterms. That's 30 percent lower than presidential elections. In 2014, a record low 36 percent cast a ballot, the lowest in 70 years — since 1942, when many adults were fighting in the war overseas.

But the Trump presidency has spurred a high level of interest in the 2018 midterms. Angry and frustrated Democrats, especially women, are looking to exact a measure of political revenge, as Republicans promise to stick with Trump. The 2018 midterms offer Democrats their first chance to take a stand.

McDonald said he bases his forecast on four indicators:
1. Record special election turnout;

2. High primary turnout;

3. A high degree of self-reported interest in the election; and

4. High levels of early voting. In some states, McDonald said he is seeing early voting that is exceedingly high. In Georgia, for example, comparing to this time in 2014, early vote turnout is three times higher, so far.

"It just seems like all four indicators, they're all pointing in the same direction," McDonald said.

Digging into some of those and other factors, there are other signs:

A record number of candidates. More candidates than ever before filed to run in 2018. In particular, more Democrats ran for Congress in 2018 than for any single party ever before. A record number of women, particularly Democratic women, ran and were nominated as well. But Republicans overall were not that far behind.

High primary turnout. This has been particularly true among Democrats. According to a study by a Republican pollster of voting in 35 states, Democrats saw a 78 percent increase in turnout, as compared to 2014, while Republicans saw a 23 percent uptick. Democrats were at a similar turnout level as when they took back the House in 2006 — accounting for 53 percent of all primary ballots cast; in 2006, they cast 54 percent of primary ballots.

High overall interest and engagement. A higher percentage of Democrats than at any time in the past quarter century told Pew they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual. Among Republicans, Pew found a sign of resilience. The level of interest in the GOP in 2018 is higher than in parties that were successfully overtaken by wave elections in the past.
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

Core Democratic groups may be showing more interest. Low propensity voters in past midterms — young voters and non-whites — are showing some mixed signs they might have a higher interest than past elections. An October ABC News/Washington Post poll found that far more voters who are under 40 and non-white are saying they are "absolutely certain to vote" compared to the 2014 midterms.
Early Voting Changes In North Carolina Spark Bipartisan Controversy
Politics
Early Voting Changes In North Carolina Spark Bipartisan Controversy

At the same time, however, an early October NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll and a late September NBC/Wall Street Journal survey found core Democratic groups, like voters 18 to 29 and Latinos are far less interested than core Republicans, like whites, men and older voters.

But even if those core Democratic groups lag behind core Republican groups, that could still be good news for Democrats if those low-propensity groups vote in higher numbers than in past midterms.
If turnout numbers are as high as predicted overall this could be a very landslide election.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-18 05:22pm

Its very much down to turnout, yes. We've seen a number of cases in recent elections where the polling and projections were way off, in part because polls often rely on landlines (so disproportionately older voters), and/or on polling likely voters or previous voters (which means that unusually high turnout will not be reflected in their predictions).

The main questions are a) is there a much stronger surge in turnout from Dems than Republicans (this is likely), and b) is it enough to overcome gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts. If the answer to both those questions is yes, then we might see a result much more to the Left than polling projects (as in Bernie's surprise primary victory in Wisconsin, or Ocasio-Cortez's shock win in the New York primary, where she went from dozens of points behind to a landslide win in weeks). If not... then we could see something like 2016.

Either way, a major deviation from the polls is going to have the losing side screaming fraud, given the current climate (though the Democrats have more valid reasons for such concerns).
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"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Ace Pace » 2018-10-19 11:41am

West Virgnia is allowing voting by smartphone tracked by blockchain. This is hands down the worst story about U.S. elections and voter enfranchisement by far and comes from seriously misunderstanding what is actually complicated about election security. Sigh..
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-10-19 12:55pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-10-18 05:22pm
Its very much down to turnout, yes. We've seen a number of cases in recent elections where the polling and projections were way off, in part because polls often rely on landlines (so disproportionately older voters), and/or on polling likely voters or previous voters (which means that unusually high turnout will not be reflected in their predictions).
When? Most of those cases were just normal error ranges in very close races. That includes the Trump victory and the Brexit vote (which I assume are among your examples). In fact, in both of those cases the polls were off by almost nothing. If memory serves national numbers for each were off by about a point, and same for the tipping point states.

Also, the landline thing is a bunch of bullshit. Modern high quality polls call cell phones as a normal procedure, and there are also scientific polls which conduct online (though they are generally less reliable).

It is true that this election hinges on groups (young people and Hispanics) which typically are unreliable voters and hard to reach for polling to boot. But your explanations for it are badly out of date, and the “recent big misses” you’re likely describing weren’t so big as people think they were. There is just a bigger consequential difference between 51 and 49 vs 56 and 54, even though it’s the same level of miss.

But I wouldn’t count on a polling Miss to make the wave bigger anyway. Because if polling is off enough to take the senate, for instance, it could easily be off enough in the opposite direction to lose the House.
The main questions are a) is there a much stronger surge in turnout from Dems than Republicans (this is likely), and b) is it enough to overcome gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts. If the answer to both those questions is yes, then we might see a result much more to the Left than polling projects (as in Bernie's surprise primary victory in Wisconsin, or Ocasio-Cortez's shock win in the New York primary, where she went from dozens of points behind to a landslide win in weeks). If not... then we could see something like 2016.
Ocascio-Cortez’s race was barely polled and had extremely low turnout (which makes it easy to miss). Wisconsin wasn’t really that shocking. Of the six polls taken in the two weeks prior to the vote, Bernie won four. Three were healthy margins. Nobody predicted the margin he got, but if the miss was in the other direction he may well have still won.

Do yourself a favor: Before you start opining on polling or throwing out examples and explanations, you should brush up on the subject.
Either way, a major deviation from the polls is going to have the losing side screaming fraud, given the current climate (though the Democrats have more valid reasons for such concerns).
That’s going to happen even if it matches the polls, because the GOP takes on faith that Dems only win by cheating and the Republicans are brazenly cheating in multiple races as we speak. As it stands, it’s looking like a split decision with at least one race in the senate going to the GOP as a direct result of court packing and cheating so the Dems cheated in the House and the GOP cheated in the senate and a couple of governor’s races. Both sides are equally blah blah blah.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Mr Bean » 2018-10-19 05:35pm

Another story about the very high early voting numbers.
Bloomberg
Bloomberg wrote: Early voting is under way or about to start in several states, and so far, turnout is up -- way up.

That turnout could benefit Democrats, who are vying to take the House and have long-shot hope of flipping the Senate. The party has seen a surge in special elections throughout this year and last, and could see their highest level of voter turnout for a midterm election in at least a decade, according to an analysis by the New York Times.

Republicans meanwhile, say they’re confident that the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination will provide enough motivation to turn out their supporters as they seek to reduce any potential enthusiasm gap.

In Indiana and Tennessee, states with competitive Senate races, and Minnesota, a state with four competitive House races that could help determine if Democrats are able to flip the chamber, turnout is surging. On Wednesday, the first day of early voting in Tennessee, more than 120,000 people voted, which is nearly four times the number of people that voted on the first day of early voting in 2014 midterm, according to the Tennessean. That state is home to a tight race between former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen and Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn. Republicans hope to hold onto that seat as part of a firewall to protect their Senate majority.

In Hamilton County, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis, voters have cast ballots at a rate 10 times higher than four years ago and almost as high as during 2016 election, the Indianapolis Star reported. Voters there will decide whether to send Democrat Joe Donnelly back to the Senate or replace him with Republican Mike Braun. Donnelly has held a slight edge in recent polls, according to Real Clear Politics. In Minnesota, the number of ballots cast has surpassed the turnout at the same point in the 2016 general election, when the presidency was on the ballot.

Georgia, New Mexico and Virginia have also seen a surge in early voting, according to reports, and Kansas has seen an uptick in mail-in ballot requests. Early voting starts Saturday in Nevada, where Democrats have one of their best shots at picking up a Senate seat, and Monday in Texas, home to another important Senate contest.

“At this point, I’d place more credence on polls with higher projected turnout, than those that model turnout on a 2014 electorate,” Michael McDonald, an associate professor at the University of Florida specializing in elections, wrote on Twitter.
So again bringing up the polls may be very wrong if we are getting general election numbers.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-19 05:54pm

Indeed.

Anyway, I mailed my ballot this afternoon. Voted a straight Democratic ballot, naturally.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-10-19 07:08pm

Republicans meanwhile, say they’re confident that the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination will provide enough motivation to turn out their supporters as they seek to reduce any potential enthusiasm gap.
Strangely, I heard the exact opposite from other analysts before Kavanaugh got through. If the Supreme Court seat was still open, that would have encouraged Republican voters to ignore whatever they think of Trump and turn up to vote for a senate that will select their guy.

But with Kavanaugh now in place, that fight is over. Any chance of it motivating voters is gone.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-10-19 07:46pm

The resentment of having a prosperous white prep school fratboy's "reputation dragged through the mud" and "family destroyed" by having the women he'd groped or tried to rape or actually rape back in college dare to come forward probably did give the Republicans a bit of a bump...

...But I doubt it's going to help them nearly as much as still having the seat open would.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-19 09:46pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-10-19 07:46pm
The resentment of having a prosperous white prep school fratboy's "reputation dragged through the mud" and "family destroyed" by having the women he'd groped or tried to rape or actually rape back in college dare to come forward probably did give the Republicans a bit of a bump...

...But I doubt it's going to help them nearly as much as still having the seat open would.
Conversely, it also may have motivated Democratic turnout, since it kind of underscored "Holy shit, really bad things happen when these assholes have the Senate". Especially given that a lot of women voters were already moving from R to D. I suppose its possible that the defeat may have demoralized a lot of Democrats, or fed into "Both Sides" narratives with Manchin being a fucking spineless morally bankrupt waste of human trash unworthy to have a (D) next to his name, but I'm hoping that the Kavanaugh debacle will help more than hurt us.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-20 04:22pm

Some disturbing news: Democrats have a serious problem with Latino enthusiasm:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/16/politics ... index.html
Polls show that Democratic voters are revved up for November. There is one exception to that rule, however: Latinos. They seem far less enthusiastic than pretty much every other part of the Democratic base, and our forecast shows Democrats have a problem in Latino heavy districts.

I examined the five congressional districts in the country currently controlled by Republicans and where at least 50% of the citizen voting age population is Latino. These districts are not surprisingly in California, Florida and Texas.

In every single one of them, the Democrats are underperforming Hillary Clinton's numbers in the 2016 election.
I confess I find this hard to understand. Do these Latino voters not realize that they have been marked as the primary targets for literal ethnic cleansing if Republicans remain in power? Or have they simply given up hope on any party effectively standing up for them?

CNN also forecasts 228 seats for the Dems, with 204 seats (a loss of the House) and 263 seats being within the margin of error. They forecast the Republicans will gain one Senate seat for a total of 52, with 47 and 57 being within the margin of error (looks like there are a lot of close Senate races, so a more accurate answer might be "we don't have a clue").
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-20 04:46pm

Well this is interesting:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/19/politics ... index.html

Excerpt:
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker suspended his re-election campaign Friday night with less than three weeks to go before Election Day.

In a statement, Walker expressed concerns that he and Lieutenant Gov. Valerie Davidson would not win the emerging three-way race for the governor's seat.

"With more time, I am confident that Val and I could deliver a message and a campaign that could earn a victory in this election," Walker wrote in an Instagram post Friday night. "But there are only 18 days remaining before Election Day. Absentee ballots have already been mailed, and Alaskans are already voting. IN the time remaining, I believe we cannot win a three-way race."

The fact that absentee voting has already begun and early voting begins on Monday means Walker's name will likely remain on the ballot.

Walker, an independent, endorsed Democratic nominee Mark Begich, a former US Senator, citing the way Begich's priorities "more closely align" with his than do those of Republican nominee Michael Dunleavy.
In short, the Independent Governor of Alaska dropped out of a three-way race, and endorsed the Democrat.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-10-20 05:36pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-10-20 04:22pm
Some disturbing news: Democrats have a serious problem with Latino enthusiasm:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/16/politics ... index.html
Polls show that Democratic voters are revved up for November. There is one exception to that rule, however: Latinos. They seem far less enthusiastic than pretty much every other part of the Democratic base, and our forecast shows Democrats have a problem in Latino heavy districts.

I examined the five congressional districts in the country currently controlled by Republicans and where at least 50% of the citizen voting age population is Latino. These districts are not surprisingly in California, Florida and Texas.

In every single one of them, the Democrats are underperforming Hillary Clinton's numbers in the 2016 election.
I confess I find this hard to understand. Do these Latino voters not realize that they have been marked as the primary targets for literal ethnic cleansing if Republicans remain in power? Or have they simply given up hope on any party effectively standing up for them?

CNN also forecasts 228 seats for the Dems, with 204 seats (a loss of the House) and 263 seats being within the margin of error. They forecast the Republicans will gain one Senate seat for a total of 52, with 47 and 57 being within the margin of error (looks like there are a lot of close Senate races, so a more accurate answer might be "we don't have a clue").
Maybe, but Latinos are notoriously hard to poll. So it might well be that they’re revved up but still unwilling to get on the phone and talk to a stranger about it. That threat of literal ethnic cleansing isn’t actually all that new for our Latin American-descended friends. If they’re citizens, there are good odds they’ve spent their entire lives with the threat of ethnic cleansing over their heads and they behave accordingly.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Elfdart » 2018-10-22 09:10pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-10-20 04:22pm
Some disturbing news: Democrats have a serious problem with Latino enthusiasm:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/16/politics ... index.html
Polls show that Democratic voters are revved up for November. There is one exception to that rule, however: Latinos. They seem far less enthusiastic than pretty much every other part of the Democratic base, and our forecast shows Democrats have a problem in Latino heavy districts.

I examined the five congressional districts in the country currently controlled by Republicans and where at least 50% of the citizen voting age population is Latino. These districts are not surprisingly in California, Florida and Texas.

In every single one of them, the Democrats are underperforming Hillary Clinton's numbers in the 2016 election.
I confess I find this hard to understand. Do these Latino voters not realize that they have been marked as the primary targets for literal ethnic cleansing if Republicans remain in power? Or have they simply given up hope on any party effectively standing up for them?
There has been a conscious effort to Ku Klux the Hispanic vote in this country ever since the GOP got away with doing it to black voters since 2000. There have also been many internet postings claiming that ICE agents will be prowling the voting precincts, looking for "illegals". The only things missing are the white sheets and hoods.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-23 02:31pm

Fuck Republicans.
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"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Mr Bean » 2018-10-31 11:24am

In other news voter turnout is up over 500% in the 18-29 bracket in Texas/Georgia
The UK Independent
Independent wrote:
Tom Embury-Dennis


Early voting among young people in key US midterm battleground states has surged dramatically, the latest data shows, suggesting a potential jump in enthusiasm for Democratic candidates.

With six days to go until election day, Texas and Georgia, two traditionally Republican-leaning states, have increased their early vote rate among 18-29 year-olds by nearly five times or more compared to 2014.

America’s early voting system allows voters to cast their ballot early, either via postal voting or at designated polling stations, in a bid to increase participation and relieve congestion on election day.
Watch more

In Texas, young voter turnout is currently up 508 per cent, while African-American and Hispanic – both traditionally Democratic constituencies – vote rates have more than doubled.

It comes amid a fierce senate contest between incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, a prominent Trump-supporter, and Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic candidate tipped by some as a future presidential candidate.

Elliott Morris, an elections specialist at The Economist, noted turnout thus far in Texas’ 15 biggest counties had surpassed total early voting turnouts in 2014.
Beto O'Rourke rips into 'liar' Ted Cruz in final debate before midterm elections

“Can't overstate how crazy this level of engagement is for a midterm,” he said on Twitter.

A national poll, released on Monday by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, found 40 per cent of 18-29 year-olds plan to "definitely vote" – double the 2014 figure – while 66 per cent of young respondents said they would vote Democrat.

Georgia, a state facing voter suppression claims, has similarly seen 19-28 voter turnout up 476 per cent, African-American early voting up 165 per cent, and Hispanic turnout up a massive 571 per cent, according to data provided by TargetSmart.

The numbers also reveal early voting in Texas and Georgia among the over 65s and white people, two traditional Republican blocs, is significantly up, though not as dramatically as young people.

While the numbers suggest a surge in early voting enthusiasm – especially among young people and ethnic minorities – the data does not reveal how these groups are voting, or even what the final vote count will be.
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It is possible a significant number of people who would always have voted are casting their ballot earlier than in previous years, rather than the rise being down to citizens who failed to vote in 2014.
I'll note 1 it's only in Texas and Georgia, 2 they are the only states who released the numbers, 3 this is compared to 2014 a historically low turnout election and 4, Hispanic vote is up even more, based on days/rate we might be looking at 800% higher turnout numbers compared to 2014 as there are still four week days and two weekend days plus Tuesday the 6th itself to inflate that 571% number as it stands as of this morning.

This might give me my Christmas gift early, all I want is Ted Cruz to lose his seat. The House can look after itself, if that dbag can leave the Senate it will be amazing.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-10-31 05:51pm

That kind of surge in turnout could very well mean that Texas and Georgia skew well to the left of polling (since a lot of polls only poll previous or likely voters). And if we do well enough to unseat Cruz (seen as a long shot particularly this year), then we'll probably beat the odds and take the Senate back.

I wonder if Der Fuhrer's strategy of condoning terrorism and treating immigrants as foreign invaders and attacking birthright citizenship has backfired- that its done more to mobilize last-minute opposition than to get out his base. One can only hope. There would be some karmic justice in his own vile tactics ending up costing the Republicans the Senate.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-01 02:23am

Can someone explain to me why it is considered so unlikely that the Democrats will take the Senate? I mean, I know that we have more seats to defend, but at the end of the day, the deciding factor is how many people vote for each candidate. If anything, the Senate should be a fairer race, and an easier one to win, than the House, since the Senate hasn't been gerrymandered to hell (due to the fact that you can't just casually redraw state boundaries for partisan election meddling). Its hard to imagine incumbent Dems losing in the Senate in a blue wave year (if that is what occurs in the House), and two pickups (out of several reasonably close races) would give us the Senate.

So what gives? What am I missing here?
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2018-11-01 03:24am

The seats in contention are overwhelmingly Democrat held (26 of 35)and its very hard to beat an incumbent senator. That means the Dems not only have to keep all their seats, but they have very few places to pick up additional seats and, again, beating incumbent senators is hard. Add in the difficulty of beating a Republican in a red state and that's it. The fact that there's actually competitive races against Republican incumbents in places like Texas and Mississippi is a massive achievement in its own right, but a competitive race isn't the same thing as a victory.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-11-01 03:21pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-01 02:23am
Can someone explain to me why it is considered so unlikely that the Democrats will take the Senate? I mean, I know that we have more seats to defend, but at the end of the day, the deciding factor is how many people vote for each candidate. If anything, the Senate should be a fairer race, and an easier one to win, than the House, since the Senate hasn't been gerrymandered to hell (due to the fact that you can't just casually redraw state boundaries for partisan election meddling). Its hard to imagine incumbent Dems losing in the Senate in a blue wave year (if that is what occurs in the House), and two pickups (out of several reasonably close races) would give us the Senate.

So what gives? What am I missing here?
They have a wide field to defend (GOP is defending less than a third of the seats in contention) and many of them won by slim margins when Obama was at the top of the ticket. Additionally, they have only a couple of long shot pickup opportunities in very red states. Also, the polls of the specific races and fundamentals are against them. Nate silver actually wrote a great description of what they need to make it a toss up (a 1-standard deviation miss in favor of republicans on the polls systemically, so every poll overrates the GOP in every state by 2.5%) and a Dem win (a two standard deviation miss, same but 5%). That isn’t impossible, but it is only going to happen such that they win resoundingly or the tossup turns to the Dems about one in seven times.

But in Nate’s words “One in seven days is Thursday, and you didn’t wake up this morning amazed that it’s Thursday.” It’s not the most likely outcome by a fair amount, but not an unreasonable one.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-11-01 03:23pm

The relevant article:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/de ... he-senate/
“Nate Silver” wrote:The divide between the House outlook and the Senate outlook continues to widen. Democrats’ chances of winning a majority remain at or near their all-time highs in our House forecast — ranging between 78 percent (7 in 9) and 85 percent (6 in 7) in the various versions of our model. But they’re at their lowest point yet in the Senate. All three versions of our forecast give them only about 1 in 7 shot (about 15 percent) of taking over the Senate from Republicans.

This is normally the point at which you might expect us to give you a throat-clearing “well, actually” about how 1 in 7 chances happen all the time. Indeed, they do. One in seven days of the week is a Thursday. None of us woke up this morning screaming “Oh my gosh, I just can’t believe it’s a Thursday!” And nobody should really be that surprised if Democrats win the Senate next week, or if Republicans keep the House.

At the same time, Republicans have a fairly clear advantage in the Senate (as Democrats do in the House) — clearer than the edge Hillary Clinton had before the 2016 election, when President Trump had roughly a 3 in 10 chance to win the Electoral College. In 2016, a normal-sized polling error (if it worked in Trump’s favor) was probably going to be enough to give him a victory in the Electoral College. And that’s exactly what happened: The polls weren’t great in 2016, but they were about as accurate as they have been on average since 1972. Because the race was close and because Clinton was underperforming in the Electoral College, a small and routine but systematic polling error was enough to give Trump the win.

The difference this year is that a normal-sized polling error in Democrats’ direction would merely make the race for the Senate close. (Likewise, a normal-sized polling error in the GOP direction would make the House close, but Republicans would still have to fight it out on a district-by-district basis.) A sports analogy, for those so inclined: In 2016, Trump was doing the equivalent of driving for the game-winning touchdown with the odds somewhat but not overwhelmingly against him. If enough undecided voters in the Midwest broke toward him, he was going to win the Electoral College. In the Senate this year, by contrast, it’s more like Democrats are driving for the game-tying touchdown; they still have to win in overtime even if they score.

By a systematic polling error, I mean one that occurs in a correlated way across every race, or in certain groups or races — not merely errors that happen on a one-off basis. Our models account for the possibility of several different types of systematic errors, but in this article, I’m going to focus on the simplest type of systematic error, which is a uniform swing that applies to every race. In certain simulations, for example, our model will randomly simulate a 4-percentage-point uniform swing toward Republicans, in which it adds 4 points to the Republican margin in every state and district. From there, it proceeds to consider the other types of error and uncertainty.

What’s clear is that Democrats will very probably need some type of systematic polling error to win the Senate: They’ve fallen too far behind in too many races to have much of a shot at winning just by getting lucky on a case-by-case basis.

Problem No. 1 for Democrats is that they don’t have a clear path to a majority. Even if they were to win all of the “toss-up” Senate races, plus all of the races in which they’re favored, they’d wind up stuck at 50 seats, with Republicans also having 50 seats and Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote to preserve a GOP majority. Instead, Democrats will have to win at least one of the races that our model currently deems as “lean Republican” or “likely Republican” — namely North Dakota, Texas, Tennessee or (less plausibly) the Mississippi special election.

But in certain ways, the no-clear-path problem is overrated. Democrats aren’t favored in any of these races individually, but if you put them together collectively, they have a decent shot at winning at least one. According to the Deluxe version of our model, Democrats have a 23 percent chance to win North Dakota, a 20 percent chance to win Tennessee, an 18 percent chance to win Texas, and a 12 percent chance to win the Mississippi special election.1 Assume for a moment — this is a bad assumption but it’s useful as an illustration — that each Senate race is independent from the next one.2 Under that assumption, there’s a 55 percent chance that Democrats win at least one of those four races.

But here’s Problem No. 2: Even if Democrats manage to pull off a big upset somewhere, they also have to win a lot of other contests in which they’re somewhere between modest favorites and mild underdogs. The most problematic of these races for Democrats are Missouri, Indiana, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. There’s also a smaller but non-trivial chance of a loss in Montana, West Virginia, New Jersey and the Minnesota special election. In fact, if you assume that each Senate race is independent, Democrats’ overall chances of winding up with a majority is only 4 percent or 5 percent, according to our numbers. There are a lot of scenarios in which Beto O’Rourke beats Ted Cruz in Texas but Claire McCaskill loses her race in Missouri, or Dean Heller outlasts Jacky Rosen in Nevada — or Bob Menendez somehow blows it in New Jersey.

It’s the fact that Senate races aren’t independent from one another that gives Democrats a somewhat better chance.

Consider, for example, what would happen if there were a 2.5 percentage point uniform swing in Democrats’ favor. Why 2.5 percentage points? Because according to our model — which is based on how often systemic polling errors have occurred in congressional races since 1990 — 2.5 percentage points represents about one standard deviation’s worth of uniform swing on election night.3 About one-sixth of the time, Democrats will beat their polls by at least one standard deviation (or 2.5 points) in the average competitive Senate race. Another one-sixth of the time, Republicans will beat their polls by at least 2.5 points in the average Senate race. The remaining two-thirds of the time, we’ll wind up somewhere in between. Here’s what the eight most important Senate races would look like with a 2.5-point uniform swing in Democrats’ favor, according to the Deluxe version of our forecast:

Democrats can compete in the Senate … if there’s a uniform polling error in their favor

Forecasted vote margins in eight key Senate races, according to FiveThirtyEight’s “Deluxe” model vs. with a hypothetical uniform swing of 2.5 points toward all Democrats, as of Nov. 1 at 2 a.m.

State “Deluxe” model 2.5 point Dem. swing
North Dakota R+5.5 R+3.0
Texas R+5.4 R+2.9
Tennessee R+5.3 R+2.8
Nevada R+0.4 D+2.1
Missouri D+0.8 D+3.3
Arizona D+1.2 D+3.7
Indiana D+2.6 D+5.1
Florida D+2.6 D+5.1
Democrats must win six of these eight races to win the Senate, assuming less-competitive races go as predicted.

Keep in mind that these projections are not meant to be deterministic. They just recalibrate the numbers in Democrats’ favor based on the hypothetical of a uniform swing in their direction. This is a good scenario for Democrats, but not a best-case scenario: They’d still have to win each race on a case-by-case basis, just under more favorable conditions than we originally expected. In fact, to take the Senate, Democrats would need to win six of the eight races on the list above.4

How easy would that be? With a polling error in their favor, Democrats would still be underdogs in Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas — but lesser underdogs than before, down by about 3 percentage points in each race. They’d be favored in the other five key races, although not by much except in Florida and Indiana. Overall, the Senate would be a lot more competitive than under the status quo, although you’d still rather be in Republicans’ position.

Of course, Democrats aren’t necessarily limited to a 2.5-percentage-point polling error. About 1 election in 40, there will be a two standard-deviation error in their favor, or 5 percentage points’ worth of uniform swing. Even then, Tennessee, North Dakota and Texas would only be toss-ups, but the overall odds would be stacked pretty heavily toward Democrats. There are also various other types of regional or demographic polling errors that could help Democrats. If they outperformed their polls in rural areas, that would be helpful to their chances in the Senate, for example.

If the polls are right, Democrats will lose the Senate. But our model’s job is to consider all these different ways in which polls and other data might be wrong, based on how often the polls have been wrong in the past, and by how much. There’s about a 1 in 7 chance that the polls are wrong enough — and wrong enough in just the right ways — that Democrats win the Senate instead of Republicans.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Knife » 2018-11-02 08:17pm

I'm some what optimistic. Heicamp is neck and neck, Arizona is neck and neck, Cruz looks like he's running scared. Florida look very promising. If Heicamp holds, just need two more. It is by far not a sure thing, but it is looking pretty good at the moment. If turn out is high, we might have the Senate, which is important to stop any more judges and appointments.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-02 08:19pm

Knife wrote:
2018-11-02 08:17pm
I'm some what optimistic. Heicamp is neck and neck, Arizona is neck and neck, Cruz looks like he's running scared. Florida look very promising. If Heicamp holds, just need two more. It is by far not a sure thing, but it is looking pretty good at the moment. If turn out is high, we might have the Senate, which is important to stop any more judges and appointments.
I really, really hope Heicamp holds on. I do not want Democrats to see her lose and take away from that the message that she lost because she voted against Kavanaugh rather than "compromising".

Edit: Even one seat in the Senate might be enough. Sure, there's the Pence tie-breaker, but at that point even one Republican absence or defection would fuck them (like, say, Murkowski sitting it out on Kavanaugh). And if Trump does his highly anticipated Cabinet purge after the election (with Lindsey Graham seen as a likely replacement for Jeff Sessions), then there's a possibility of something happening like what happened when Sessions was first appointed- a special election, with a chance to pick up a Senate seat early in the new term.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-11-02 08:33pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-01 02:23am
Can someone explain to me why it is considered so unlikely that the Democrats will take the Senate? I mean, I know that we have more seats to defend, but at the end of the day, the deciding factor is how many people vote for each candidate. If anything, the Senate should be a fairer race, and an easier one to win, than the House, since the Senate hasn't been gerrymandered to hell (due to the fact that you can't just casually redraw state boundaries for partisan election meddling). Its hard to imagine incumbent Dems losing in the Senate in a blue wave year (if that is what occurs in the House), and two pickups (out of several reasonably close races) would give us the Senate.

So what gives? What am I missing here?
In addition to what's already said, several of the incumbent Democrats defending their seats are ones who narrowly won their seats during the Obama years, AND whose states voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016. In fact, if you do a little research into some of their campaigns, you will see that many of these incumbent Democrats are going out of their way to distance themselves from the Democratic party to appeal to their constituents! At least one (whose name I am blanking on, I can pull it up later when I find the original article I was reading) has used rhetoric about defending the Constitution from radical socialist leftists, and so on.

It's more or less just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the Democrats this election cycle; the seats up for grabs happen coincidentally to consist in large part of the seats that weren't very solidly Democrat in the first place, and relatively few of the Republican seats are so perilously balanced. For example, Richard Burr and Cory Gardner off the top of my head are two Republican senators who would almost certainly be unseated if their seats were up for grabs this cycle, but unfortunately they are not (the former only narrowly got re-elected in 2016 after a pretty bitter campaign, and the latter has IIRC only a 25% approval rating).

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