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Old 06-23-2018, 12:38 PM
 
491 posts, read 243,004 times
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Because my 2016 predictions were so hilariously wrong, I have little confidence in any predictions that I would make for 2018. Besides, I think it's way too early for anybody to make concrete predictions, as so much could happen between now and Election Day.

In my opinion, two very interesting Senate races that aren't on most peoples' radar are the ones in Texas and New Jersey. If there are to be any upsets this election cycle, those two appear (at this point) to be the most likely possibilities.

Texas is a state that appears to be trending Democratic, as evidenced by the fact that Romney won the state by 15.78% while Trump won it by only 9.00%. It's possible that Ted Cruz's opportunistic about-face regarding Trump (going from somebody who despised Trump in 2016 to an ardent defender of his) could hurt him with swing voters. However, because he is so liberal, Beto O'Rourke is a flawed challenger. O'Rourke certainly has history against him as well, since I think that 1996 was the last year that any Democrat won a statewide race in Texas.

And when it comes to having history against you, the Republicans have a very uphill climb in New Jersey, as 1972 was when they last won a Senate race in that state. The only reason why this could be a possible GOP pickup is because many voters are turned off by Bob Menendez's corruption. (This is best evidenced by the fact that in the Democratic primary, Menendez's opponent--who had zero name recognition and spent virtually no money--managed to win 37.8% of the vote.) If we were in a different political environment--say, for instance, if Hillary Clinton were president--I think that Menendez would be having a much tougher time holding onto his seat. And aside from the fact that Menendez is a very ruthless politician, New Jersey is one of the most Democratic states in the country, so I would be shocked if he loses. (While Cruz losing in Texas would be an upset, it wouldn't surprise me nearly as much.)

One more thing about the New Jersey race to watch is this: Should the polls in the Fall show Menendez struggling, he may--under pressure from both the National Democratic Party and New Jersey Democrats--suddenly drop out and be replaced with another Democrat (thereby ensuring Democratic victory). Indeed, this type of scenario is what occurred back in 2002. That year, Senator Bob Torricelli (another corrupt New Jersey Democrat) dropped his re-election bid on September 30, and the Democrats soon replaced him with Frank Lautenberg (who had actually retired from the Senate two years prior). This was a sleazy move by the Democrats, because the legal deadline for replacing somebody on the November ballot had already passed when Torricelli decided to drop out. Nevertheless, the very liberal New Jersey State Supreme Court sided with the Democratic Party and allowed the Democrats to replace Torricelli's name with Lautenberg's on the November ballot. (Lautenberg went on to win an easy victory in November of that year.) Given what happened in 2002, I would not be surprised in the least if something similar happens (as it relates to Menendez) this year.

 
Old 06-23-2018, 03:08 PM
 
7,039 posts, read 2,507,199 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dole-McCain Republican View Post
Because my 2016 predictions were so hilariously wrong, I have little confidence in any predictions that I would make for 2018. Besides, I think it's way too early for anybody to make concrete predictions, as so much could happen between now and Election Day.

In my opinion, two very interesting Senate races that aren't on most peoples' radar are the ones in Texas and New Jersey. If there are to be any upsets this election cycle, those two appear (at this point) to be the most likely possibilities.

Texas is a state that appears to be trending Democratic, as evidenced by the fact that Romney won the state by 15.78% while Trump won it by only 9.00%. It's possible that Ted Cruz's opportunistic about-face regarding Trump (going from somebody who despised Trump in 2016 to an ardent defender of his) could hurt him with swing voters. However, because he is so liberal, Beto O'Rourke is a flawed challenger. O'Rourke certainly has history against him as well, since I think that 1996 was the last year that any Democrat won a statewide race in Texas.

And when it comes to having history against you, the Republicans have a very uphill climb in New Jersey, as 1972 was when they last won a Senate race in that state. The only reason why this could be a possible GOP pickup is because many voters are turned off by Bob Menendez's corruption. (This is best evidenced by the fact that in the Democratic primary, Menendez's opponent--who had zero name recognition and spent virtually no money--managed to win 37.8% of the vote.) If we were in a different political environment--say, for instance, if Hillary Clinton were president--I think that Menendez would be having a much tougher time holding onto his seat. And aside from the fact that Menendez is a very ruthless politician, New Jersey is one of the most Democratic states in the country, so I would be shocked if he loses. (While Cruz losing in Texas would be an upset, it wouldn't surprise me nearly as much.)

One more thing about the New Jersey race to watch is this: Should the polls in the Fall show Menendez struggling, he may--under pressure from both the National Democratic Party and New Jersey Democrats--suddenly drop out and be replaced with another Democrat (thereby ensuring Democratic victory). Indeed, this type of scenario is what occurred back in 2002. That year, Senator Bob Torricelli (another corrupt New Jersey Democrat) dropped his re-election bid on September 30, and the Democrats soon replaced him with Frank Lautenberg (who had actually retired from the Senate two years prior). This was a sleazy move by the Democrats, because the legal deadline for replacing somebody on the November ballot had already passed when Torricelli decided to drop out. Nevertheless, the very liberal New Jersey State Supreme Court sided with the Democratic Party and allowed the Democrats to replace Torricelli's name with Lautenberg's on the November ballot. (Lautenberg went on to win an easy victory in November of that year.) Given what happened in 2002, I would not be surprised in the least if something similar happens (as it relates to Menendez) this year.

Welcome back, Dole.
 
Old 06-24-2018, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Austin
12,181 posts, read 6,935,590 times
Reputation: 13427
 
Old 06-24-2018, 02:10 PM
 
491 posts, read 243,004 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bureaucat View Post
Welcome back, Dole.

Bureaucat, thanks so much for your kind words! It feels great to again be participating in the political conversation at City-Data.
 
Old 06-25-2018, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Texas
35,209 posts, read 19,266,750 times
Reputation: 20835
Default The tough Senate map for Democrats is looking a little less tough

At this point, it's all wishful thinking.

Encouraging, but essentially meaningless.

In the 4+ months remaining between today and November's elections, a lot can and will occur that could heavily influence results, one way or the other.

Dems shouldn't become complacent, but recent history shows they have a remarkable ability to squander advantages.

 
Old 06-25-2018, 08:22 AM
 
5,153 posts, read 1,414,156 times
Reputation: 3180
Too early yet to know for sure, but I will predict the Republicans will maintain a slim lead in the House and pick up 3 seats in the Senate.
 
Old 06-25-2018, 08:32 AM
 
3,477 posts, read 5,101,496 times
Reputation: 1544
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastwardBound View Post
Too early yet to know for sure, but I will predict the Republicans will maintain a slim lead in the House and pick up 3 seats in the Senate.
That's very optimistic...

Republicans have 3 winnable seats, Florida/Indiana/North Dakota..
- Florida has swung 15 points in the last 72 hours... LOL Until I see a poll where Spanish speaking people are polled in Spanish it probably isn't accurate.
- North Dakota is a toss up..
- Indiana is probably the easiest pickup for republicans.

Democrats have 3 winnable seats, Tennessee/Arizona/Nevada..
- Dems have been ahead in every poll, have strong candidates & plenty of funding...
 
Old 06-25-2018, 08:41 AM
 
2,963 posts, read 3,052,749 times
Reputation: 2869
Dems need a LOT of things to break just right to pull this off. If I'm reading things right, assuming the Republicans keep all their safe seats plus Cruz, that puts them at 48. Two more seats anywhere gets them to 50. And of those seats, two of them are non-incumbent races (AZ and TN). And that's before we even talk about FL.

I'm not saying it can't happen.

Hell, I had this same conversation with a Republican friend of mine the day of the 2016 election. Trump needed a lot of things to break his way: He'd need to do a nearly clean sweep of toss-up states (FL, NC, OH, IA) and if he missed any of VA or NH, he'd need to somehow win two of PA, MI and WI.

Things broke the right way.

Maybe the Dems can do it. But honestly, I think the hill is just too steep. There's still 4+ months until election day and maybe things will change, but if you ask me, I'm sticking to my prediction from earlier in 2018: They'll take back the House by a 2-3 seats (yet winning percentage-wise by 5% or more). They'll overperform in the Senate but still lose seats because 2018 just doesn't offer many pickups and there's a lot to defend.
 
Old 06-25-2018, 08:44 AM
 
Location: OH->FL->NJ
9,902 posts, read 8,063,496 times
Reputation: 4177
The Dems will not gain. They will lose less than they "should" given the map. I predict GOP +2 or 3
 
Old 06-25-2018, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,558 posts, read 743,256 times
Reputation: 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
That's very optimistic...

Republicans have 3 winnable seats, Florida/Indiana/North Dakota..
- Florida has swung 15 points in the last 72 hours... LOL Until I see a poll where Spanish speaking people are polled in Spanish it probably isn't accurate.
- North Dakota is a toss up..
- Indiana is probably the easiest pickup for republicans.

Democrats have 3 winnable seats, Tennessee/Arizona/Nevada..
- Dems have been ahead in every poll, have strong candidates & plenty of funding...
I think Missouri can absolutely flip to the Republicans, even as the Democratic incumbent seems to have a lot of staying power. But in this polarized era it's a good question if she can get enough Trump voters to either support her or abstain. Montana and West Virginia are both highly elastic states and the Republican nominees are going to have to increase their statewide name recognition. In West Virginia in particular, Trump and his surrogates could possibly make the difference - link the Democrats to crime and disorder, increased taxes and unpopular party leaders. Not such an uplifting strategy, but it's worked in many elections.

Tennessee is going to be very difficult once the race becomes nationalized. We've seen numerous races before on both sides where major political names from the past have attempted to make a comeback, and fallen short. Bayh in Indiana and Strickland in Ohio would be examples from 2016, and on the other side, Thompson in Wisconsin from 2012. Bredesen does have an estimable record as governor, but Blackburn is likely going to have to disqualify herself with enough generally solid Republicans - not just moderates and liberals - for him to have a chance. Again, Trump & Co. will get involved and go back to their usual themes of border security, terrorism, cultural identity issues, Schumer/Pelosi/Obama/Clinton and taxes. It takes a really toxic Republican nominee for that formula not to work in solidly red seats.
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