Friday, May 25, 2018

The 'Generic Ballot' is Overrated

Folks have been trumpeting the latest polls showing Republicans jumping to a lead in the "generic ballot" for the midterm congressional elections.

I don't give these polls a lot of credence. It's a bit early to expect much from these surveys, for one thing.

The main rule for the midterms is that the president's party always loses seats. That means Republicans. How many will they lose? That depends. On a lot. So, we'll see.

I'm going to be surprised if Democrats don't take the majority in the House of Representatives. They need to pick up 23 seats. There's about 43 Republican House members retiring, presumable most of those because incumbents are facing nasty reelection bids, with an extremely motivated Democrat opposition base. Trump Derangement Syndrome is going to drive energized leftists to the polls in November. I doubt polling is capturing this eruption of partisan hatred adequately.

But then, when your party allies with Hamas and MS-13 against the president (and the country, frankly) all bets are off. Maybe it's true that the public has had enough of Democrat Party anti-Americanism and is grateful for all the winning under this administration. We'll see.

In any case, here's Sean Trende, at RCP, with an analysis, "How the Battle for the House Is Shaping Up":

If you had asked me six months ago who I thought would win control of the House of Representatives in 2018, I wouldn’t have hesitated before answering, “It’s early, but Democrats are heavily favored, although conventional wisdom has been very slow to catch up.” With a raft of GOP retirements in highly vulnerable open seats, a president with job approval ratings in the 30s, and a generic ballot lead for Democrats in the double digits, it was increasingly difficult to spell out a path to victory for Republicans. In fact, things were bad enough that it appeared their losses could grow into the 40 or even 50 seat range.

Things have changed. If the election were held today, it’s not clear who would hold the chamber. I might put a thumb on the scale for Republicans, but right now – and it is still early – the House is likely to be close. Once again, conventional wisdom seems slow to catch up, with analysts still discussing the toxic environment for Republicans. There are three things to consider..
Keep reading.