Category Archives: House

Election Day Is Here

2018-elections-open-seatsBy Jim Ellis,

Nov. 6, 2018 — At long last, the 2018 midterm Election Day has arrived. Democrats appear well positioned to capture the House of Representatives, but the question of how big a majority margin we will see remains. The large number of dead-even campaigns heading into today suggests that a small majority margin is the most likely outcome.

Republicans, largely because Democrats are defending 26 of the 35 Senate races, should hold control but, again, to what degree? Will their 51-49 margin increase? It appears they will successfully unseat North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), but will Arizona and Nevada both hold for them, allowing more substantial gains? Does Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-El Paso) new-found celebrity status and national fundraising prowess allow him to overcome Texas voting history to unseat first-term senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz? These and many other yet-to-be determined answers will be uncovered late tonight.

Several races may not finish tonight. Today is also the first time Louisiana voters will go to the polls during this cycle. Without a formal nomination process, the Bayou State consolidates its primary and general election into one vote. Therefore, if a candidate receives an absolute majority tonight, that individual is elected. If not, the top two finishers will advance to a Dec. 8 run-off. With no governor or Senate election on the ballot and little competition within the state’s six House districts, it appears likely that all congressional incumbents will win tonight. Next up, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), possibly facing US Sen. John Kennedy (R), will defend his position in the 2019 odd-numbered year election.

Continue reading

The Final Outlook

2018-elections-open-seatsBy Jim Ellis

Nov. 6, 2018 — Election Day has arrived, but it is likely that a majority of those planning to vote have already done so. Early voting totals are way up in most of the 37 states that employ a pre-election ballot casting procedure in comparison to the 2014 midterm election.

According to the University of Florida’s United States Elections Project, 25 of the 37 states report receiving more early votes than they did four years ago. None, however, is larger than Texas where early voting has already exceeded that grand total votes cast in 2014. The same also has occurred in Nevada, but it’s less surprising since the last midterm aggregate turnout there was unusually low.

In Texas, just under 4.9 million votes already have been received. In 2014, the aggregate early and Election Day vote was 4.72 million. In 2014, 44 percent of the total vote was cast early. If this same pattern occurs, the current election total turnout will exceed the 2016 presidential level participation figure of 8.96 million votes, however it is unlikely that will happen. How the increased turnout will affect the election outcome is undetermined at this point, but the high number of first-time voters suggest that Democrats could improve their typical standing.

Continue reading

“Blue Wave” Absent in Arizona Races

By Jim Ellis

L-R -- Arizona Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) and Martha McSally (R-Tucson)

From left to right, Arizona Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) and Martha McSally (R-Tucson)

Nov. 2, 2018 — It was always believed that the Grand Canyon State’s open Senate race between Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) and Martha McSally (R-Tucson) would be one of the best campaigns in the country, and no one should be disappointed.

As we approach Election Day, differing indicators have presented themselves regarding who might win this toss-up campaign. Five polls have been released covering the period between Oct. 23-29. Three of the five give Rep. Sinema a slight lead, while one projects a tie.

YouGov/CBS News (Oct. 23-26; 972 likely Arizona voters) and Marist College/NBC News (Oct. 23-27; 506 likely Arizona voters) both post the Democratic nominee to identical 47-44 percent leads. CNN/SSRS (Oct. 24-29; 702 likely Arizona voters) finds Sinema’s edge to be 51-47 percent. But HighGround Public Affairs (Oct. 26-28; 400 likely Arizona voters) sees Rep. McSally ahead, 47-45 percent. Fox News (Oct. 27-29; 643 likely Arizona voters) came to a third conclusion, a 46-46 percent tie.

Continue reading

Florida Polling: Inconsistent Results

By Jim Ellis

Oct. 23, 2018 — Four statewide Florida polls were just released, and we continue to see conflicting results across the board two weeks prior to Election Day. As usual, the Sunshine State political situation appears too close to call from a place that seems to specialize in razor-thin elections.

Left: Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) | Right: Gov. Rick Scott (R)

Left: Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) | Right: Gov. Rick Scott (R)

During the period of Oct. 17-21, St. Pete Polls, Survey USA, Quinnipiac University, and the Democratic polling firm of Schroth, Eldon & Associates all conducted Florida surveys.

In the Senate race, two of the surveys find incumbent Bill Nelson (D) putting some distance between he and his opponent, Gov. Rick Scott (R), while the other two project to give Scott a slight edge. In the governor’s race, three of these firms released numbers (Quinnipiac did not, but will likely do so today), and Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor, holds a varying lead over former US Rep. Ron DeSantis (R).

There is quite a difference in the Senate margins, and this is largely due to how the female vote is being recorded. Both Survey USA (Oct. 18-21; 1,050 Florida adults, 859 registered Florida voters, 665 likely Florida voters) and Quinnipiac (Oct. 17-21; 1,161 registered Florida voters) find Sen. Nelson holding full-sample leads beyond the polling margin of error, 49-41 percent (S-USA) and 52-46 percent (Quinnipiac). They see females breaking for Nelson, 49-37 percent (S-USA) and 59-39 percent (Quinnipiac). Men are going the opposite way, favoring Scott, 49-46 percent (S-USA) and 54-44 percent (Quinnipiac).

Continue reading

The Democrat’s House Target Lineup

By Jim Ellis

2018-us-house-racesOct. 22, 2018 — Democrats appear to be on the cusp of regaining the House majority, but actually achieving their goal is not yet guaranteed.

The Dems have accomplished three major objectives that have put them in position to claim the majority. They have recruited strong candidates, many with military service credentials, supported them with record-setting fundraising, and initiated viable competition in an incredible 95 Republican seats.

With the Democrats fielding so many candidates, it makes their odds of obtaining approximately 25 conversion victories reasonable. It is obviously much more realistic to clinch such a number when the competitive pool covers 95 congressional districts rather than 40 or even 50.

From the following group, the Dems will convert three seats, meaning they need a net 21 more to claim a bare majority at 218:

NJ-2 – Open – (Rep. LoBiondo) Jeff Van Drew (D) vs. Seth Grossman (R)
PA-5 – Vacant – (Rep. Meehan) Mary Gay Scanlon (D) vs. Pearl Kim (R)
PA-6 – Open – (Rep. Costello) Chrissy Houlahan (D) vs. Greg McCauley (R)

From the succeeding most competitive tier, the Dems need to win 21 of these 41 campaigns to claim a bare majority at 218:

AZ-2 – Open (Rep. McSally) – Ann Kirkpatrick (D) vs. Lea Marquez-Peterson (R)
CA-10 – Rep. Jeff Denham (R) vs. Josh Harder (D)
CA-25 – Rep. Steve Knight (R) vs. Katie Hill (D)
CA-39 – Open (Rep. Royce) – Young Kim (R) vs. Gil Cisneros (D)
CA-45 – Rep. Mimi Walters (R) vs. Katie Porter (D)
CA-48 – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) vs. Harley Rouda (D)
CA-49 – Open (Rep. Issa) – Mike Levin (D) vs. Diane Harkey (R)
CA-50 – Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) vs. Ammar Campa-Najjar (D)
CO-6 – Rep. Mike Coffman (R) vs. Jason Crow (D)
FL-26 – Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) vs. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D)
FL-27 – Open (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen) – Maria Elvira Salazar (R) vs. Donna Shalala (D)
IL-6 – Rep. Peter Roskam (R) vs. Sean Casten (D)
IL-12 – Rep. Mike Bost (R) vs. Brendan Kelly (D)
IA-1 – Rep. Rod Blum (R) vs. Abby Finkenauer (D)
IA-3 – Rep. David Young (R) vs. Cindy Axne (D)
KS-2 – Open (Rep. Jenkins) – Paul Davis (D) vs. Steve Watkins (R)
KS-3 – Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) vs. Sharice Davids (D)
KY-6 – Rep. Andy Barr (R) vs. Amy McGrath (D)
ME-2 – Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) vs. Jared Golden (D)
MI-8 – Rep. Mike Bishop (R) vs. Elissa Slotkin (D)
MI-11 – Open (Rep. Trott) – Haley Stevens (D) vs. Lena Epstein (R)
MN-2 – Rep. Jason Lewis (R) vs. Angie Craig (D)
MN-3 – Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) vs. Dean Phillips (D)
Continue reading