October 16, 2018

BLUE WAVE? Polarization Seems to Be Helping Republicans in Run-Up to Midterms. “Energized voters on the right dim prospects for big Democratic gains in red districts and states.”

Nate Cohn:

The fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court seems to have contributed to polarizing the electorate, helping Republicans gain in red states and districts even as Democrats cement their strong position elsewhere. The trend might fade, but if it holds it will be an abrupt change from earlier polls and last year’s special election results, which indicated that Democrats were highly competitive in red areas.

Instead, the district and state polling raises the possibility of an election more like last year’s Virginia elections or the 2010 midterm elections. Both were strong results for the party out of power — but the big numbers came mainly on home turf. A similar result this year would tend to lock the Democrats into their single biggest disadvantage: the map.

The Democratic geographic disadvantage is so severe that it gives the Republicans a chance to survive a so-called wave election, like the 1994, 2006 and 2010 elections that flipped control of the House.

Don’t. Get. Cocky.

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