Democratic pollster John Zogby isn’t buying into the “blue wave” that sees the Democrats taking control of the House. Poll after poll this week show Democrats widening their lead in the “generic ballot,” which doesn’t mean much but sure helps sell a smashing Democratic victory in the midterm elections.
Instead, Zogby believes that a Democratic takeover of the House is “far from certain” and “elusive.” He also thinks it “nearly impossible” for the Democrats to seize the Senate.
This week we saw a revived Republican Party, re-energized with less than a month to go before the election. The stock market belched mid-week but picked up lost ground on Friday. Interest rates are going up, and President Trump mocked the chair of the Federal Reserve — but that is what Trump does for a living, and his followers are happy and feel secure.
From the vantage point of today it looks bleak — nearly impossible — for the Democrats to win a majority in the Senate.
Meanwhile, it is far from certain that the Democrats will indeed retake control of House of Representatives. Three seats that the Democrats have been counting on to pick up — New York 27, California 50, and Florida 27 — are elusive and too close to call.The first two feature GOP incumbents who have been indicted (Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter), while the third involves a Democratic icon Donna Shalala.
And for those of us who live in competitive congressional districts, we are begging for the return of TV ads for automobile deals and furniture blowout sales. The president presided over a weird visit by Kanye West, but it didn’t seem to hurt him. Another good week, I guess.
First, the “generic ballot” is a loony contrivance. It’s nonsense when Republicans lead in it and it’s nonsense when Democrats lead in it. It is impossible to predict the result of 435 House races based on a national poll model.
Polls for individual races show that the GOP could maintain its majority by a very slim margin — if several races break their way. But the numbers for Republicans are daunting this year, having to defend almost 50 seats due to retirements and members running for another office. And the history of midterm elections shows the party that holds the White House loses a significant number of seats in the first midterm election.
But a “wave” election? For that to happen, Democrats would have to win 35-50+ seats — not impossible but, at this point, not very likely.
Zogby is cautious for good reason: Democrats are beginning to fret about turnout. All the “enthusiasm” in the world will mean squat if Democratic core constituencies decide they’ve got something better to do on election day than vote. All of this Trump hatred, white man hatred, angry women, enraged liberals, terrified suburbanites, and media hysteria won’t translate into votes unless people get up, physically put one foot in front of the other, and go and vote.
How many will settle for simply screaming obscenities at the TV? If they turn out to vote, the GOP is toast.