Tag Archives: Blue Wave

The House Democrats and the Big Blue Wave

I’ve been doing analyses of house races in which I fairly conservatively evaluated each of the close races. Here, I use a slightly different approach. I use only the most recent non partisan poll to estimate the chance of a Democrat vs. Republican winning the race.

When I do this, I get just enough Democrats winning to remain a minority but by only one seat. However, that puts seven seats NOT in the Democratic column because they are estimated to be at exactly 50-50.

These seats, clearly key, are FL26, KY06, MI11, NM02, NY19, OH12, and UT04.

If those are really 50-50, then a conservative two or three seats among them will be Democratic at the end of election night, and the Democrats will have a slim majority in the House.

If we insert a magical blue wave, raising all the chances of Democrats winning by one percentage point, then the Democratic majority is much larger, to the tune of about 27 seats. A two percent blue wave gives the Democrats, interestingly, just a few more, to reach 35 seats.

However, that is unlikely, if the Blue Wave is already factored into the polls.

We might think of there being two Blue Waves. Or, a Blue Wave and a Blue Tide added together. Or a Blue High Tide with a Blue Storm Surge on top of it. Whatever. Point is, there is the general, expected, electorate, which I assume the polls cover, and that may be enough. But added to this is the added votes from the ever mythical “they never vote but they might come out this one time,as if” vote. That is where the one or two percent extra could come from. I suspect the effects of that extra spring tide may be seen in only some districts.

Here is my raw data, ranked from highest proportion to Democrats to lowest. Feel free to argue.

PA05 0.60
PA06 0.60
MN02 0.57
VA10 0.57
CA49 0.57
PA07 0.56
PA17 0.56
AZ02 0.56
KA03 0.56
CO06 0.55
NJ07 0.55
FL27 0.54
IO01 0.54
MN03 0.53
KA02 0.53
IO03 0.51
IL06 0.51
CA10 0.51
MN01 0.51
CA45 0.51
NJ11 0.51
NY22 0.51
CA39 0.51
ME02 0.51
FL26 0.50
KY06 0.50
MI11 0.50
NM02 0.50
NY19 0.50
OH12 0.50
UT04 0.50
CA25 0.50
TX32 0.49
IL14 0.49
PA01 0.49
TX07 0.49
NJ03 0.49
NC09 0.49
CA48 0.49
FL15 0.49
MI08 0.48
VA02 0.48
VA07 0.47
NC13 0.47
MN08 0.41
PA14 0.40

Interesting House Races, Georgia to Kansas

Among these states, there are 53 House seats, 20 held by Democrats, 33 by Republicans. There are probably two seats currently held by Republicans that are going to become Democratic. There are a few others that might change, but not likely. That is a closing of a 25% gap to a 17% gap, bringing Democrats closer to a majority, but with no cigars being handed out.

Iowa‘s 1st district is currently represented by Republican Rod Blum, who seems to be firmly behind Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer, according to 538. Finkenauer has been ahead across several polls in this much polled race, since last February. That includes partisan polls both Democratic and Republicans, as well as the Siena NYT poll and Emmerson College.

This is a takeaway.

Republican incumbent Peer Roskam, in Illinois 6, is somewhat likely to lose to Democratic challenger Sean Casten. The numbers are not statistically separated, but Casten is pulling forward quickly, but mainly in Democratic leaning partisan polls. As recently as early September, the Siena College NYT poll put Roskam ahead by one point. Yet, 538 puts Casten at a slightly higher chance of winning. I’m going to hold off on this and suggest that Casten wins with a large Blue wave.

Illinois 12th district has a Republican incumbent, Mike Bost, with a strong Democratic challenger, Brendan Kelly, who is statistically almost identical, but slightly behind. There is a Green Party candidate, Randy Auxier, running in that race with 3 points. With the Green Party candidate there, I can’t give this race to the Democrats except in a strong blue wave which, hopefully, sinks the Green as well as Red.

In Kansas’s 3rd district, Democrat Sharice Davids seems highly likely to pull off a take away from Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder. The polling is strong, and 538 gives their odds at close to 8:2

Kansas 2nd district is currently held by Republican Lynn Jenkins, who is not running for re-election. Democrat Paul Davis is a tiny bit ahead of Republican Steve Watkins. Polling is sparse and the numbers are variable. This is not one to put in the takeaway list, but it could move there, and is definitely a race to watch.

Interesting House Races, Arizona-Florida

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and Florida have a total of 114 members in the US House of Representatives, which is about a fourth of the total members.

50 are Republicans. 64 are Democrats.

This year, Arizona is likely to see a Republican seat flip to Democratic. California will likely flip 2, R to D. Colorado will likely flip 1.

So, it is likely that the party count for these first states, alphabetically speaking, will end up being 46-68. If this shift happens at this level across the US, Democrats will come to within about 75% of where they need to equal Republicans in the house, numerically.

Arkansas 2nd

Incumbent French Hill is ahead of Democratic challenger Clarke Tucker (there is a libertarian in the race as well, with a crumb of support but enough to propel the Republican into a statistical safety zone should he get hit by a bus at an intersection lacking proper stoplights or pedestrian walkway markings). But while fivethirtyeight puts this race as close and leaning Republican, there has been virtually no polling here. A PPP Poll in April put Hill ahead by 5 points, and a Hendrix College poll in early September put Hill ahead by 9 points.

The district went for Trump by and Romney by 12.

There have been Democrats representing this district.

A blue wave effect in this semi-urban area, a semi-liberal island in a sea of redness, would have to be strong, but a Democratic upset here is barely possible.

There are three interesting races in Arizona.

Arizona 02 was represented by Republican Martha McSally, who is now running for US Senate. Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick is running against Republican Lea Marquez Peterson. If Kirkpatrick sounds familiar to you, it is because she reprersented Arizona’s 1st district in the past. Kirkpatrick has also run (not successfully) against Senator McCain.

There has been only one poll here, one of those New York Times/Siena polls that seem to be mainly a way for the NYT to sell newspaper subscriptions. But maybe it is a good poll, and it shows Kirkpatrick ahead by 11 points. It is generally expected that this will be a turnover.

Arizona’s 6th and 8th districts are very likely Republican keeps, but there are viable Democratic challengers there, so there is a barely possible turnover in each of those districts, if the Blue Wave is big and strong and reaches the desert.

For a state with one gazillion house districts, California has only a handful of races that might produce a turnover.

California 39th. The seat is currently held by Edward Royce, but this Republican is leaving in what some might consider an anti-Republican or anti-Trump protest. Fivethirtyeight suggests that the race is a tossup, leaning towards the Republican. One poll shows Democrat Gil Sisneros ahead by one point, another poll shows Republican Young Kim ahead by 10. Both polls were taken about the same time, but the Cisneros favoring one, by Berkeley IGS, a little later and overlapping with the Kavanaugh Outrage Event.

For this reason, I’m going to say that this race will probably go Republican (and thus not be a turnover) but with a medium blue wave, Democrat Sisneros can win. By the way, the Democrat is a man, and the Republican a woman. If that had been reversed, perhaps the Kavanaugh Outrage Effect would be stronger.

California 45 is currently represented by Republican Mimi Walters, but Democrat Katie Porter is favored by 538. This race was much closer until the Kavanaugh hearings developed, after which Porter has run away. This is a very likely turnover.

Republican Darrel Issa is bailing from his seat in California’s 49th district. Democrat Mike Levin is well head (in two polls) of Republican Diane Harkey. This is a likely turnover.

The 10th, 25th, and 48th districts in California also have close races worth watching.

In Colorado, Republican incumbant Mike Coffman is showing poorly in polling (entirely by NY Times/Siena) against Democratic challenger Jason Crow. This is likely to be a party turnover and unseating of an incumbent Republican.

Florida’s 6th district is especially interesting. The seat was held by a Republican, who is no longer running. The current candidates include Michael Waltz, the Republican, and Nancy Soderberg, the Democrat. Nancy is actually the sister of my close personal friend John, with whom I worked for several years at the University of Minnesota. Soderberg is one of those women Rachel Maddow has mentioned who come from the security community, many of whom are running this year for Congress, as Democrats. If I recall correctly, and I’m sure I’ll have some of this wrong, Nancy Soderberg was staff for Senator Ted Kennedy. She served in the Clinton White House key staff on the National Security Council, and later, as ambassador to the United Nations. She ran for Congress in 2012, lost, but did well.

Unfortunately, Republican Waltz is projected by 538 to win this race. However, the most recent polling, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (a Democratic Partisan source) puts them at even. Soderberg can win with a medium to strong Blue Wave, but I’m not going to put her in the turnover column at this time.

Elsewhere in Florida, 26th District incumbent Republican Carlos Curbelo is being seriously challenged by Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. The two are essentially neck and neck in polling, though Curbelo has been consistently ahead. This is a race that will be won by the Democrat if a normally uncounted faction, such as female millennials, show up to vote in larger numbers.