Strong economy likely to keep Democrats from winning midterms

Lloyd Doyle
November 6, 2018

But this will take them only so far.

Republicans are favoured to retain their slight majority in the U.S. Senate, now at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve U.S. Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes.

That worked for Trump in his own shock 2016 election victory. His current approval rating among Republican voters has reportedly touched a whopping 89 percent.

Trump is stressing Senate contests like Indiana's after sending signals that maintaining the House may be out of reach.

The Obama-Trump voters sit between the two parties' bases on a host of issues. Republicans were quick to point out that the party in power typically suffers defeats in midterms. Chief among them is that Democrats could leverage their newfound subpoena power to investigate his administration. On government intervention in the economy and on general moral issues, they are firmly in the middle.

During an election-eve rally in Cleveland on Monday, President Trump claimed that mid-term elections, which used to be "boring", have now become the "hottest thing" because of him, attributing voter turnout and media attention to his presidency. The news since then probably reinforced these views - in particular, the president's renegotiation of the Nafta treaty, which fulfills one of his promises to this group, and his opposition to the caravan of Central American migrants, which reinforces another.

Republicans have privately encouraged the president to back off, to no avail.

Mr Trump, in particular, has played on a visceral fear of weak borders and caravans of migrants heading from Central America to the U.S., and of the bogeys of runaway crime and socialist "mobs", if the Democrats gain ground and stall his agenda. Young voters promised to vote in record numbers as they waged mass protests in the wake of the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 students and staff dead.


"How we conduct ourselves in public life is on the ballot", Obama told Democratic volunteers in suburban Virginia who were working for Senator Tim Kaine and House candidate Jennifer Wexton, who is challenging incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock.

As the president rushes to complete his final pleas to Americans, hours before they head to vote, The Cook Political Report has moved nine seats away from the Republican Party. Republicans now hold 51 against the Democrats' 49 (with two independents). White people and Hispanics, Republicans, suburbanites, men, the elderly, the college educated, and supporters of President Trump were the most likely to say they have faith in democracy now. Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com recently found that Democrats led or were tied in six of those 12 races. I think we're doing very well in the Senate.

But it is also true that Trump's closing message is of much more questionable utility when it comes to saving the House, and he does not seem to care much about that, even though it would ostensibly be a major setback for his agenda.

Tuesday's results will be colored by the dramatically different landscapes in the fight for the House and Senate.

Last week, Democrats led by three points, 47% to 44%. As many as 81 per cent of evangelicals voted for Mr Trump in 2016.

"We are seeing that in the early voting in all of these key House and Senate races, and Republicans have been matching, so literally Election Day voting is going to determine the balance of the House".

These figures may paint too rosy of a picture for the Democrats, however. He is already talking about making deals with Democrats on infrastructure, something that could leave Republicans on the sidelines.

The report showed only one race had shifted in favour of the Republicans - Arizona's 1st district, from "likely Democrat" to "leaning Democrat".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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