Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Blue Wave Update - good news but not for Trump's Russiamerica party

fivethirtyeight.com, in their Pollapalooza reports What Some Early, High-Quality Polls Can Tell Us About The Race For The House.

In polling of the generic congressional ballot, Democrats have widened their lead to 9.3 percentage points; they are currently ahead 48.7 percent to 39.4 percent. Last week, they led 47.9 percent to 39.5 percent (an 8.4-point margin). One month ago, they led 47.4 percent to 39.8 percent (a 7.6-point advantage).

If you’re anything like me, you get inordinately excited every time you see a tweet from @MonmouthPoll. Not only is Monmouth University’s polling operation one of only six pollsters with an A+ grade in FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings, but it’s also great about polling elections that otherwise don’t get much attention.

This week, Monmouth released a poll of California’s 48th Congressional District, where Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher faces a stiff challenge from Democrat Harley Rouda. …

… Monmouth doesn’t just release one set of toplines: It releases three, reflecting the very real uncertainty about which voters will turn out in November. (If there’s one thing you take away from reading FiveThirtyEight, it should be not to be afraid of uncertainty.) Among what Monmouth calls “potential voters” — those who have voted in any election since 2010 or have newly registered to vote — Rouda leads 46 percent to 43 percent. Among voters who are likely to vote based on historical midterm turnout, the Democrat is up 47 percent to 45 percent. And among likely voters in a “Democratic surge” scenario, Rouda defeats Rohrabacher 48 percent to 44 percent. (All three leads are within the margin of error.)

BTW: “The release of the poll was timely, given Tuesday’s revelation that Rohrabacher — who has been criticized for his pro-Russia sympathies — had met with Maria Butina, who was charged Monday with attempting to influence U.S. politics as an illegal Russian agent. …”

That’s symptomatic of what I just do not understand about Republicans, why they are so hell-bent on the idea of Russiamerica. Consider, also from 538:

32 percent of Americans approve of the way Trump handled his recent summit meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin according to a CBS News poll taken Tuesday and Wednesday. That includes 68 percent of Republicans and only 8 percent of Democrats.

Chris Cillizza at cnn.com has a more expansive report that Every sign is pointing to a Democratic wave in November.

The 2018 election is in 105 days. And the playing field continues to tilt toward Democrats.

On Tuesday, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia moved 17(!) House seats in Democrats’ favor – eight of which went from a “leans Republican” rating to a “toss-up.” That means that of the 36 races rated as “toss-ups” by the Center of Politics, 34 are held by Republicans. Remember that Democrats only need a 23-seat pickup to regain the majority they lost in 2010.

“Democrats are now a little better than 50–50 to win the House,” concludes Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of UVA professor Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball. “This is the first time this cycle we’ve gone beyond 50–50 odds on a House turnover.” He adds later: “At this point, we see the Democrats with slightly better odds to get their required share of the ‘toss-ups’ based largely on the environment, but also because they appear to have well-funded and credible challengers in these districts that can capitalize on that environment.”

These moves are broadly consistent with how other non-partisan handicappers see the current state of play. The Cook Political Report carries 34 seats that are either “toss-ups” or lean toward party that doesn’t currently control the seat; 31 of those are GOP districts. Inside Elections sees 26 Republican-held seats in serious jeopardy as compared to just 5 for Democrats. In CNN’s own ratings, there are 43 Republican-held seats in serious jeopardy as compared to six Democratic-held seats.

The building Democratic wave is also revealed in fundraising reports filed last week. At least 55 Democratic challengers outraised their Republican incumbent opponents during the second fundraising quarter which covers April 1 to June 30. 55! … Candidate fundraising also matters in another way: Expanding the playing field. …

Add it all up – and throw in the weight of history that suggests the President’s party loses, on average, 33 seats in midterm elections – and you have a devil’s brew for Republicans.

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