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Midterm Elections: Who’s Predicted to Win?

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WASHINGTON, DC – November 2, 2018

With the 2018 midterm elections just four days away, many think this is the most important election in recent times. Much is riding on the Republicans maintaining control of Congress. If the Democrats win the House, all current investigations into the Deep State will cease, replaced by every single Congressional committee opening an investigation into Trump and his administration. The stakes are high.

Americans will vote for members of both chambers of Congress, as well as for governors in 36 out of 50 states.

The latest polling and forecasts indicate that Donald Trump and the Republicans are favorites to hold onto the Senate, while the House of Representatives looks likely to fall to the Democrats.

However, as with the 2016 presidential race, the polls could swing in the final days of campaigning—particularly as Trump ramps up campaigning and heightens his rhetoric around the topic of migration.

The latest polls show that the Democrats are around eight percentage points ahead of the Republicans, standing at an average of 48.4% compared to the Republicans’ 42.2%.

Midterm Elections: Who’s Predicted to Win?

This is an average of the last eight polls, and has indicated a consistent lead for the Democrats on a national level.

While the Democrats are ahead in the general ballot, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are decided by a series of local elections, which means that the Republicans could still hold both houses.

The Democrats need 24 seats to flip the House of Representatives, and 2 to flip the Senate. But to make matters harder, the Democrats are defending 26 of the 35 seats up for election in the Senate this time.

Midterm Elections: Who’s Predicted to Win?

As for the House of Representatives, of the 435 seats up for re-election, the Democrats need to flip 24 seats—something that should be within reach for the party.

The latest forecast from the Cook Report has the Democrats with a likely 209 seats and the Republicans 197.

This means that the remaining 29 toss-up seats that are too close to call will be incredibly important for the outcome of the election.

Midterm Elections: Who’s Predicted to Win?

Only needing two seats to take the Senate, it might seem at first that the Democrats should be able to take control.

But, of the 35 seats up for election, 26 are currently defended by the Democrats. That means that the Democrats need to claim 2 seats from the remaining 8 Republican-defended seats.

According to the Cook Report forecast, this seems unlikely, as there are only 43 seats that are marked as "leaning" Democrat or stronger.

To claim a majority, the party would have to pick up a further 6 seats that are either toss-ups or leaning towards the Republicans.

Midterm Elections: Who’s Predicted to Win?

In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won big in rural and working class communities. This helped him flip — albeit with small margins — traditionally Democrat states in the rust belt, including Wisconsin and Michigan. 

If the Democrats are to have hope of taking the House of Representatives from the Republicans, they need to ensure that they retain seats in these areas, before moving onto Republican territory in others.

A series of both Republican and Democrat seats are currently classed as toss-ups by the Cook Report, indicating that there could be turnovers for both parts in the midterms.

The Republicans will hope to hold onto their under siege seats in places like Tennessee and West Virginia while making inroads in Democrat areas that Trump claimed with huge majorities in 2016.

Seats in Indiana and North Dakota are among those places where the Republicans will hope that Trump's base will help them flip seats. 

Since 1842 (the year of the first primaries), the midterm elections have been consistently won by those who oppose the incumbent President. Out of the 44 election cycles, there have only been three exceptions! In 1934, 1998 and 2002, the ruling party won. Thus, according to the theory of probability, the score is clearly in favor of the Democrats.

There is nothing unusual here: In two years’ time, any President can offer sufficient reasons for dissatisfaction. And "lower members" are often campaigning, astutely catching and using any mistake from the opponent.

Donald Trump's approval ratings are at relatively healthy and stable levels as the midterms approach, at 44% at the end of October. 

While this level is quite high for Trump, it is relatively low for sitting presidents, and this is important, as presidential approval ratings are a good indicator of net losses in midterm elections. 

Only two presidents, Truman (1946 and 1950), and Bush (2006), had a lower approval rating than Trump when going into their respective midterm elections. They ended up losing over 28 seats in the House of Representatives and over 5 in the Senate.

Nevertheless, the results of the midterm elections can be examined from every angle. Don’t forget that there are also elections for 39 governors. The “American establishment” is only 150 people: 50 governors and 100 senators. "Lower politicians"— Congressmen are considered subhuman  in the big policy world.

Author: USA Really