The 2018 Midterms Game Day Thread of Angst, Worry, (and maybe some hope?)


OK, so the old, gerrymandered districts in PA from 2011 resulted in 3 Democratic-held seats and 15 Republican held seats for 2012, 14, and 16 elections, even though in some of those Democratic party share of the ballots in no way suggested that as a fair way to represent the populace.

As drawn now, thanks to Conor Lamb winning a special election, it’s 13-5 Republican advantage in the Pennsylvania congressional delegation heading into Tuesday.

Here’s the old PA map:

Yeah. That’s…something.

Here’s the new one:

So first, the bad news for Democrats. The 14th district which used to be the heart of Pittsburgh? It isn’t. It’s in Pennsyltucky now, and it’ll go heavily Republican. That’s a blue seat flipping red.

Now the good news:

The 5th, 6th, and 17th will almost certainly flip from red to blue. The 7th is fairly likely to. The 1st is a coin flip. There are some longshots to flip red to blue elsewhere. At the top of the ticket, Governor Wolf and Senator Casey both appear headed to an easy, easy wins, that may depress Republican turnout in some areas.

Best case scenario for the Democrats: they turn a 13-5 advantage by the Republicans into a 10-8 advantage

Most likely scenario: 9-9 split

Worst case for the Democrats: 7-11.

Holy crap, there’s a tsunami coming: 11-7 Democrats.


I’m hoping things turn out well over all, but I think my current state representative Deborah Gonzalez may lose the the callow scion of a well-connected family financed by the vultures of Atlanta. She beat him last time in a special election, but that had the benefit that my third of the smallest county in the state was motivated by opposition to Trump and a TSPOLST initiative. This time, denizens of the “I’ll work there, but I’d never send my kids to those schools” land may turn out a bit more. The tiny, blue dot of Athens-Clarke County is trying its best, but I may not be enough–at least in the short term.


Now perhaps you have seen data I haven’t, but at first blush it seems that the new 18th is largely the old 14th? I see some shift, namely part of the north bank of the river, but it still looks 80% the same.

Are there likely to be no D reps in that part of the state?


Yep, the 18th is the 14th. It’s in a lot of ways an in-kind flip.

Democrats will carry the 18th. Michael Doyle (D) is running there unopposed. I guess I was more trying to find the area in the SW corner where Dems could be in trouble from the adjustment.

I think it’s the switch that puts Conor Lamb into the 17th in the new map (he won the special election for the old 18th). Now Lamb (old 18th) and Rothfus (old 12th) are up against one another in the 17th. Republicans look very likely to win the 14th and 13th.


Let’s talk senate races. Here are the “within the MOE” races I see, with the incumbent or party control in parentheses.

FL (Bill Nelson, D, incumbent)
TN (R held seat, Bob Corker retiring)
IN (Joe Donnelly, D, incumbent)
MO (Claire McCaskill, D, incumbent)
TX (Ted Cruz, R, incumbent)
MT (Jon Tester, D, incumbent)
NV (Dean Heller, R, incumbent)
AZ (R held seat, Jeff Flake retiring)

There’s one Democratic incumbent who appears almost certain to lose. Sorry Heidi Heitkamp. North Dakota will flip a senate seat from Blue to Red.

With that -1, Democrats would need to win all their incumbent coin-flip races, and then flip three of the four other races on that list that are held by Republicans. I don’t see them winning all their incumbent coin-flip races. I don’t see them winning 3 of the 4 Republican races.

But…I do see rumbling from people who aren’t of the reddit fever dream poster/dailykos diarist ilk who are reporting that internals in Tennessee and Texas are really close.

What’ll be hilariously sad will be if Beto O’Rourke wins in Texas with his message of progressivism and growing a new constituency…and in Missouri and Indiana, McCaskill and Donnelly both lose by trying to pander to the center right.


I mean, aside from winning the senate outright, this is a best case scenario in my book.

Senate would be better, sure, but this would not be terrible either.



Maybe? It’s nice to believe for a couple of days.


I think the March for Our Lives kids are going to make a real difference in Florida. They’re smart. They’re not ‘raising awareness’ and tweeting, they’re registering new voters. Contrast this with the unfocused and futile “Occupy Wall Street” movement.


I must not hope. Hope is the soul-killer. Hope is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my hope. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the hope has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.


I think the issuez in this case matter much less than the candidate’s charisma. McCaskill and Donnelly are dull boring pols right out of central casting. Beto is hip, cool, fun, handsome, with capacity to appeal to peoples emotions. He’d get 70% of the votes if he was running on Trump’s platform


Yeah, it definitely does seem like personality is a dominant factor these days


These days? Do you recall Kennedy or John Lindsay?





You realize they’re only polling races rated as either tossups or lean red, right?

OK, they’ve polled a small handful of districts that looked likely to flip red to blue, and a couple that looked likely to flip blue to red. But the vast, vast majority have been races that Cook rates as either a coinflip, or leaning red.


Related to the Siena/Upshot project that Cohn is talking about…

…a decent piece of what we sort of think or have expectations for on Tuesday is framed by the 6 weeks of polling that these folks have done. It’s been a remarkable project to watch in real time.

But man. What if there’s a design flaw or some other systemic error in their construction?

There. Now you’ve got something good and proper to worry about and stay up at night vaguely freaked out about like I will be. :D


And what if there’s a design flaw or some other systemic error in people?


Yeah I saw that tweet and tried to rationalize as you did above. Then I saw that there were slightly more R than D votes in the early totals. Then I saw on MSNBC that the enthusiasm gap is down to one percent. So yeah I’m starting to properly freak out now.

But, foolish Dem that I am, I’m pretty sure we’ll do really well. I feel that deep in my heart with metaphysical conviction.



Remains a definite possibility. :)

To provide some perspective: if Democrats win a little less than half of the races that Siena/Upshot polled to get to that 44.7/44.6 thing, Democrats will end up gaining 28-30 seats. Which would be nice.