Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Don't Expect a Landslide

Democrats who had been hoping for a landslide victory since Donald Trump’s nomination are now starting to panic. For about a month, they felt good about at least a five-seat pick-up in the Senate, and after a few drinks at their favorite Capitol Hill water holes, thought they were positioned with sufficient credible candidates to win the House if this was a wave election (need 30 seats – Carroll (6th) and Schwartz (3rd) in Colorado).

But, along with tightening polls, there are a host of forces suggesting that Democrats need to get realistic. Winning the Senate remains very much 50-50 and the House a pure long shot. In fact, at this point, they’d be overjoyed to just win the presidency.
  • The high negatives of each presidential candidate are producing defections and turnout problems.
  • The hyper-polarization means each base will likely keep the race competitive, but the defections and undecided will add to volatility.
  • Most forecasts include presidential popularity. Obama’s approval has improved, but at 51 percent, it is just barely an aid for Hillary Clinton.
  • An open seat removes most of the incumbents’ (Obama’s) advantages to their successors.
  • Vulnerable Republican Senate candidates are disengaging from Trump and running ahead of him. Thirty seats in the House are beyond even optimistic projections today.
  • Clinton has a superior campaign and is ahead in most of the battlegrounds, but she has lost the narrative for more than two weeks and is now within the margin of error nationally and in several key battleground states.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

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