Wednesday, October 31, 2018

David's 2018 Election Predictions

Yes, we're still a week out. But I'm traveling to Chicago for a conference tomorrow, then going from there to a very quick vacation in Las Vegas Saturday through Monday (Shin Lim!), so I probably won't be able to write much over that time.

Obviously, predictions void if major events happen in the interim. But fortunately, we have a very stable political environment right now and ... oy.

* * *

Senate -- overall GOP hold

There are a lot of races I'm uncertain about, but given the brutality of the map for Democrats this year I think it's more likely that we actually lose seats even with a pretty significant tailwind.

In terms of seriously contested races, I feel relatively confident about the following:

  • West Virginia: Manchin (D hold)
  • North Dakota: Cramer (R flip)

Beyond that, things get ... murky. I think Nelson will hold off Scott in Florida, but I think Hawley will beat McCaskill in Missouri. Donnelly in Indiana is an almost complete toss-up for me. Nevada's giving me a heart attack, but it's trending blue and I think Rosen will ultimately win it. Between Arizona and Tennessee, I'm just splitting the baby and predicting Democrats will win one of two, but don't ask me which. Basically, I'm seeing anything from a one-seat Republican gain to a one-seat Democratic gain, and within that range I think Team Red has the advantage over Team Blue.

House -- overall Dem flip (over/under on Democratic seats: 220)

Too many races to count, and I've actually been moving towards a more cynical posture here as well. But FiveThirtyEight has Democratic chances at over 80%, which is reassuring (though less reassuring than it would have been before 2016).

Selected House predictions:

  • CA-39: Cisneros (D flip)
  • CA-48: Rohrabacher (R hold)
  • FL-27: Shalala (D flip)
  • IA-04: King (R hold), though this would be the sweetest of all victories
  • MN-01: Hagedorn (R flip)
  • MN-02: Craig (D flip)
  • MN-03: Phillips (D flip)
  • UT-04: McAdams (D flip)
  • VA-02: Taylor (R hold)
  • VA-10: Wexton (D flip)

I also expect both indicted Republicans (Collins, NY-27 & Hunter, CA-50) to hold their seats. Drain the swamp!

Governor's Races

This is where I feel best about Democratic chances. Yet even here we're underperforming what we should be getting (Maryland? Maryland!).

  • Alaska: Dunleavy (R sorta-flip). The incumbent is an Independent, who dropped out of his race to endorse the Democrat. Still probably won't be enough.
  • Florida: Gillum (D flip). Possibly my favorite Democrat right now is Andrew Gillum. It helps that DeSantis is a sociopath.
  • Georgia: Kemp (R hold). I think this goes to a run-off, and then Kemp wins the run-off.
  • Illinois: Pritzker (D flip).
  • Iowa: Hubbell (D flip). This one feels a little under the radar given how well Hubbell is doing against an incumbent.
  • Kansas: Kobach (R hold). Thank goodness we have another vanity independent in this race, otherwise Kansas might not experience the horror of not electing an extremist nutjob for once.
  • Maryland: Hogan (R hold). This is just embarrassing. Hogan isn't the worst Republican, but these days that just means he's generically bad instead of an outright fascist. That shouldn't be enough to get him elected in a state like Maryland.
  • Minnesota: Walz (D hold).
  • Nevada: Sisolak (D flip). Probably the single gubernatorial race I'm most unsure about.
  • Ohio: Cordray (D flip). No wait. This is probably the single gubernatorial race I'm most unsure about.
  • South Dakota: Noem (R hold). Would love to call the upset here. If you're looking for your 13 over 4 seed pick, this is it.
  • Wisconsin: Evers (D flip). This one will feel really good.


I was facing an agonizing decision in my California Assembly race (15th district) between Buffy Wicks and Jovanka Beckles, right up until I discovered that Beckles was a Jill Stein supporter. That made my decision really, really easy.

Nonetheless, it seems like Beckles has a lot more energy behind her right now. And while Wicks took first place in the fractured-field open primary a few months ago, that may not be enough. The last time this seat was open, Tony Thurmond places second in the open-primary but rallied to beat Elizabeth Echols in the general. I'm feeling like Beckles is going to take it.

No comments: