US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Crimson847 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:15 am

Answer to the thread title is apparently "no".

https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/results/senate

Beto lost, Bredesen lost, Donnelly lost, Heitkamp lost. McCaskill is way behind but the race hasn't been called quite yet, and Nelson and Sinema are losing by a hair--bad news for Nelson with 99% of the vote already counted in Florida.

On the plus side, the House flipped Democratic.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby cmsellers » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:50 am

Yeah, it's bad. We've been discussing it on IRC. Democrats have done so badly that I now don't think they have a decent chance of taking the Senate in 2020 unless Trump's approval rating absolutely tanks.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Crimson847 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:30 am

I dunno about "bad"; it's not much worse than expected, at least not yet. The entirely plausible disaster scenario of failing to take even the House was averted, and depending on how the remaining Senate races go Dems can hold the GOP to a one or two-seat increase in the Senate. They even have an outside chance of keeping it 51-49, though they'd have to win every race still on the table and Florida isn't looking so good.

EDIT: Oops, Nelson conceded, so there goes that outside chance.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:40 am

Bill Nelson already conceded.

So the Senate race tightened significantly since the last time I was more bullish on it after Doug Jones. I will say that I called the Bill Nelson loss, despite being told he would win it. It's almost like I've learned that no matter the size of the wave, Florida just shrugs and votes in a Republican at the state level by a .0005% margin like clockwork. The one seat I was certain the Dems would keep was Manchin's, and I'm glad to be proven right on that even as I'm surprised that the GOP kinda ran the table on a lot of Red State Democrats (I don't count the Midwest, I mean real red states that reliably vote red, not states that just did last year). Jon Tester seems to be doing alright, though, which I would've called second safest.

It's a weird election that I don't know what to make of. DeSantis ran super Trumpian and won in an evenly divided state while Kris Kobach of the infamous voter fraud commission lost Kansas. The Democrats got gut punched in the Senate yet a lot of more liberal ballot initiatives (non-partisan redistricting, felon voter restoration [which passed here], etc) are passing. Democrats are clawing back state gains made by the GOP in 2010 yet can't seem to make progress in the Senate. I guess the biggest lesson of this election was the death of the moderate. If you were a more moderate GOP member in the House, you could get the fuck out. If you were a more moderate Democrat in the Senate, you could get the fuck out. There were obviously exceptions here and there, but for the most part it seemed to hold true.

If I'm Trump/ the GOP, I'm really happy the GOP managed the wins they did in the Senate but would be super concerned about Democrats' gains in the Midwest, where his collective margin of victory in the states that flipped was 80k--while the GOP should be worried that even in red states, redistricting initiatives and more liberal amendments were taken up. If I'm Democrats, I'm super disappointed the Senate losses were so bad but happy about the House and that they're regaining ground with individual states.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Aquila89 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:04 am

The American people apparently insisted on reelecting the most repulsive incumbents. Steve King won, so did Greg "Bodyslammer" Gianforte, Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter (both under indictement for insider trading and fraud, respectively) and on the Democratic side, Bob Menendez.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby sunglasses » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:08 pm

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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:55 pm

So, the senate just basically reverted back to its 2015 roster, but the Dems took the house, including CA-48, and seven governorships were flipped Red to Blue.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Crimson847 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:27 pm

AZ is still up in the air, and FL is sort of back in the air--apparently Nelson didn't precisely "concede", he just expressed disappointment in the returns, and his campaign has confirmed they're going ahead with the automatic recount given the razor-thin margin. Scott is currently ahead by 0.4 percent, or 30,000 votes out of over 8 million cast, but there's a few loose absentee ballots left to count in Democratic strongholds so that number may drop even lower. Still doubtful that a recount will change the result, but one can hope.

Since Tester pulled it out in Montana and Dems won Heller's seat in Nevada, that means Republicans will end up with somewhere between 51 and 54 seats when this is all done, depending on how the above two races and the Mississippi runoff (spoiler alert: not a good pickup opportunity for Dems) pan out.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby cmsellers » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:07 am

Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:It's a weird election that I don't know what to make of. DeSantis ran super Trumpian and won in an evenly divided state while Kris Kobach of the infamous voter fraud commission lost Kansas. The Democrats got gut punched in the Senate yet a lot of more liberal ballot initiatives (non-partisan redistricting, felon voter restoration [which passed here], etc) are passing. Democrats are clawing back state gains made by the GOP in 2010 yet can't seem to make progress in the Senate. I guess the biggest lesson of this election was the death of the moderate. If you were a more moderate GOP member in the House, you could get the fuck out. If you were a more moderate Democrat in the Senate, you could get the fuck out. There were obviously exceptions here and there, but for the most part it seemed to hold true.

Moderates have been in decline since Reagan, but I'd say that the process was pretty much complete in the Senate by 2012, and rather earlier in the House. 2012 saw the defeat of Scott Brown and the retirement of Ben Nelson, the last pair of Senators where the Democrat was more conservative on DW-nominate scores than the Republican. It also saw the retirement of Olympia Snowe, the last truly moderate Republican senator, and Joe Lieberman, though he had moved left on everything except Iraq and pharmaceuticals by that point. The prior decade had seen the defeat of Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chaffee (last liberal Republican), Gordon Minnick (last conservative Democratic congressman outside the South), and Gordon Smith; it also saw the retirement of Jim Jeffords and Zell Miller (last conservative Democratic Senator).

I don't see liberal Republicans getting elected anymore, and while there are a small handful of conservative Southern Democrats in the House, I don't see them getting elected to the Senate and their numbers will probably continue to dwindle. Moderates also face a harder time getting elected in both parties. That said, I don't think this cycle signals the death of the moderate.

Both parties are unwilling to nominate moderates if they think that a doctrinaire partisan can win the nomination, but will consider nominating moderates if that looks like the only way forward. It's not a coincidence that McCaskill, Donnelly, and Heitkamp each represented and Bresden was running in a deep red state. It's not a coincidence that Brown and Kirk represented deep blue states and Hugins was running in one. So it's not surprising that they lost their (re)elections. What is surprising is that Manchin and Tester (who isn't even really a moderate) were still able to pull off a win. Angus King and Lisa Murkowski have been able to hold on as well, though that is explained by the small size and quirkiness of the states they represent.

I'm worried that Democrats will learn the wrong lessons from the near-wipeout of their moderate caucus. A lot of people already seem to be saying that this plus Beto O'Rourke's 3% loss and Hillary's performance in 2016 show that motivating the base is more important than persuading the relatively small number of swing voters. However Texas is far less red than Indiana, Missouri, or North Dakota, and the lesson of Hillary's defeat should be to not nominate gaffe-prone, uninspiring candidates. In Florida, Andrew Gillum did about a percentage point worse than Nelson. And according to FiveThirtyEight, in every competitive House district where a liberal beat a moderate in the primary, they lost in the general election.

This all suggests to me that while the traditional emphasis on winning over the middle was vastly overstated, it still helps a little bit. And every bit counts. At the least, the Democrats could avoid doing things like calling for AR-15 bans and Trump's impeachment, as Beto O'Rourke did. Nominating O'Rouke, a highly charismatic liberal candidate, was probably better than nominating an uninspiring moderate candidate. O'Rourke did about 2% better than the Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Agriculture Commissioner, 5% better than the candidates for Comptroller and Land Commissioner, and 6% better than the candidate for governor, which suggests that charisma, name recognition, and not being Ted Cruz are worth at least 2% here. But if a charismatic moderate like Julian Castro had done 1.5% better, which the 2018 results suggest is possible, the Democrats might have sealed the deal in Texas.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Crimson847 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:54 am

Well, Amy Klobuchar appears to be best positioned for "most electable" in 2020, having won a blowout victory in her Senate race that included wins in a lot of rural areas. The outcome of the race was never really in doubt, but the magnitude of her win was exceptional--well above other Minnesota Democrats.



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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby cmsellers » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:40 pm

Klobuchar has been my preferred candidate since the Kavanaugh hearings. I'd still vote for Tammy Duckworth if she runs, of course, but that ain't happening. But at this point, I could actually see myself campaigning for Klobuchar in the primaries, which would be a first for me.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Aquila89 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:02 pm

All the Democratic candidates who got a lot of media attention (O'Rourke, Gillum, Abrams, Amy McGrath) lost. But while the media wasn't looking, Laura Kelly won the gubernatorial election in Kansas and Kendra Horn somehow flipped a deep red district in Oklahoma.

And by the way, screw FiveThirtyEight's real-time seat forecast. For some reason, it favored Republicans for a while early on, and I was getting 2016 flashbacks.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby cmsellers » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:12 pm

Aquila89 wrote:And by the way, screw FiveThirtyEight's real-time seat forecast. For some reason, it favored Republicans for a while early on, and I was getting 2016 flashbacks.

FiveThirtyEight explained that as likely GOP seats were mostly in the east, while likely Dem seats were mostly in the west, but I had the same freakout. Hopefully they fix that for next time.
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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:37 pm

Florida might just unfuck itself

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Re: US Midterms 2018: Can Team Blue take the Senate?

Postby Marcuse » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:50 pm

What does this even mean? I'm looking at lots of numbers and abbreviations and I can't figure it out.
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