I haven’t been able to write anything recently as I have been fighting a bad cold, but anyways here are my thoughts on US midterms as well as predictions.
I predict the Democrats will win quite handidly vote wise (probably a 7 to 9 point lead), but seat wise I think it will be close with the Democrats narrowly taking the house, but would not be shocked if the GOP holds on. The reason for this is two fold.
- Voter Efficiency – Democrat vote is very inefficient as in they tend to run up the margins in the large urban coastal cities, often north of 80% while the GOP wins are usually much smaller, rarely over 70% so the Democrats have more wasted votes than the GOP does.
- Gerrymandering – Since most states are held by the GOP, most congressional districts have been gerrymandered to favour the GOP therefore combining those two, the Democrats need about a 3 point lead just to overcome voter inefficiency while an additional 5 points for a total of 8 points to overcome gerrymandering
In terms of what I hope for: I hope the Democrats win as the GOP have been nothing but Trump yes men and not done their duty of voting for what is best for the country, they have blindly given Trump what he was wanted. The house and president are co-equals and it is the job of each to do their role and only policies supported by both get enacted. One Republican who I really want to see lose is Steven King in Iowa 4. He frequently tweets out endorsements for white supremacists be it Faith Goldy for mayor of Toronto, Marine Le Pen for French president, and Geert Wilders for Dutch prime-minister (thankfully all three lost badly). His district is a fairly conservative so he is favoured to win, but a defeat of him would send a strong message that white supremacists have no place in modern day American politics.
I believe the senate will likely remain GOP. While on the surface it may look like an easy Democrat gain, after all it is 51-49 so the Democrats only need to gain two senate seats. The problem is the Democrats are up for re-election in 26 seats including 10 that voted for Trump and five where Trump won by double digits (Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia). As such holding onto all 26 will be very difficult. I believe they are likely to lose North Dakota; Missouri and Indiana look like nail biters while West Virginia and Montana they have slight leads due to the senators being mavericks thus the ability to have some cross partisan appeal. On the contrast, the GOP is only up for re-election in 8 states. Of those 8, only two I could realistically see flipping (Nevada, which Clinton won, and Arizona which Trump narrowly won and popular senator Jeff Flake is retiring so an open seat). As such for the Democrats to win the senate, they need to hold all 26 seats they have now and pick up the two mentioned. Not impossible, but not likely either.
Republicans are at an all time high for control of state legislatures so they really only have one direction which is to go down. Right now about 2/3 of states have Republican governors. While it is possible Democrats will have more than 25 governors after Tuesday, I think the most likely outcome is GOP have fewer governors but still the majority in terms of states, however unlike today, I believe after Tuesday more Americans will reside in states with Democrat governors than GOP ones, as Democrats tend to do better in the more populated states. While most Canadians may not care about state elections, they should as whomever wins in each state will have control over the new boundaries for congressional districts since the next census is in 2020. Part of the reason it is so difficult for the Democrats to win the house is due to the heavy gerrymandering so if more state legislatures go Democrat, this can be fixed. However, I believe it should be fixed by having an independent agency draw up the boundaries much like is done in both Canada and UK. I don’t believe the Democrats should gerrymander the districts to favour them as gerrymandering is wrong no matter who it favours. In terms of my endorsements, I support the Democrats in every state save Maryland and Massachusetts. In those two, I believe Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts deserve to be re-elected despite being Republicans. Both are moderates in very blue states and both are very popular too. A healthy democracy requires multiple parties that can win, so it is important that moderate GOP types are rewarded and more ideological ones are punished. I also would have endorsed the GOP in Ohio if John Kasich was allowed to run again, but he is term limited. I think the GOP should have chosen him instead of Trump as leader and actually believe he would have been a good president. I would have supported him over Hillary Clinton.