Haven’t written a lot on midterms, but below are my predictions five days out. I will update them on November 7th if anything changes. Right now I think GOP winning the house is a near certainty and would be huge shock if did not. I am guessing GOP gets between 230-240 seats so a comfortable win but not blowout. For senate and governors, see below. All ones not discussed I assume will stick with incumbent party.
If Democrats wish to hold senate, ideal is to gain GOP seats. Wisconsin, Ohio, and North Carolina all shown as possibilities but I think very long shots and pretty confident GOP holds all three.
Wisconsin: As much as I cannot stand Johnson, I do expect him to be re-elected. Not by a large margin but by 2-5 points
Ohio: Polls show Ohio a lot closer than we’ve seen in recent elections and while I believe JD vance will underperform Trump, I still think winning Ohio only possible in a blue wave year which this year is not. My guess is JD vance by 4-6 points.
North Carolina: Not much on this and believe close as very polarized state, but almost near certain GOP holds this.
Only realistic Democrat pickup is Pennsylvania. It looked good earlier but with Fetterman’s lousy debate, I am going to say Oz wins but probably closest of currently held GOP seats. If Dems make any senate gains, this is only one I think they have a realistic shot at.
Of Democrat states up for re-election, only four I could see flipping which are Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, and New Hampshire
Nevada: With GOP making gains amongst Latinos and polls showing slight edge, I think they gain it. Also big thing that helped Democrats in past was Harry Reid machine and he is now dead.
Georgia: This is a tight one, but one needs to remember if no one gets over 50% on first round goes to run off. My guess is Warnock wins a narrow plurality but loses to Walker in run off. Warnock’s best chance is hope Dems have 49 seats and Georgia is deciding state so means higher turnout in runoffs. Runoffs tend to have lower turnouts than initial and GOP voters likely more motivated to show up.
Arizona: Mark Kelly seems to be maintaining a very narrow lead so I am going to say I think he hangs on but its close enough I may change this if final polls show even a slight shift.
New Hampshire: This is probably the longest shot so I think Dems will hold this, but with a lot of late breakers in New Hampshire would not be shocked if GOP wins it.
So realistically 51-49 for Dems is their best case scenario while GOP’s best case scenario is 54-46. If GOP gets to 54 that means have a realistic shot at getting a filibuster proof majority in 2024 due to fact have very favourable map. Democrats thanks to lousy map almost certainly lose seante in 2024 even if win White House and win back House.
Dem pickups: Massachusetts and Maryland are solid blue states that have moderate popular Republican governors retiring. As such I expect them to flip back and won’t even be close.
Arizona is other possibility as GOP chose a crazy Trumper, but Dems have run a lacklustre campaign so I think it will be closer than 2018 but GOP hangs on here. Beyond those three, I don’t see Dems having even a remote chance in other GOP held governorships.
GOP pickups. While most below should stay Dem, GOP has plenty of possibilities if they outperform polls
Oregon: Hasn’t voted a GOP governor since 1982 and as a normally reliable blue state. But a former Dem is running as an independent and with concerns about crime and homelessness being really bad, I think GOP for first time 40 years wins Oregon. However a trifecta is unlikely so means any really strong right wing legislation won’t pass.
Nevada: Much like senate seat it is close but for same reason narrow GOP edge. My guess is GOP gains this as well
Wisconsin: It is close, but most polls show GOP slightly ahead. With state moving slightly rightward and Evers barely winning in a blue wave election, I think GOP narrowly takes this one.
Kansas: Normally a safe red state, but surprisingly Laura Kelley is doing fairly well and just may hold on in this normally solid red state. At this point I will say 50/50 but if had to make guess I will buck what most are suggesting and say GOP gains just because of state’s overall lean but this is one I want to wait for final polls to call.
Those are only four Democrat ones I think GOP has decent shot at. Below are more longer shots which GOP could win if have a good night but unlikely.
New Mexico: This is close enough that I think GOP has a shot, but probably Dems narrowly squeak out a win here.
Minnesota: While state usually close, I think Walz should hold this but probably only by around 4-5 points so possible if GOP outperforms polls but not likely.
Michigan: This should have been a state where GOP was competitive in but choosing a hardcore MAGA type will probably save Whitmer. Based on how competitive state is, I believe it will be competitive, but Whitmer I believe is favoured to win here.
New York: Fact we are even talking about a GOP upset shows just how much trouble Dems are in here. Still state is so blue that I believe Hochul wins, but by single digits only. Dems also may lose veto proof majority in one or both houses but no chance lose either house.
Pennsylvania: This should have been a winnable state, but choosing a right wing conspiracy MAGA nut will mean Dems are pretty safe here. Mastriano is in a lot of ways like Danielle Smith in Alberta. Both very winnable for respective parties, but lose by choosing extreme candidates.
3 thoughts on “US Midterms”
Hi Miles, I hope that the polls, and you, are both off base – and I bet you are hoping that too……
I am more or less resigned to GOP winning house. I do hope though Dems maintain senate. And more importantly if GOP gains it, stays under 52 since 2024 map very favourable to GOP so if GOP gets 52 and wins White House risk could have trifecta with GOP having 60 in senate so a filibuster proof majority. If Dems win White House in 2024 then less risk but still GOP guaranteed to gain at least 3 seats in 2024 (West Virginia, Montana, and Ohio).
I said all along Democrats need to win a much larger House majority in 2020 if they wanted to have a shot at keeping house in midterms and likewise senate needed to win 52 not 50 in 2020 to have even a remote chance at holding senate in 2024.
IMO, those seem about right. I think for Senate, New Hampshire and Arizona are longshots, and Georgia depends on the overall situation. If the Republicans have already clinched the Senate, Walker picks it up, but if it is the decider I think Warnock motivates the Democrats enough. The House I think is a GOP pickup of about 15-25 seats. However, by no means would that be safe in 2024.
As far as Pennsylvania, one possibility I see is Fetterman winning with the help of Shapiro – after all, Mastriano could be a drag on the Senate ticket too being so extreme – unless there is enough split-ticket voting (since Oz is more moderate).
2024 is an ugly map for Democrats, I agree. Ohio, West Virginia and Montana will likely be GOP favorites for pickups (the latter two for sure if their incumbents retire) and there are quite a number of reasonable targets as well (Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would be the first tier, with Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Virginia and New Jersey (due to a bad incumbent) the second tier). The only realistic pickups for Democrats are Florida and Texas, and both would be equivalent to second-tier GOP pickups initially.