Hey, Look at the Senate

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Tess Kovach

Tess Kovach lives in Hartford, Connecticut.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    With the Trump nomination now a foregone conclusion, it’s pretty clear that many of those 24 GOP seats will have some worries about the effect the man at the top of the ticket will have on turnout for the rest of the ballot. They will be playing defense. Even worse, they will be playing defense in many states that aren’t particularly solid red: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.

    Worth noting that the most recent poll shows Trump ahead in Ohio and – more unusually – pretty much even with Clinton in Pennsylvania. I wouldn’t bet on him being a detriment rather than an asset in those races (or at least in Pennsylvania, since you say the Ohio candidate doesn’t support him). Between that and the big polling margins in the Pennsylvania senate race, that seat seems pretty likely to stay Republican.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Coal and Steel still mean something in Pennsylvania.
      If you want a place where “dying small towns” are thick on the ground, you want Pennsylvania.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        But, by definition there’s not a lot of votes in dying small towns.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          There are around here.
          Dying small towns is just another name for Medicare/Medicaid warehouses.

          Nobody works, everyone “retires” — often unwillingly, often on “disability”.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      Worth noting that the most recent poll shows Trump ahead in Ohio and – more unusually – pretty much even with Clinton in Pennsylvania. I wouldn’t bet on him being a detriment rather than an asset in those races (or at least in Pennsylvania, since you say the Ohio candidate doesn’t support him). Between that and the big polling margins in the Pennsylvania senate race, that seat seems pretty likely to stay Republican.

      They also show Georgia a toss-up. I wouldn’t take current Presidential polling without a huge grain of salt until the conventions.Report

  2. Avatar aaron david says:

    My general feeling about everything I am reading reguarding this election is that there is a lot of wishful thinking masquerading as ananlysis. Which isn’t a dig against your post, but rather a remark on all those professionals who have been so completely wrong regarding things such as Trumps rise, Corbyns election, Sander doing as well as he has, etc. And if we base our analysis off of those professionals, we will get unclear results.

    I think, as we fully move into the reality of the internet age, that the paradigms that we have been basing our information gathering and disseminating are now off base.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      My general feeling about everything I am reading reguarding this election is that there is a lot of wishful thinking masquerading as ananlysis.

      Well said.Report

    • Avatar Tess Kovach says:

      I tried to tamp down any wishful thinking I might have in order to let the fundamentals speak for themselves. But if I let it bleed through, it’s because I try to write like a human person instead of a robot. There’s nothing wrong with having biases if we are honest about them. It’s the intentional hiding of bias within articles painted as “objective” that I have a problem with. I’m a shameless liberal who hopes Trump drags down the GOP side of the ballot. I’ll say it plain. Do I think it will happen? Sorta. Do I know it will happen? Hell no.Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        Oh, I wasn’t speaking of you or your post (was hopping to make that clear, but I guess not) but rather the overall trend of professional political commetators out there right now. Johnathon Bernstein or Marc Ambinder for instance. Bernstein pretty much got it all wrong on the right side of the fence and Ambinder got fully subsummed into the Hilary Borg in play to get payed sense.

        I am no longer on the left side of the fence, so I generally feel that H. is every bit as bad as T. Possibly worse. What I really want is a divided gov’t again.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          I am on the left side of the fence (where there is a fence, there isn’t everywhere). And Hillary will be worse than Trump.Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    While the CW is that Trump will both get trounced in the general election and that he will drag other Republicans down with him, it’s becoming less clear to me that either proposition will ultimately be true. A lot of CW is proving itself unreliable this year.

    I have great difficulty, for instance, imagining that John McCain will actually be defeated notwithstanding the polling. But if he is, he will be defeated on the comparative merits of Ann Kirkpatrick as compared to him. I don’t think Trump is going to have a lot to do with it; McCain has a more than substantial individual identity and is very obviously his own man so will not have trouble demonstrating that he stands apart from the Presidential nominee.

    While I’d still bet on Clinton winning in November, the polls from Pennsylvania and Ohio do give me pause. One thing to note is how many “undecideds” there are: I interpret that to mean that voters are recoiling from two fundamentally unappealing choices. I’ve a lot of personal familiarity with people hesitating and vacillating and going through various stages of grief when forced to confront a “least-bad” decision, and so that’s what it feels like to me: Trump is obviously not a good choice, and Clinton doesn’t feel like a good choice, so which one is least bad? Many people will need something to jog them out of indecision paralysis when they do not see any attractive choices.good.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I think we’re way way way too far out for the in state polling to have a lot of predictive power. Both candidates are at the phases of their campaigns when their popularity can be expected to be at its nadir: bruised and battered from fighting their primary opponents, not yet any time for the party unity sentiments, convention boostering and opposition hating to take hold.

      So I’d expect we’re at their respective floors. Now we see who can consolidate their bases, appeal to the middle and take the fight to their opponents more quickly.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      Hmm. Do you think there’s a chance that a few of the high-profile Senate races might have (what’s the opposite of coattails? A top hat?) an effect on the big race in a couple of swing states? If Trump/Clinton is closer than we expect there?Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        I’d imagine the coattails will be biggest in swing states. That’s where the money will go, and coordination between local, state, and federal campaigns means it’s going to be fairly efficient operations (from phone-banks to polling to messaging) up and down the ladder.

        On the Democratic side, at least. No telling how cooperative the RNC is, or how expert their staffers will be. Trump’s a big question mark — and if the Bush fundraiser lock-out sticks, that’s gonna hurt down-ballot races simply due to coordination issues.

        There is a limited pool or local and state-level volunteers, experience, and experts. It works best if the federal, state, and local campaigns work together — a phone-banker getting out to the vote for the local candidate is ALSO getting out the vote for the state and federal level candidates. And you’re not fighting over volunteers, staffers, and experienced hands — you’re sharing them.

        Lack of coordination can mean a shortage of volunteers, staffers, and local experts as the campaigns fight over them. If Trump can’t play nicely with the local and state level folks (if, for instance, they want nothing to do with him) that’s gonna hurt everyone’s on the GOP’s campaigns to a degree. (maybe not nearly as much as playing nicely with Trump, but that’ll be their call).Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    This is an excellent run down Tess; great job and thank you!Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Great analysis, Tess.

    Trump is obviously the big elephant in the room. I don’t think most people really thought he would be the GOP nominee and now everyone is catching up and writing on what the Trump effect will be. The polling and data seem to range from Trump will lose like Romney did in 2012 to this will be a smashing victory for HRC.

    The question is whether either candidate will have a downmarket effect on the ballot. If Trump does not switch any states from red to blue, I suspect that McCain will win. However, I think that if Trump does energize Latinos to come out against him, McCain could lose his seat and Nevada will probably stay in Democratic hands.

    Other races are too early but I suspect that Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida are the easiest new seats for the Democratic Party to pick up.Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I agree great post. One think I have no idea if Sabato and Cook et al are taking into account, or if they are able to accurately take it into account, is the magnitude of the drop off in voters that make a race R+x among Republican leaning women. My single data point calibration is how they’re ranking Barbara Comstock’s re-election in the VA-10 as lean Republican. I think it’s a pure tossup.

    Despite Comstock publicly repudiating Trump earlier in the cycle (and returning campaign donations), I’m still thinking that Trump on the top of the ballot is still going to have a lot of Republican women simply not turn out to vote.

    I think the Georgia senate seat would be in play if the Dems would have run a serious candidate against Isakson for the same reason. Lots of Cobb county normally reliable Republican voters are going to stay home.Report