On Sunday I wrote that it would be really helpful to have statewide polling in some Senate races that look on the surface like safe bets for the GOP, but might actually be worth contesting.
The reason for this is that, not only are the 4 Senate seats most likely to flip from GOP to Democrat — Colorado, Arizona, Maine, and North Carolina — all showing consistent leads for the Democratic challenger in the past two months, but in several other States — most notably Iowa and Kansas — the democrat has *also* taken the lead, in the case of Iowa, a small but consistent one. In several other States — Alaska and South Carolina — the democrat has polled within striking distance in one or more recent polls.
Because there is no Senate polling available in other States, I have created a spreadsheet (below) showing the 2016 Presidential result, and 2020 Presidential and Senate polling both in the contested States that we know of, and the States where we are flying blind. The final column is the direction of change comparing 2016 vs. 2020 Presidential polling followed by 2016 Presidential result vs. 2020 Senate polling. Discussion follows below the chart (numbers are %-ages):
|S. Carolina||T+14.3||T+5||D-4||D+9.3, D+10.3|
|N. Dakota||T+45.7||T+17*(*Mar)||N/a||D+28.7, N/a|
|West Virginia||T+42.1||T+35*(*Jan)||N/a||D+7.1, N/a|
Generally speaking, note that in all States where available, there has been roughly a 10% swing in the Presidential vote from Trump to Biden +/-1.7%. The Senate results have been much more volatile, ranging from +5.7% to +22.5%, suggesting that they are much more candidate-specific.
While most other States are out of reach, Idaho’s Trump margin from 2016 is very close to that of Montana and Kansas, and Nebraska is not too far behind. South Dakota might even be at least worth a look. The other States look out of reach under almost any scenario.
Bottom line: based on the surprisingly positive result in one poll in Alaska, money has already flowed into that race to assist the Democrat getting on the air. At very least it would be worth polling in Idaho and Nebraska, and maybe even South Dakota to see if it would be worthwhile to take a long shot and make those candidates more viable as well.
It would appear that trump might have reached “A Bridge Too Far”. Although he has approached it several times in terms of going full RW conspiracy with no GOP opposition, I think there is a good chance his “delay the election” might be the right bridge. When The Federalist Society says so, that’s something.
“Steven Calabresi, a co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in a New York Times opinion article that Trump “should be removed unless he relents” on his suggestion to delay the November election, when Trump is expected to face Democrat Joe Biden at the polls.
“Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist,” Calabresi wrote. “But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.”
Be interesting to see these GOP Senate candidates’ responses in this next two months, especially considering these polls.
Even Senate races have caught COVID-19, boosting Democrats’ chances of winning control of the chamber
via @usatoday – July 15
Side effects of the pandemic, especially the damage it has done to President Donald Trump’s political standing, have contributed to a tectonic shift in the landscape for Senate contests this fall. That has boosted once-distant Democratic prospects to claim a majority after six years of Republican control.
The gain of three or four seats that Democrats need is a target that analysts in both parties now say is in reach, at least at the moment.
Since January, when the novel coronavirus was first seen as a global health threat, the political outlooks for eight Republican senators running for re-election have worsened, according to rankings by the nonpartisan “Cook Political Report.” Now, nine GOP-held seats are rated as competitive or tossup, compared with two Democratic-held seats.
‘Grim resolve’:Biden is up big and the Senate is in sight, but Democrats still haunted by fear of letdown
This year, eight of the 11 competitive Senate races are in states that are seen as at least potential battlegrounds in the presidential race.
In some states, the pandemic has had particular effects. In North Carolina, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis faces criticism from Democrats about the repercussions amid the crisis of his role in blocking Medicaid expansion when he was speaker of the state House of Representatives. In Montana, Democratic Senate challenger Steve Bullock has been strengthened in a close contest thanks to media attention on the generally good marks he’s gotten for handling the coronavirus in his present job as governor.
Bullock’s first TV commercial featured him wearing a protective face mask.
“The current political environment is definitely challenging for Republican chances of holding a Senate majority,” said Tim Cameron, the chief digital strategist at the GOP Senate campaign arm in 2014 and 2016, when Republicans gained and then held control. Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, chair of the Democratic Senate campaign arm, said, “I will say, we are on a pathway to hold the Senate, there’s no doubt about it.”
She said the coronavirus crisis has intensified voters’ concerns about the availability and cost of health care, something many Democratic candidates already were emphasizing.
Go big or play it safe?:Electoral map widens for Biden and Democrats, but with risk
Key Senate battlegrounds in swing presidential states
COVID-19 doesn’t have a partisan predisposition, but it has hurt Trump, as two-thirds of Americans now disapprove of the job he has done in responding to the crisis, according to an ABC-Ipsos Poll released Friday. What’s more, the disease’s devastating impact on jobs and growth has cost the president and other GOP candidates their biggest political selling point: a booming economy.
“Trump is driving the narrative,” Jessica Taylor, Senate editor at The Cook Political Report, said in an interview. “We see voters have really soured on President Trump and his performance, and Senate Republicans are feeling that down-ballot.” …
Do not forget that every GOP Senator up for re-election voted to acquit the moron in chief although many Republicans conceded he had acted wrongly in attempting to extort Ukrainian political assistance. This at a time when every thinking person in the world knew the moron in chief was not only not a competent government leader, but had no interest in even trying to be a competent government leader. That sort of worked if you ignore the international front right up until we had a crisis which would have challenged even the most earnest competent president. Every GOP Senator except Romney is complicit in the disaster which has befallen our country. They had a chance to take corrective action under our constitution and they failed to act for the good of the nation. They can not be thrown on trash heap of history soon enough IMHO.
“This is not to suggest that the November election will be “rigged,” as Mr. Trump asserts. If he believes that, he should reconsider his participation and let someone run who isn’t looking for an excuse to blame for defeat.”
In Idaho, registered Republicans outnumber Democrats two-to-one. Trump’s smaller margin in 2016 was due to Mormons who couldn’t stomach his morals defecting to Evan McMullin. They have no such qualms about long-time Idaho politician Senator James Risch, who got 66% of the vote in his last election. Don’t look for anything different this year.
Been a long time. Met Sen Church in Idaho @ AIW, in 1962? Idaho was more like Nevada than Utah, in those days; in the 50s, Idaho had gambling. Still silver dollars for change in 61, 62. People like Carol Channing, Louis Armstrong, Strippers, … Broadway actors came through on their way up from Reno to West Yellowstone.
GOP: Renomination of Trump to be held in private
AP via @BostonGlobe – August 2
WASHINGTON — The vote to renominate President Donald Trump is set to be conducted in private later this month, without members of the press present, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Convention, citing the coronavirus.
While Trump called off the public components of the convention in Florida last month, citing spiking cases of the virus across the country, 336 delegates are scheduled to gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Aug. 24 to formally vote to make Trump the GOP standard-bearer once more.
Nominating conventions are traditionally meant to be media bonanzas, as political parties seek to leverage the attention the events draw to spread their message to as many voters as possible. If the GOP decision stands, it will mark the first party nominating convention in modern history to be closed to reporters.
“Given the health restrictions and limitations in place within the state of North Carolina, we are planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed press Friday, August 21 – Monday, August 24,” a convention spokeswoman said. “We are happy to let you know if this changes, but we are working within the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events.”
The decision was first reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Privately some GOP delegations have raised logistical issues with traveling to either city, citing the increasing number of jurisdictions imposing mandatory quarantine orders on travelers returning from states experiencing surges in the virus.
The subset of delegates in Charlotte will be casting proxy votes on behalf of the more than 2,500 official delegates to the convention. Alternate delegates and guests have already been prohibited. …
Dozens, his rally atttracted dozens.