Dems poised for gains in House, governor’s mansions

by Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger

Election Day is finally here, with a deeply polarized electorate poised to render judgment on President Trump’s first two years in office.

Majorities in the House and Senate hang in the balance. It appears Washington could be headed for divided government as we enter a presidential election cycle.

The midterm fundamentals have long pointed toward significant gains for Democrats in the House, and late-breaking data appears to add to the growing body of evidence that suggests the House will flip, potentially giving House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) a second stint as Speaker.

The Hill: Republicans fear loss of House majority.

FiveThirtyEight: Democrats aren’t certain to take the House, but they’re clear favorites.

The latest:

Retirees, long a GOP stalwart among voting demographics, donated more money to Democrats than Republicans this cycle (The Wall Street Journal).

The Cook Political Report has moved nine more House races toward Democrats. Far more GOP-held seats are in play this cycle and Democrats need only to perform adequately in toss-up races to flip the 23 seats they need to reclaim a majority.

Early voter turnout indicates that the young and irregular voters Democrats need to show up are indeed casting ballots. From The Hill’s Reid Wilson:

“Turnout has increased the most among younger voters, minorities and people who rarely or never vote. Among voters aged 18-29, turnout is up in 39 of 41 states for which data are available,” said John Della Volpe, who directs polling for Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. “For voters aged 30-39, turnout is up in all 41 states where data are available. As a consequence, the 2018 electorate appears likely to be significantly younger and more diverse than the electorate that voted four years ago — both good signs for Democratic candidates.”

Early voting is popular at the White House. Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and Karen Pence voted absentee in their home states a few weeks ago.

The final forecast from Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics has Democrats netting 34 seats in the House, with a potential upside of 40 or more.

Election forecasters are also warning about a potential GOP bloodbath in governor’s mansions around the country.

Republicans currently hold 33 governorships, compared with 16 for Democrats and one independent. That margin will likely be far closer after Tuesday, with a Democratic majority possible.

There are 36 gubernatorial races on Tuesday and Sabato has Democrats netting 10 governorships.

That number could tick higher depending on how a few close races break in traditionally red states, which is why Pence spent his final day on the campaign trail in South Dakota for the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate.

US News & World Report: Democrats eye a dozen governors races.

Perhaps the one thing keeping Tuesday from becoming an unmitigated disaster for Republicans is that the Senate map greatly favored the GOP coming in, with 10 Democratic senators up for reelection in states Trump won in 2016.

Barring a “blue wave” of unforeseen proportions, Republicans are expected to maintain their narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate and possibly add to it. It won’t necessarily be easy. Races in Texas and Tennessee are closer than they should be.

The Hill: Democrats have slim hopes of flipping the Senate.

The Associated Press: Election Day to test Democratic resistance in Trump era.

It seems all but certain that Election Day surprises await. We warned yesterday about questions around the polls, which has injected a level of uncertainty into an already volatile and unpredictable landscape.

“We have long cautioned against assuming the House was a done deal for the Democrats, and we don’t think readers should be stunned if things go haywire for Democrats tomorrow night.” – Sabato

San Diego Union Tribune: Polls point to Democratic takeover of House, but there are some factors that could change that.

Trump, of course, remains at the center of it all.

On a wild, three-state swing through Ohio, Indiana and Missouri on Monday, the president cast the midterms as a referendum on himself.

“In a sense, I am on the ticket.” – Trump to rallygoers in Ohio.

The Memo: Midterm election will render verdict on Trump.

The Hill: Trump’s closing argument frames midterms as a referendum on his White House.

Former President Obama agrees wholeheartedly.

Image result for obama political cartoon

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