Trump's 2016 Showing Was the Most Important Factor in 2018 House Races

Not long after the November 2017 elections, I had lunch with David Petts, a Democratic pollster and longtime veteran of congressional campaigns. He remarked that the Republican gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey performed within one to four points of President Trump in every congressional district in the state. The good news for the Republicans was that they didn’t lose districts that Trump easily carried. The bad news, even a GOPer not named “Trump” did not perform any better in districts Trump narrowly won or narrowly lost in 2016.

Why Aren't Democrats More Excited About the 2018 Results

For a party that had a great night on Tuesday, Democrats aren’t really acting like it. Yes, they lost at least three Senate incumbents, but given the exposure they were up against, this is not such a bad result. They picked up at least seven governorships, including knocking off longtime Democratic adversaries like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. And, of course, they picked up at least 35 House seats!

Final House Ratings: 75 Competitive Races, Ten Rating Changes

Final House Ratings: 75 Competitive Races, Ten Rating Changes With Election Day finally upon us, the House battlefield is wider and more lopsided than at any time since 2010, when Republicans won their current majority. We rate 75 races as competitive, including 70 GOP-held seats and just five held by Democrats. A "Red Exodus" is contributing to the potential "Blue Wave:" of Republicans' 41 open seats, 15 are rated as Toss Ups or worse, and another five are only in Lean Republican.

Final Week Fundamentals

The last week of a campaign is the longest week. Most of the polls have been completed. The final ads have been placed. The last lawn signs have been put into the ground (or pulled out by mischievous opponents). Cable TV is filled with inane chatter. And, the campaigns and the campaign committees are busy setting (spinning) expectations.

Governors: 11 Days Out; OK to Toss up, NH to Lean Rep

The gubernatorial map has been relatively settled, at least in terms of ratings, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot of activity in the most competitive races. Democrats remain on track to pick up seats, but there is some concern that their gains might be less than they had hoped. The Republican base’s growing interest in the election might mean that some Republican-held seats in the Toss Up column, especially those in very red states, may simply revert to type and elect Republicans, despite how close those races look today.

Ten Rating Changes as Democrats' Enthusiasm Edge Narrows and Fundraising Advantage Widens

Two weeks out, district-level polls reflect a House battleground gradually polarizing along the lines of the 2016 presidential race. Democrats are maintaining leads over GOP opponents in upscale, Clinton-won "Whole Foods suburbs" of Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Northern Virginia. But Republicans' numbers continue to improve in Trump-won districts in places like rural Minnesota, Upstate New York and Downstate Illinois.

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