US 2018 (mid-term) elections

Polls suggest that the republicans should better their bare majority in the US Senate, but look likely to lose their majority in the House (Congress).

The current US Senate (33 seats are being contested):

  • Republicans 51
  • Democrats 47
  • Independent 2

The current US House of Representatives (all seats contested):

  • Republicans 235
  • Democrats 193
  • Vacant 7

President Donald Trump (like many others) is trying hard to influence the US midterm elections coming up next week. He is pushing immigration buttons hard – Trump Launches Final Campaign Blitz by Pounding Illegal Immigration – and also attacking the media again – Slams Media for Using Synagogue Shooting to ‘Sow Anger & Division’ – accusing them of doing what he himself keeps doing.

It’s hard to know if his influence will be positive or negative for republican candidates. After a recent recovery in support the gap has recently trended towards widening again – see FiveThirtyEight and RealClear Politics.

The Democrats are receiving celebrity endorsements (Kanye West seems to have backtracked on his enthusiasm for Trump) and Dems Double Down on Healthcare.

RCP Averages predict that the Republicans will pick up one seat in the Senate.

FiveThirtyEight is similar, with their current Senate odds:

  • Chance Democrats win control (14.9%)
  • Chance Republicans keep control (85.1%)

FiveThirtyEight favours the Democrats in Congress predicting a gain of 38 seats which would give them a clear majority:

  • Chance Democrats win control (84.9%)
  • Chance Republicans keep control (15.1%

RCP has the Democrats with an average seat pickup of 25.5

The chances of an upset on the above odds ins unlikely. Trump surprised many pollsters and pundits in 2016, but this election has a number of separate contests in different areas with different issues in play. The chances of many of them swinging significantly against the polls seems low.


  1. Gezza

     /  November 2, 2018

    (Kanye West seems to have backtracked on his enthusiasm for Trump)

    Don’t know what that’s about yet, and for reasons I can’t quite fully comprehend he is highly regarded by legions of vacuous fans and low-intelligence musical luminaries and celebrities (I suspect mainly because he has succeeded in making pots of moolah), but my personal assessment of his best quality, after observing him from time to time, and certainly of late, is that he is an A grade idiot.

    • David

       /  November 2, 2018

      I think the Republicans will pick up 3 Senate seats. Congress, well who knows, going on past mid terms is pretty ugly for the incumbents at mid terms but we live in strange times. Everyone laughed at Trump standing and then pollsters gave Hilary a 95% chance of winning so there are probably a lot more shy Trump voters wary of admitting to pollsters as to what happens in the privacy of the ballot box.

      • “then pollsters gave Hilary a 95% chance of winning ”

        One or some individual pollsters at one stage perhaps, but not generally.

        • David

           /  November 2, 2018

          Reuters was 90%, Nate Silver was 99%, Predictwise 89%, Princeton Election consortium 99%, RCP was 98% and 538 itself was up to 84% certain Hilary would win and pretty much every other mainstream pollster was up there.
          Brandseye from South Africa was the only polling companyt who picked it for Trump. Have a mate on business in the US and he is stunned at the support there is for Trump on the ground, he is used to the slanted coverage NZ gets of what is supposedly going on.

      • Corky

         /  November 2, 2018

        I think it’ll be a travesty should Trumpy become a lame duck president. He still has reforms to work through..and hopefully with that caravan of criminals heading his way, the impetus to build that bloody wall will increase.
        Let’s hope a record 35 year low unemployment rate works in his favour with undecided voters- if there are such people left in the states?

      • Patzcuaro

         /  November 2, 2018

        With 24 Democrat held seats up for election against 8 Republican held seats its was always going to be difficult for the Democrats to get control of the Senate. Some of the Democrat held seats are in Republican states such as West Virginia, Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia and Missouri which the task even harder. In 2020 the reverse is the case with a lot more Republican held seats up for grabs.

  2. David

     /  November 2, 2018

    The caravan is Trumps gift from heaven as was the Dems overplaying at the Kavanaugh hearing. There are 4 more caravans forming and the talk of Soros/lefties funding of them which is a bit of an own goal.
    On a similar note which gets very little coverage Austria has pulled out of UN immigration plans and Germany,s Merkel challenger has called for a far harsher immigration regime, Denmark and Sweden have shut their borders, Italy has gone nuclear on migrants and all without being called Hitler, racist, fascist, nazi or whatever Trump is this week, if nothing he provides cover.

  3. Blazer

     /  November 2, 2018

    • Corky

       /  November 2, 2018


      • Patzcuaro

         /  November 2, 2018

        Now there’s a tricky question who is more believable Trump or Oprah? Trump has told over 5000 lies since taking office.

        Who is a self made billionaire Trump or Oprah? Oprah, daddy gave Trump millions

        • Corky

           /  November 2, 2018

          ”Trump has told over 5000 lies since taking office.”

          There’s your answer, Patz.

  4. The Consultant

     /  November 2, 2018

    Whatever happens, I’m sure this won’t change:

    • Corky

       /  November 2, 2018

      You have to wonder who are the bigger prats…those blaring out of the Gogglebox..or those sitting in front of the Gogglebox.

  5. The Consultant

     /  November 2, 2018

    Sadly, this won’t change either: Treasury Sees 2018 Borrowing Needs Surging to $1.34 Trillion

    Adding another layer on top of the existing $21-22 trillion in debt!

  6. Patzcuaro

     /  November 2, 2018
  7. The Consultant

     /  November 2, 2018

    It is all about fear.
    He says that with a straight face. What’s the Democrat messages been since 2015: fear of losing abortion access, fear of gay marriage being overturned, fear of….whatever those evil Republicans do.

    “Rob” lacks any sense of political history – and irony.

  8. Blazer

     /  November 2, 2018

  9. The Consultant

     /  November 2, 2018

    Someone should tell her it’s the Home Of The Oppressed. Still, it’s good to know that the Left don’t care about national borders anymore. Just let everyone in.

    And that attitude is why Trump is President and Merkel and others like her are on their way out. But don’t listen to me, listen good old Bush hating gay British immigrant, Andrew Sullivan:

    I’m an immigrant myself. But it doesn’t answer a simple question. What do we do when the caravan gets here? And more saliently: What do we do if many more caravans show up behind it? This is not an abstract question. It’s a pressing, practical, and in some ways existential one. It cuts to the core of whether the United States has to choose between being inhumane to the point of betraying some core moral principles and remaining a sovereign nation in control of who joins its population. . . .

    All of it is putting unprecedented strain on liberal democracy in the West itself. The connection between mass migration and the surge in far-right parties in Europe is now indisputable. Without this issue, Donald Trump would not be president. As we can see right now in front of our eyes, elections can turn on this. Which is why Trump is hyping this caravan story to the heavens — and why, perhaps, the last few weeks have seemed less promising for a “blue wave.” David Frum is right:
    “If liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals will not do.”
    And unless the Democrats get a grip on this question, and win back the trust of the voters on it, their chance of regaining the presidency is minimal.

  10. The Consultant

     /  November 2, 2018

    May as well put this in again too…..Ruben Navarrette in the San Francisco Chronicle:

    As a Never Trumper, I didn’t get it. So, I interviewed some Latinos for Trump and I got an earful. Many of them saw themselves not as Latinos but as Americans, and so they weren’t hung up on Trump’s anti-Latino screeds. They didn’t like or trust Clinton, appreciated Trump’s frankness, wanted a strong leader, and thought he was right about a lot of issues, including trade and immigration.

    Yes, immigration. What most non-Latinos don’t grasp is that Latinos are ambivalent about illegal immigration. They have a front-row seat not just to the pain of deportations, but also to how many immigrants commit crimes or abuse social services.

    In 2016, an astounding 29 percent of Latinos voted for Trump.

    And now, two years into his presidency, polls show that his support among Latinos is somewhere between 33 and 41 percent. That’s insanely good for a president who is so bad on issues that Latinos supposedly care about.

  11. The Consultant

     /  November 2, 2018

    U. S. workers see fastest wage growth in a decade

    Kudos to an MSM source for at least reporting this, rather than leaving it to the business papers. Still, I’ve no doubt if the economy had ever been this hot under Obama it would have been front-page, TV news lead #1 on a 24/7 basis.

  12. The Consultant

     /  November 2, 2018

    From Politico

    For example, did you know that in the bellwether House race in which newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated veteran incumbent Joe Crowley, the challenger’s strongest precincts were the whiter, wealthier ones, while the incumbent ran strongest in the most heavily minority precincts?

    It turns out that minority voters tend to care about who can deliver for them on bread-and-butter issues more than making symbolic identity politics statements. Politico reports that this is causing a growing divide within Democratic ranks.

    This applies to the “sickening Trump advert” thread as well. As with much of this stuff, the greatest amount of screaming about Awful White People and their Privilege comes from….. White People with lots of Privilege.

  13. Patzcuaro

     /  November 2, 2018

    It’s official Trump tells the truth but only when he can. 5000+ times he has been unable to since becoming President.

    “”Well, I try. I do try . . . and I always want to tell the truth,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News. “When I can, I tell the truth. And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different or there’s a change, but I always like to be truthful.”

    The Washington Post’s Fact Checker reported last month that Trump had made more than 5,000 false or misleading claims in the first 601 days of his presidency – an average of 8.3 claims a day – and that the pace is picking up.”

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 2, 2018

      The “Fact Checkers” are mostly as politically biased as Trump is so most people disregard the statistics they produce and only take an interest where there is a genuine and significant dispute. When was the last of those?

    • The Consultant

       /  November 2, 2018

      Again, this seems to be “priced in” for Trump, and has been for some time. He’s a typical, big-mouth, big-noting New Yorker, combined with all the bullshit you expect from a property developer and TV performer.

      However, I think it was actually a Never-Trumper a month or so ago who made the observation – one he was rather startled by himself – that on the big issues, Trump has actually followed through on most, unlike a typical politician. From memory the lists included:
      – moving the US embassy to Jerusalem (Clinton and Bush II said they would and balked)
      – pulling the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.
      – Pulling the US from the Iranian nuclear agreement.
      – Ending DACA.
      – Pulling out the TPPA
      – Applying tarrifs to China, Europe, Mexico and Canada in order to get trade deals more favourable to the US.
      – Put Constitutional originalists on the Supreme Court.
      – Destroying ISIS without starting a major war.
      – Cutting regulations (currently running at a ratio of 12 to every new one).
      – Cutting taxes, especially the corporate tax that left the likes of Apple retaining billions overseas and saw the USA pitched at much higher levels than Social Democracies like Canada and most of the EU!
      – Increased spending on the military.

      The point is not whether you agree with these things or not or whether you think he’s right or not. For example, I really don’t think tarrifs, let alone trade wars, are a good idea, but even here I’ll grant that the fallout has not been as bad was was expected.

      The point is that on several of them, his GOP critics expected him to go squishy once in office, as had his GOP and Democrat predecessors on their election planks, and he has not.

      Sure, he has not yet built his wall – I doubted he ever could, even with a GOP majority in the House, and certainly not with the Democrats in charge after Nov 6, which seems the likely result. But had he the power and budget I’ve no doubt he would be going hell for leather on that front too: he certainly shows enough anger at both GOP and Democrat reps for not granting enough money. So even here, there’s no doubt that he’s not lying and actually means what he says.

      It’s a paradox I’ll grant you, but the result has been more than a few members of the GOP who either did not vote for him or held their nose and did, who have been pleasantly surprised.