Final Push Before The Glory Of Election Night
It‘s the final stretch before the midterms 2014 in the 6th year of the Obama administration. And the umbrella of competitive races for the United States Senate have risen significantly since the last blog. Complementary a relevant range of competitive and literally hot house races are worth to watch from Bangor in Maine’s most rural CD 02 to Honolulu County in Hawaii's CD 01. And last but not least truly crucial Governor Races and Races for State Legislatures across the nation of America are at stake as well. With promosing names such as Nikki Haley, Mary Burke, Susana Martinez and Andrew Cuomo on the ballot.
With respect to the unwritten rules of a dramatic novel: The very drama on the United States Senate Race would play out finally for Republicans hopes, because the protagonist in these epic novels always fails twice to reach his target anticipated with big hopes and then the third time is the breakthrough.
But Politics is no novel and I wanna explain here, why calling the United States Senate so fast for the Republicans on a bubble of polls is perhaps not extremely wise. Though nobody knows, who will win the Senate yet and obviously a wide range of barometers indicate the Republicans, I predict that most likely Democrats will do quite well in the Expectation Game:
Anybody expects a significant Republican wave, but hard numbers with respect to early voting are encouraging for Democrats in North-Carolina and especially Georgia. On the other hand the GOP does relatively remarkable in Colorado and is cutting big in the traditional Democratic early voting lead in Iowa: Relatively in the Rocky Mountain State means a huge Republican edge in the early period of early voting. But this lead of participating registered Republicans is shrinking almost every day since then indeed. And actually November 1th has been the first day, where more registered Democrats turned in their vote than registered Republicans. Likewise the age gap is shrinking as well and most recently young demographics are outnumbering older generations significantly, which is atypical for the midst. But can be perhaps attributed to the apart from the Pacific Coast unilateral mail-ballot voting system implemented by the state legistlature.
With the very final push before Tuesday, a four billion election cycle with one billion spend by outside groups is already outnumbering the campaign spending of 2010. Issues in this election have addressed the economy, ISIS, Ebola, the Affordable Care Act and universal broadband internet access, the national debt, raising the Minimum Wage, border security, the state of the debate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Climate Change, the Fiscal Cliff, the residence of Senators and obviously at least several more.
And Yes! History is also on the ballot next Tuesday: For instance will Staci Appel in Iowa’s 3rd CD become the first female member of the Iowa House and Congressional Delegation since Iowa joined the union in December 28th 1846? And will the historic number of 20 Madame Senators in the United States Senate slightly grow to a new all-time high? Will Republicans increase their caucuses in the House to the biggest GOP majority since 1928? And with so to a new record high since almost a century by adding only a handful more?
And with respect to history, you know, actually both midterm elections in the last Democratic Administration before the current Administration have contained very big surprises that nobody in Washington expected: Starting with the so called Republican Revolution in 1994, where nobody expected the GOP would flip the House which has been half a century destined in Democratic hands [apart from Dick Morris and the back then First Lady who expected this in an historic pre-election phone call]. But the remarkable aspect on this is still out there. Even on election night the television networks thought the House majority wouldn’t be in jeopardy hours after hours and talked entirely on who wins the Senate majority. And with so the most import political occasion on congressional elections unfolded uncovered at the election programs until the media finally realized the biggest revolution in Congressional Elections since half a century.
And likewise in 1998 everybody in Washington expected now that Democratic Housemen and Congresswomen would face Republican gains on thirty seats and more cutting into their shattered caucuses. But on election night actually the Democrats won a truly historic net gain of five House seats during the second term of a President which was completely atypical to almost every Congressional Election during the second Administration of a sitting President prior.
With respect to 2014 one most crucial questions that no polling company can answer is the composition of the electorate: Because they are only replicating the 2010 model, which surely is quite risky. And finally here is the same debate like in 2012 about the size of ethnic minorities on the electorate. On the one hand the share of ethnic minorities grew at least significantly over this four years period and on the other hand there is this big debate in Washington on lack of enthusiasm on Latinos because of the failure on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the political will of the President to wait with the implementation of executive orders on this after the election to help Democratic Senators in jeopardy in the South and elsewhere. And Afro-American turnout is already impressive with respect to the published hard numbers in early voting so far.
And there is one additional componente that I analyzed: The composition of the electorate in the midterms 2006 have been similar to the composition of the electorate in the Presidential Race of 2000. And the composition of the electorate in the midterms in 2010 has been exactly the same like the composition of the electorate in the Presidential Race of 2004. So following the rule the demographic shift seen in the 08 election almost should replicate to the midst of 2014. The only good news here for Republicans is obviously that 08 has been such an exceptional election.
But in case Democrats will do better than expected and win the expectation game, we will see and read perhaps a column of often genius political commentators, advisers and actors such as Karl Rove and Dick Morris attributing this largely to underestimated demographic shift in the polls that also becomes more and more relevant in the midterms with a turnout of approximately 40 percent.
How will the undecided vote break? Against the party in power or for the Democrats due to their sociological attribution of being mostly downscale voters? Will the widely implemented Get Out the Vote machines of Democrats improve their numbers across the bank in the battleground Senate Races in significant way that can make finally all the difference? Obviously these are the one billion dollar questions on which we will learn more by studying the first, second and third wave of exit polls coming in from real life voters next Tuesday.
Complementary with response rates of public polling of less than ten percent as well as cell phone only households there is quite a fog of war on the down the wire races for control of the United States Senate that only hard numbers of real life voters can enlighten. Moreover remarkable is the very odd tradition in the past. Where Democrats won almost all of the nail biter Senate Races across the country with a Florida 2000 Scale of votes difference with a literally exceptional amount of luck from North-Dakota, Virginia in 2012, over Colorado, Washington State in 2010, Alaska and Minnesota in 2008, to Virginia and Montana in 2006.
So on Tuesday we will hear first from Indiana and Kentucky and the words on cable news on Kentucky of either “too close to call” or “too early to call” will tell us a lot. With Georgia, North-Carolina and New Hampshire coming next from the bellwether races: And imagine Georgia goes to a runoff, North-Carolina and New-Hampshire being called for Democrats - though the New-Hampshire Senate Race has transformed literally to one of the hottest contests of the nation and Scott Brown is truly a man able to deliver a huge upset in New England – the stakes for Republicans will rise. Then Louisiana goes to an almost sure runoff and polls are closing in Arkansas without being called early for either Pryor or Cotton.
Then all of it will come down to the Midwest and almost the Far West as well: To Iowa, Kansas and Colorado and one additional state. Obviously Alaska, where the counting of votes will take more than quite a while. I guess Greg Orman takes Kansas and I would not underestimate Bruce Braley's performance in Iowa as well. Though almost all of the polls in Iowa indicating a tiny lead for state Senator Joni Ernst deep within the statistical margin of error.
So then it’s all about Cory Gardner’s fate in Colorado. Yes he is leading in the public polls significantly and the early voting numbers are encouraging for him. But Democrats outpolled the numbers in the last two Senate Races right here in Colorado and now with the exact composition of Hispanics on the electorate unclear as well as the impact of mail ballot voting beeing a black box – Colorado has a huge area for surprises.
And doubts about the significance of the lead of Sullivan over incumbent Democratic Senator Begich exit's as well. Some polls already indicating the complete opposite with respect to the state of the Race: Not only because Alaska is exceptional hard to poll via telephone interviews, but also due to the unprecedented GOTV Actions of Democrats in the North to the Future State: Especially with respect to remote villages and remote living native Alaskan communities right over there in America's largest state, whose vote can decide about Senate Control in far, far away Washington.
So here comes my prediction: it will be incredible close and we won’t see a 55 or 54 perfect storm scenario for Republicans that some pundits are anticipating as not unlikely. Apart from likely runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia, which Senate races will most likely remain too close to call beyond of election night? With demands for a recount and a Florida 2000 difference in counted votes potential?
In my view the Iowa Senate Race, the Colorado Senate Race and the Alaska Senate Race.
And perhaps apart from the momentum in the one or two runoff elections in the South, the final one billion dollar question will be, if this exceptional luck for Democrats with these truly too close to call Senate contests beyond election night, will replicate in the very battle for the United States Congress 2014 as well?