In Election 2018: The End of Everything (Part 1), I introduced the second “Cassie’s List” compilation, which includes all the historic data that matters to ME from the last six election cycles for US Senate and House seats. Unlike the work I did for the Presidential election in 2016, this delves deeper into state politics and shows why some state numbers are better predictors than others.
The list, you may recall, is here:
The data’s complete now, based entirely on the stats published by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). I’ve downloaded the PDFs in the event that the current government decides to erase the data, which I can imagine they could do, since they’ve already done it with climate research and other inconvenient truths.
It took a very long time to compile the House and Senate data. In the US Senate, only a third of Senate seats, called Classes, stand for election, which has the effect of tipping the Senate in one direction or the other, depending on the whims of voters, combined with “on” and “off” year elections (whether or not there’s a Presidential election at the same time). 2018 is, by definition, an off-year election, which historically has lower turnout.
That’s why I went back to 2006 for the data. A fuller explanation is included in Part 1, so I’m not rehashing it here. Go read that post and come back, if you still have questions about WHY I’m doing this work.
If you look at the bottom of the Google Spreadsheet, you will find the following tabs:
2018 Election Summary: This is where I will track the numbers as they come in from this year’s Primaries. I am NOT counting special elections (such as the one for Alabama that placed Doug Jones in Jeff Sessions’ seat) other than to note the changes in each seat.
House Seats: This is the historic data from 2006-2016 for all House seats.
Senate Seats: This is the historic data from 2006-2016 for all House seats.
Governors: This data is incomplete, largely because of all the different schedules for each Governor’s election. I will go in and fill this data out, but it’s less important than the House and Senate seats in terms of Primary data, since the dates are all over the place. Term limits apply differently in each state, as well, which also makes a difference.
Congressional Composition 1973-2017: This is where you can see which parties controlled Congress and also when each current Supreme Court occupant was seated on the bench. I went back to 1973 because it’s been clear to me for a while that the GOP push to take over EVERYTHING started with Nixon’s Southern Strategy. This is where the Southern Democrats flipped to Republicans.
Guide to Party Labels: With a couple of the races it became clear to me that some Democrats aren’t “Democrats” by name, and it was confusing to decipher how to count those votes. If you look at the FEC data, you’ll see what I mean. That’s why I included the key.
Now that I’m done, I can say with confidence a couple of things:
1. There are NO Third Party voting Congressional Representatives in the House. None. Not one. There is, in fact, only ONE in the House at all, and he represents the Northern Mariana Islands, a US Territory. You want a liberal Democrat, vote in the Primary. There are no alternatives to this rule, no matter how loudly you argue otherwise.
2. Of the stats I collected, I found that out of 50 states, there are 31 where the Primary vote data is likely to be a reliable predictor overall, six states where Primary vote data might be reliable (or might not, depending on the district) and 13 where the data is not reliable AT ALL, because the states hide their vote data by choosing not to put the vote up at all. If the candidate ran without a counterpart from the opposite party, I’ve marked the results No Candidate and I’ve counted the data as reliable.
If the race was marked with asterisks for Committee or Convention Selection, I’ve marked that data as unreliable, because there is literally NO WAY to figure out without looking at the numbers whether a seat is going to go Red or Blue. And in the case of Unopposed candidates, again, there’s no way to tell how many voters will go one way or the other because whether the primary is Open, Closed, or some other flavor, if the candidate runs Unopposed, there are no Primary votes to count.
3. Gerrymandering counts. At the moment, Pennsylvania is supposed to be redrawing their districts. Instead, the GOP are trying to figure out how to impeach their state supreme court justices for forcing them to play fair. Wisconsin, Maryland, North Carolina…all of these states have had their lines investigated recently, and the SCOTUS is still out on two of them. North Carolina got a pass to ignore their broken districts, and NC is on the iffy list for reliable numbers, so if you want somewhere to focus, there’s a starting point for you.
Read more about how Primaries work in each state here:
And find your precinct and district here:
Nothing more to do now than investigate the numbers, with an eye toward where you need to send your support. Why?
Because big, dark money donors like the Koch brothers are ramping up to spend millions of dollars either retaining seats the GOP already hold or flipping the ones they don’t.
When I talked about the Hole in the Middle almost two years ago, I outlined what would happen if we lost seats in the 2016 election. As it was, we only flipped two seats from Red to Blue. In this year’s election, bottom line, we could see as many as TEN seats flip from Blue to Red, and only ONE flip the other way, which could mean a net gain of nine (or more) seats for the GOP.
It’s not outrageous to think that the GOP could win those 10 seats. After all, those same states went for Trump in 2016, so it stands to reason that unless something BIG happens on November 6th, it’s possible that the GOP will get, for the first time in 97 years, give or take a month. (See 67th Congress, when there were still 48 states.)
Which sounds like a really long time, only remember: This is before Nixon’s Southern Strategy, when the Democrats were the Southern Democrats were a problem. Now that the composition of the two parties is clearer, giving the GOP the advantage of filibuster-proof legislation means that today’s Democrats will no longer be relevant, and it won’t matter what you have to say, whether they’re far enough to the Left or not, because their votes will be irrelevant.
And when Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg all retire or die, they will seat young, ultraconservatives (if not outright Nazis) on the Supreme Court, and that, friends, will be that.
First official Primary is March 6th.
Do you know when yours is?