I’m almost done compiling data on the senate races from 2006-2016. This stuff takes time because I’m using at least three sources (including the Federal Election Commission) and scouring them for the data is a royal PITA.
When I’m done, there’ll be a better list of who to direct those precious support dollars, assuming you want a blue candidate to win.That’s 10 years’ worth of data, and it’s proving to be relatively reliable. If I have the vote counts for all the republicans and all the democrats who voted in the primary, regardless of their candidate selection, I can predict the outcome of the general, with an error ratio of around 4.
Here’s the link. The House page has all of the primary dates, but none of the historical data beyond who’s presently in the House. That work’s happening next, now that I’ve got the data filled in for the Senate races. At 435 representatives times at least four elections’ worth of data, it’s going to take a LOT of time to compile.
And a reminder: I am ignoring any third party primaries as entirely irrelevant, except where an Independent has taken a seat. With only one exception so far, they come in at LEAST third, and often by a substantial margin, high enough to make each additional name irrelevant. It is possible you might see more Independents in the House sheet, but I don’t know how many that will be. There has not been a Green or Libertarian candidate elected in the Senate since at least 2006. Maybe take that into consideration when you start to look at who to send your precious dollars this year and where you put your vote. High moral ideals may cost you more than you bargained for. Elections have consequences.
This is how the map looks, when I apply the filter:
My Senate guesses are still nebulous, but the ones on the map that are red or blue are solid. None of this “lean blue, lean red” crap.
Most of the ones that are not red are likely to lean that way, based on several things: Whether they voted Trump in 2016, who their current senators are, and who their governors are, plus the size of the voting population. I only see one Red seat flipping to blue in the senate race, and I see a whole lot of blue seats flipping to red. Remember: This is the class that came in with President Obama’s second term, the year before Scalia disabled the Voting Rights Act. A lot of those blue states flipped to red two years ago. And a lot of those blue seats were red before the 2012 election. Voter obstruction is going to be a big player this year.
It’s going to take the same kind of ground game Alabama’s disenfranchised voters used to grab the seat from Roy Moore, and we can’t count on all of the GOP’s candidates being the huge chunk of rat poison Moore represented.
The best thing that happened in that race: People wrote in enough red candidates to chip out Moore’s lead in sufficient numbers that Jones won, and by a large enough margin that his win was indisputable. None of the shenanigans in Virginia’s recent tie breaker were necessary here.
If you truly want to see what this year’s election process will be, check out that Virginia tie breaker. That film canister tie is where we’re heading with a lot of the races this year.
Note 1. Several states NEVER provide useful numbers because one or both of the candidates ran unopposed and there was no primary, or because the convention delegates selected the candidate. I’ve got a short list of those, which means the only data that is useful for projection is the General Election counts, but those are reliable. For example, Utah and Connecticut are on this list.
Note 2. Kentucky NEVER gets the numbers right. Not in four elections out of the four I recorded. I don’t think Republicans bother to show up at the polls for their primaries, so they always look like the Dems are ahead. This is a lie, but at least it’s consistent.
I just finished tidying up the Senate and Governor’s races, though there’s no stats to go with the Governor’s races yet. Will work on the House seats next, which is going to take a while, and Governors’ list last, because they’re the ones standing in the way of a Constitutional Convention.
This plays out my original assertion that if we don’t get our shit together this year, there will be a 10-seat flip from Blue to Red, as those states that went for Obama in 2012 come back around in Class 3 in the Senate. I included the data for 2012 and earlier so we could look at enough midterms (2006, 2010, 2014) to see before and after, but 2014 was too close to Scalia’s damage to see more than a couple of those seats flipping.
I have similar work to do for the House. Not sure if I want to go back six elections, but it seems prudent to include three midterms. I’ll be able to tell you which states to watch by the end of next week, if I get all the work done.
The first state primaries aren’t until March, and the majority aren’t until May, June, and August. Getting reliable data regarding the total number of votes cast is a challenge, especially if the candidate runs unopposed in the primary. Sites frequently skip the vote tally, so getting that data’s going to be a challenge. I’ll note those states in the sheet so that you’ll know which ones I think are unreliable.
I know this flies in the face of people who told me in 2016 that primaries don’t matter. Maybe not for individual candidates, but for the whole party? I beg to differ. It’s real easy to see the total numbers of people who think it’s worth their time to vote every time, in every election, whether it’s a primary or a general, and which only come out for the general, versus coming out for presidential elections. We lost several blue seats in 2014 because people felt comfortable blowing off the midterms. I’m hoping we’re over that, now.
If you do pay attention to polls, bear this in mind: The number of votes cast in the primary are generally lower (often by millions) but the the overall effect is the same. If the turnout is predominantly Republican, most often, the Republican candidate will win in the general. Ditto for Democrats.
If Democrats remain outnumbered in the states most at risk, we stand to lose more than just a bunch of seats. It will only take a loss of eight additional blue seats to get the GOP a filibuster-proof majority. They only have eight seats at risk and by my calculations, only ONE of those seats is remotely up for grabs. That means even IF the Democrats hold on to their existing seats, and add one more, they still won’t have a filibuster-proof majority and they’ll still have to compromise to get anything done.
So if you really want to see that #bluetsunami take Congress, you’ve got some real work to do.
By the way: If you’re seeing “lean blue” in those prognostication sites, you best believe they don’t take the Voting Rights Act into consideration. The only reason I haven’t marked PA, OH and the upper breadbasket states red is because the primaries haven’t happened yet. And I haven’t checked how many of the ones where voting in primary didn’t predict the general to see which wound up blue and which wound up red. Swing state is a misnomer, when you apply voter obstruction and potential hacking to them.
By July, I’ll know how we’re really doing.
People are asking me what we should do. If I ran a super PAC, I’d pool the money and send it in equal amounts to every one of the senators in those tan states. They need more shoring up than the states I’ve marked reliably blue. I dislike the DNC as a reliable funding point. We need a People’s PAC that shores up the blue candidates, because we’re going to see a flood of dollars from Mercer/Koch/___ in the coming months, as they settle on candidates.
Get people to the polls, help them get IDs, make sure they survive Cross Check and purges; that’s the way to combat this. And make sure YOU’re keeping track of your own state primaries (including any run-offs) and you’re still on the rolls.
There are tools you can use to check where you’re registered, whether you’re still on the list, and a lot more. If you’re young and this is your first election, read up on EVERYTHING. The League of Women Voters has chapters in every state and DC.
I haven’t added in the data for the territories yet, but I will, before we get to November.