Election 2018: Analysis Complete. Now what? (Part 2)

Election 2018: Analysis Complete. Now what? (Part 2)

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:

Cassandra’s List

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:

BallotPedia: Primary election

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.)

Wikipedia: Combined--Control of the U.S. House of Representatives - Control of the U.S. Senate
File: Combined–Control of the U.S. House of Representatives – Control of the U.S. Senate.png

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?

Election 2018: The End of Everything (Part 1)

Election 2018: The End of Everything (Part 1)

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.

Cassandra’s List

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.

More later.

Newsflash: What you think is wrong is just the tip of the iceberg…

Newsflash: What you think is wrong is just the tip of the iceberg…

This morning there were a raft of articles like these floating around my corner of the Internet. Continue reading “Newsflash: What you think is wrong is just the tip of the iceberg…”



[eta: Started at 11:35am…]

Going to update this entry as things happen, to save your Friends page. Just click refresh every once in a while!

1. I forgot to buy a paper. Anyone willing to share? I’ll pay, of course!

2. I also need a copy of the concert from Sunday. Will take from any given source. YouTube isn’t one of them.

3. “Hey, hey, Bye Bye!” is just cold. Not saying it ain’t deserved, but still…

4. I can’t stop smiling. Can’t say when I felt like that last.

5. I was afraid when I heard the start of the invocation, but it was well thought out and far more inclusive than I was afraid would be the case.

6. Aretha Franklin ROCKS. And the hat is freaking AWESOME!

7. Just got chills from listening to the musicians playing after Biden’s swearing in. We’re halfway there…

8. The musical blending… amazing. Yo Yo Ma was a joy to watch.

But here’s the thing. In the end he was human and fluffed his line, and he STILL managed to kick Bush’s ass up one street and down the next.

I thought Bush was going to cough up a hairball when he described the importance of the Constitution.

And to all the things I have heard so far today I can say Amen and mean it.

The crowd is immense. And I have lived to see this day.

It isn’t all fixed, but we’re on the way now.

9. At 12:56pm, EST, we pruned our American garden by one Bush. And the crowd broke out in “Hey, hey, Bye Bye!” again. [eta: This was just the helicopter flying him to Andrews. The plane actually took off at 2:01pm or thereabouts. I had it in my head to post but I had pizza in my hands at the time.]

They’re on the way to lunch sign the first official documents right now and we can all breathe a little easier.

10. The signing of the official documents strikes me as awfully similar to an orthodox wedding.

11. Wiki and Google have both failed me. I can’t find actual information about the John Williams composition, and the speech isn’t online yet.

Lunch is here. Time for a break. Back after pizza…

12. “Today would be a good day to commit a crime…anywhere else…” sayeth a friend in response to my observation that there’s a cop every two feet down the parade route on both sides of the street. Sheesh!

13. Pat Robertson likes him. Hey, Mikey!

14. The end of the nukular era, for now. Just realized! (And I’m not alone. Same friend just showed me something similar mere moments ago.)

15. Senator Kennedy removed by stretcher from the luncheon. I have a bad feeling about this… (2:43pm) It would REALLY suck if something bad happened today in the midst of this event.

16. I really REALLY want to see DF in the parade but I need to leave here soon and the parade hasn’t started yet.

17. Oh. AND Senator Byrd. This doesn’t look good for either one of them.

I need to leave now, and will sign off until I get to a location where I can watch the parade. Hoping to catch all of it, but it’s all in the timing. Hoping I don’t hear bad things on the radio before I get home…

See you soon!

Retrieval achieved, our new connection is less lovely that we had at JP’s but I’m in my own place now and I’ve finally finished backing up my laptop so I can do one really big thing while I’m sitting here watching the show, and then get other stuff done.

Parade’s just getting to the review stand. Glad I didn’t wait.

(You’ll notice I’ve picked up with a new post. Decided two couldn’t kill folks.)

More after the computer finishes updating…

A little more than 12 hours to go…

A little more than 12 hours to go…

And I can’t wait for Wednesday.

So excited I can’t stand it anymore, but someone today asked me if I thought we’d see an immediate change. I had to say no. I think the hole’s too deep for an immediate change. I am hoping for some bones, though, and I’m betting, come Wednesday, there will be a change in the air, and more than just the weather at play.

Gonna crash. Tomorrow will definitely be a new day. Stay warm!

01/10/2009: Posty McPostalot says…

01/10/2009: Posty McPostalot says…

Sorry for all the posts – I got an invite to participate in a radio discussion on "Obama’s Washington and the World" from WAMU 88.5, BBC, and PRI, but I haven’t received either the confirmation or denial and I don’t know whether to show up there or not. Very frustrating!

So I keep poking around on the Internet, hoping something will show up in my mailbox or I’ll get a phone call. Either way, I suppose I should go do other stuff and try calling them again in a little while to see if anyone’s got a clue about the guest list. That and have breakfast.

I have the feeling it’s going to be a very long day, regardless…

In 1972…

In 1972…

I was just 9 (my birthday was the day before Election Day that year). I recall staying up to watch (and weep) as my favorite candidate, George McGovern, lost by a landslide to Richard Milhous Nixon. It took years to recover.

In 1976, I was 12 when I worked on the Carter campaign. Somewhere I still have Jimmy Carter letterhead.

Social Studies (and Current Events) were my favorite subjects all through junior high and high school.

Just a day away from my 45th birthday, and I still can’t believe we managed to do this.

As I watch President-Elect Obama’s acceptance speech, I notice that his audience is far more representative of the whole country. I am proud to have supported him through the primary to now. I have a hope that his words are played out in deeds.

According to my web site, we are at T-75 days and counting to the inauguration. A great deal of damage can still be done by our current administration, but what I do know is that there is a day coming when I can say that I support fully and completely whatever our President says we need to do.

We can fix the broken things about our home.

Yes. We can.

I’m just a little late, here, but gotta say it anyway…

I’m just a little late, here, but gotta say it anyway…

We watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on the 1st, because my oldest wasn’t up to watching anything the night before. After it was over, the kids begged to watch You’re NOT Elected, Charlie Brown. Originally, I said it was not as good. I was wrong. I forgot how closely it paralleled the 1972 election (was released just before), and I forgot about the Joe Cool appearance. Most importantly, I laughed harder and longer at that than I did at Great Pumpkin.

You’ve still got a day before the election. Go. Find it and watch. You’ll be enlightened…again.

It is time…

It is time…

On November 4, 2008, assuming you are a citizen of the United States, age 18 or older, you have a responsibility to exercise your right to vote. Your right has been established in many different sections of the United States Constitution.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Of course I care who you vote for, but beyond anything else, I care that you exercise your right to vote.

The polls open in less than 8 hours.

Do what you must.

(And, if you’re in my neck of the woods and you want to watch the results come in with company, there’s a brand new sofa and a microwave available for popcorn, plus a big TV and a digital tuner. Come share in the event. You won’t regret it.)


Watch the results? I’m voting, don’t get me wrong, but I’d rather go to a party to have a root canal than to watch the pundits pontificate. To each their own, I suppose. I’ll hear the outcome tomorrow on the all-news radio.

Well, for the right-minded (left-minded?) person(s), I *could* be convinced to pop in either Dave or The American President. I’m in the mood for something hopeful…

I wish we lived closer, I’d take you up on that. Hopeful is good.

Oh, I am SO with you on this one. I swear, I went to the polls today ready to actually hit anyone who came near me w/any sort of politicking. Luckily, there was absolutely no one doing any sort of that thing. Surprising, but refreshing.

The wife and I have a nice bottle of wine ready for tonight. It’s my favorite kind of reality TV! We’ll be watching PBS so we won’t have to be interrupted with those vital local results (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). Forget about congress, we have to tell you who the new Dogcatcher is in South Bubbaburg! Oy!

Theme: Elation by Kaira.