2022 US Senate Race

I’m pretty happy that Wisconsin is as high as it is right now with an R incumbent in a midterm election, and 31.6% in NC is perfectly consistent with the results from 2020.

What do you think those probabilities should be?

I probably am not understanding the methodologies but I think Wisconsin has a slight blue lean overall and Ron Johnson is an obvious idiot. North Carolina will indeed be a tougher get imo because the electoral shift is happening very slowly but I still think Dems have closer to a 40% shot there.

But I don’t have a lot of data to support either opinion.

I know a lot of people think North Carolina is inevitably the next Georgia or Virginia (hey, it’s right there between 'em!), but the political evolution there has been different. North Carolina was never as solidly Republican as those two states became over the 80s, 90s and aughts. It was a reliably (but often close) Republican state in Presidential elections from 1980 until 2008, but state offices continued to be held mostly by Democrats. It wasn’t until 2010 that Republicans took a majority in the state legislature and in 2012 gained a supermajority and the Governor’s office, which was probably a high tide of Republican dominance that has already receded.

One factor with NC is that the state remains surprisingly rural. As of the 2010 census, only Texas had more residents living in rural areas than North Carolina – despite Texas being the second largest state by population and NC being the tenth. While there’s certainly been growth since then around Charlotte and the Research Triangle, it’s balanced out by a large population living in many small towns thickly spread across the piedmont and coastal plain.

I think North Carolina is unlikely to follow a steady trajectory from deep red to deep blue, but rather continue to be competitive (with an R lean in federal elections) for a while. A 1/3 chance for a generic D versus a generic R in an open Senate seat election in a Democratic president’s midterm seems about right.

In my understanding, the main reason GA and VA have turned blue (or blue-ish) is increasing proportion of urban vs rural inhabitants. And in my understanding, NC is a step behind those two states in this measure, though it’s trending in the blue direction.

One analyst a year or so back said that Texas was moving blue the fastest but had the furthest to go while North Carolina had the shortest distance to travel but was moving the slowest.

NC seems a little similar to SC in that those last few points are almost impossible to get. I believe, however, that NC is a legitimate long range target because of the continued growth in the major metros and the general dysfunctionality of the current GQP. But it won’t happen easily or quickly.

I don’t think there’s a big enough difference between 45% and 51% for Wisconsin and 35% and 40% for North Carolina this far out to be worth even discussing which is more correct.

My general advice on the topic is, as always, dumb betting markets will pay you to make them smarter.

I certainly agree with this opinion. Yet I still have hopes for Dem pickups in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and NC, giving them a clear majority without needing vulnerable Joe Manchin or barely-a-Dem Kyrsten Sinema (who could be primaried, I hope I hope).

Part of the reason those numbers are lower than what it “seems” they should be is the history of the midterm of a first term Democratic POTUS. 1994 and 2010 are the historical benchmarks, and both of those went badly for the Democrats. As for WI and NC specifically, there’s also the trend in those two sates to consider. Wisconsin started out more blue and is moving in the red direction and NC started out more red and is moving in the blue direction. It wouldn’t surprise me if the trends continue, and that 10 - 20 years from now GA, AZ, and NC will be considered more reliably blue than WI, PA, and MI, assuming elections continue to be held fairly.

This one takes the cake: Alabama Secretary of State and potential GOP Senate nominee John Merrill vehemently denies rumors that he was having an affair and smears the alleged affair partner as an obsessed social media stalker. Unfortunately, she has a 17 minute tape of a phone conversation where they talk about all of the sex they’ve been having.

Confronted with the tape, he says that, “It’s clear that I had an inappropriate relationship with her." I guess it wasn’t clear to him before that having lots of sex with someone that’s not your wife was inappropriate.

This brings up something I don’t get about scandal plagued Republicans. If the politician in question is from a purple district or state, it might make sense to stick with them, deny the allegations, make excuses, whatever. The alternative, after all, is likely to be a Democrat. But in a solidly red state or district, shouldn’t there be other ambitious Republicans, presumably scandal free on a personal level, ready to jump in and run for whatever office the scandal plagued official holds?

ETA: Take what happened with Roy Moore in Alabama as an example. Had a generic Republican run against Dough Jones, Jones would never had a chance.

Republicans are more than willing to toss aside a candidate who’s scandal plagued – in the Alabama case, Merrill was only one of numerous potential GOP candidates eyeing the senate seat and every indication is that he’s politically dead in the water. And in the case of Matt Gaetz, Republicans can’t lose his number fast enough (Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor-Green aside).

Roy Moore had the benefit of running in a special election, when turnout is lower and the candidate with the most passionate following has an edge. Moore’s years of fighting to keep his monument to the ten commandments on the Alabama Supreme Court grounds had garnered him significant support among social conservatives. And remember that the sexual assault allegations didn’t surface until he had already won the primary. Absent those allegations, he likely would have won the general election.