Trump's effect on upcoming Senate and House races

I thought it would be useful to start a thread on the impact Trump’s nomination should have on Senate and House races coming up in November.

Right now, the Republicans have a 54-46 lead, but looking at the numbers, it looks like the Democrats are going to have strong chance to both win a number of “tossup” states, retain some seats they were terrified of losing, and even potentially give them a fighting chance for what used to be considered safe Republican seats.

Right now, there are four Republican seats up for reelection that are classified by Larry Sabato as “tossups” meaning anyone could win. Florida(Rubio isn’t running), Ohio(Portman), New Hampshire(Ayotte), and Pennsylvania(Toomey). Additionally, there are two other seats with Republican incumbents that were already listed as leaning Democrat even before it was made clear that Trump was the lone nominee. Wisconsin(Johnson) and Illinois(Kirk).

While I don’t want to overstate it, the combination of a record high turnout among Hispanics as well as the strong possibility of a record low voter turnout amongst movement conservatives, Evangelicals, and Mormons could make matters far worse for Republicans.

Additionally, Dems were very nervous about retaining Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada with him retiring and Michael Bennett’s seat in Colorado. Considering the sizable Hispanic populations those states have as well as the extent Republicans in those states depend on Mormons and Evangelicals, I suspect they’re breathing easier.

Arizona also has a huge Hispanic population and while not that long ago it would have been unthinkable that McCain would lose the seat, but McCain was overheard telling fundraisers that he’s in the fight for his life and that certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

It looks to me like the Republicans will probably lose the Senate and at the very least lose a bunch of Congressional seats.

What do other people think?

Well, of course your premise relies on Trump doing poorly this fall. I’m not entirely sanguine that folk will reject him. Six months is a long time to creatively package and sell a product to an audience with a proven short memory and susceptibility to superficial and emotional pitches.

I’m sure hoping illinoisians do their part and boot Kirk. Regaining the Senate will require a monstrous landslide. But I hope there is such a landslide, also yielding Dem governors and state congressmen.

Thanks for starting this thread. I’ve found myself very anxious about what will happen this fall, yet realizing there is little I can do myself. So the whole thing comes down to fewer than a dozen states that conceivably could go either way in the general and for their Senators. Most of the population are bystanders.

I doubt there will be a day that goes by that the Clinton campaign doesn’t hammer on Trump’s vast inadequacies and unsuitability as President. (Not by Clinton herself; she’ll want to stay above that fray as much as possible.)

A gain of four seats? I think a Dem Senate is far more likely than that. The House, on the other hand, might fit that definition a little better. But then, who knows? With the pending fragmentation of the GOP, it might be doable.

Advantage Democrats: The particular seats in play and Trump. For the Senate Sabato puts it currently at 47/48 advantage R with 5 toss-ups. Many of the House seats are in suburbs where Trumps is expected to perform poorly. The Cook Political Report puts a Democratic flip as a longshot but one worth watching as the season progresses:

Advantage GOP: With Trump as standard bearer it seems like the big money is going to divert most of their resources from supporting the top of the ticket to Senate and House races. GOP candidates will be very well funded.

Look back to 1984, 1972 and 1964 – the three biggest presidential landslides since World War II.

Only in 1964 did the net change in House seats exceed 18. Consider that in 1956, when the whole country liked Ike, there was a net change of only two seats – which the Republicans lost.

As Tip O’Neill said in 1935 (and he probably stole it from someone even earlier) “All politics is local.” Democrats need to remember that before getting too cocky.

Also in the Cook Report:

The landscape is very different than in '64, '72, or '84. What that translates into? There will be lots of guesses and we will see in November!

The betting markets currently put the odds of a Democratic Senate at 70% … that’s not cockiness, it’s just what the betting market thinks. Pretty much the same odds of Clinton winning the White House. Which is nowhere near high enough for me to feel comfortable.

I think they will try very, very hard to make it as difficult as possible for Hispanics, black, & urban citizens to vote at all. We’ve already seen tests of this in things like the Arizona cutback on polling locations (but only in democratic-voting areas). I expect to see a whole lot of this occur during the 2016 election.

One effect will be that many of the vulnerable senators and representatives won’t be at the convention, thus depriving them the chance to have a prime time speech to sway voters.

Bumping to see if any assessments have changed three months more in.

Sabato now puts the Senate at 47 to 47 with 6 toss-ups. Betting markets at 63%. Wang has moved it to expecting 50 seats each with a slight D Meta-margin of 0.9%



My projection as of this time is that the Dems do not quite get a majority, but do gain seats. I am hoping for a 50/50.

Trump will get crushed, but the Republicans will have a solid majority in the House and a teeny majority in the Senate.

Republicans retain the House, but lose both the White House and the Senate.

It’s starting to look like Ayotte is in serious trouble, which I didn’t expect a few weeks ago. So, either 50-50 or slight Dem advantage in the Senate.

The House is out of reach due to gerrymandering so unless this election becomes a complete blood bath I expect it to stay R.

I think the Republicans will almost surely keep the House unless there is an open and messy revolt that spills out into public view. You could argue that’s happening right now, but I don’t think it’s quite yet reached the apocalyptic level for the GOP as an entire party. You’ve got smart people like Paul Ryan and John McCain who are still maintaining their grace under fire. You can hate their politics, but they’re making the right moves in order to preserve their party’s interests. They know that no matter what Donald Trump says, 25-30 percent are committed to supporting him in this election. That’s a solid base that could still be expanded. The ceiling for Trump probably went from about 40 percent to slightly less than that, but he could still rise and Hillary could still fall – Ryan, McCain, McConnell et al all know that. Trump’s support in some voting districts however is much higher, and that’s the real concern. Anyone who is seen as standing in the way of blocking Hillary Clinton from taking office is going to be an enemy of the state in the eyes of these voters.

That is not to say that there won’t be consequences going forward, though. I think the bottom line is that the GOP had the right idea in their ‘autopsy’ immediately following the close of the 2012 race, which concluded that they really needed to go after minority voters, particularly Latinos. Not only have they not heeded that advice, but they have also completely and utterly destroyed their brand with minorities. I think the damage is probably irreparable in the near future, and it may encourage more participation in mid-term elections, which would not bode well for them GOPs interests.

One of the factors in the Republicans’ favors is that with the big money avoiding Trump like the plague it’s getting spent at state and local levels instead.

That’s going to be a factor and also Clinton needs to do a lot better than her husband did. When Bill won in 1992, the Democrats lost House seats and gained zero Senate seats. If she wins with 43% of the vote like BIll did, she probably has no coattails. SImple math: if 57% of voters vote for the right-wing candidates(Trump and Johnson), then that is no help to Democrats downballot. Actually, I’m being kind. If Trump and Johnson combine for even 52%, it’s probably a disaster for Democrats downballot.

Maybe you didn’t notice, but there’s no Perot this time.

And if (fill in the blank).

Those polls you’ve been seeing must all be skewed, like they were the last time. :wink: Actually I’m being kind.

Um, the polls actually show Clinton getting 43% of the vote in a 4-way race. So if anyone’s making an argument that the polls are skewed, it’s you.

If 43% is Clinton’s final result, the odds of Democrats taking the Senate are very slim. She needs 48%, at least.

If you actually think the two junior-varsity also-rans will reach a double-digit total, your projections can be safely dismissed as disconnected from reality.

That’s what the polls say. ARe they skewed? Maybe. Third parties historically do a little worse on election day. Nate Silver projects Johnson at 5% in his polls plus model.