Swing State Pres

Saturday, October 15, 2016

BTRTN Senate/House Snapshot #5: Dems Take Aim at Senate, House Control as Trump Implodes

There is no end to the madness of this presidential campaign.  With Paul Ryan’s decision to give up on the potential of a GOP White House and focus instead exclusively on Congress, Donald Trump’s declaration of war on Ryan and the mainstream GOP opens the possibility of Democratic control of both houses of Congress.

The problem with the “down ballot disaster” theory is that the polls are not completely cooperating, and the GOP continues to hold on to the slimmest of margins in the Senate, with mixed evidence of a post-Tape, post-Debate down ballot stampede away from the GOP.  And while the House margin is indeed slimming, the Dems are still playing catch-up ball there as well.

But give Trump another week.  If the Cosby-esque procession of women coming forward detailing Trump’s hideous sexual abuses continues, and Trump continues his “unshackled” campaign screeching, the attendant miasma may completely erase the GOP’s tenuous hold on Congress.

SENATE

This latest BTRTN Senate Snapshot still has the GOP retaining control by 51/49.  There have been relatively few swing state polls since The Tape (on October 7), the Clinton Debate #2 win (October 9), the ensuing unraveling of the uneasy GOP/Trump alliance and the emergence of a slew of Trump sexual abuse victims.  Those polls have been a mixed bag, with some evidence of movement towards the Dem candidates but also several polls – in several contests that are GOP toss-ups – that are unchanged.  The net of it all is no change in the basic contour of the race: the GOP maintains a slim lead in retaining control of the Senate, but the pressure on this lead seems to be rising.

There remain nine races in play – five of them are toss-ups.  The GOP candidate is leading in four of the toss-ups, and thus, assuming each side holds onto its “Leans,” the Democrats need to hold its toss-up leader (Pennsylvania) and pick up one of the four GOP toss-ups (Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina and New Hampshire), assuming Clinton wins the White House.  The nine races in play break down like this:

·         Democrat Lean races remain Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois.  The Dem candidates, Russ Feingold, Evan Bayh and Tammy Duckworth, respectively, all have leads in the 3-7 point range and have led their races consistently.  All three are “flips” where the current office-holder is Republican.  Add these three to the 45 Dem seats that are either not up for reelection (36) or Solid (9), and you get 48 seats, with the Dems needing to pick up two more from the other six in play.

·         Of those six, one is a GOP Lean race, Florida, with Marco Rubio up +8. But there have been no post-Tape polls so it’s too early to put this one in the Solid camp, and thus it remains at Lean R

·         And that leaves the five toss-ups: 

o    Pennsylvania which shows a very thin lead for Democrat Katie McGinty
o    North Carolina and Missouri, in which the polls – including post-Tape polls – continue to slightly favor the GOP candidate, Burr in North Carolina and Blunt in Missouri
o    New Hampshire, where there is some post-Tape evidence the race is moving toward Dem Maggie Hassan, but not enough to switch the rating, and thus remains Toss-up R for incumbent GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte

·         And that leaves the one state where we have changed our rating, Nevada.  Joe Heck is the GOP candidate running against Catherine Cortez Matso for the seat Harry Reid is vacating.  Heck has been leading in every poll except one since July – until this morning when one new poll has Cortez Matso ahead by +5.  We are reluctant to flip the state based on one poll by a local Las Vegas news station that has done no previously polling – but this one may flip.  For now we have moved it from a Lean R to a Toss-up R.

For the Dems to regain control of the Senate, they have to win two of the five toss-up states, assuming everyone holds their “Leans” and Hillary Clinton wins the White House.  Right now they are just short.

SENATE SNAPSHOT
Senate
September 25
October 15
DEM TOTAL
49 (+3)
49 (+3)
Dem Holdover
36
36
Dem Solid
9
9
Dem Lean
3
3
Dem Toss-up
1
1
GOP Toss-up
3
4
GOP Lean
2
1
GOP Solid
16
16
GOP Holdover
30
30
GOP TOTAL
51 (-4)
51 (-4)



Senate By State
Latest Polls                   as of Oct 15
BTRTN
CA,CO,CT,HI,MD,     NY,OR,VT,WA

Solid D
Illinois
Duckworth (D) + 7
Lean D
Indiana
Bayh (D) + 4
Lean D
Wisconsin
Feingold (D) + 3
Lean D
Pennsylvania
McGinty (D) + 0.4
Toss-up D
Nevada
Heck (R) + 1
Toss-up R
New Hampshire
Ayotte (R) + 1
Toss-up R
N. Carolina
Burr (R) + 2
Toss-up R
Missouri
Blunt (R) + 2
Toss-up R
Florida
Rubio (R) + 8
Lean R
AK,AL,AZ,GA,IA,KS,KY, LA,ND,OH, SC,SD

Solid R

HOUSE

As stated in prior House Snapshots, we at BTRTN have found a very strong correlation between the “Generic Ballot” (in which potential voters are asked which party they would vote for in a congressional election, without specifying candidates or a particular race).  Based on our regression equation and the Democrats current +6.2 advantage (based on six polls since “The Tape”), this BTRTN House Snapshot is a 23 seat pick-up for the Dems.  They would need 7 more seats in order to gain control of the House, and that is hardly out of the question at this point.  One poll already showed a 10-point gap.

Here is a rule of thumb for you:  every point in the generic ballot is worth roughly 3.5 seats (we don’t want to get too precise here).  The Dems need 30 seats to gain control, so their Generic Ballot has to be in the 8-9 range for the odds to reach about 50/50.

HOUSE SNAPSHOT
House
As of Sep 25
As of Oct 14
Generic Ballot
Dem + 3.6
Dem + 6.2



Democrats
202 (+14)
211 (+23)
Republicans
233 (-14)
224 (-23)

************************************

The full set of Senate races are below.  CAPS indicates a change in the rating. 

SENATE SNAPSHOT
State
Inc. Party
Incumbent
Dem
GOP
Poll Margin as of 10/15
BTRTN         Rating as of 10/15
Hold/Flip
Not running

46-54





California
D
Boxer
Harris
Sanchez (D)

Solid D
Hold
New York
D
Schumer
Schumer
Long

Solid D
Hold
Maryland
D
Mikulski *
Van Hollen
Szeliga

Solid D
Hold
Hawaii
D
Schatz
Schatz
Carroll

Solid D
Hold
Oregon
D
Wyden
Wyden
Callaghan

Solid D
Hold
Vermont
D
Leahy
Leahy
Milne

Solid D
Hold
Connecticut
D
Blumenthal
Blumenthal
Carter

Solid D
Hold
Washington
D
Murray
Murray
Vance

Solid D
Hold
Colorado
D
Bennet
Bennet
Glenn

Solid D
Hold
Illinois
R
Kirk
Duckworth
Kirk
D + 7
Lean D
Flip
Indiana
R
Coats
Bayh
Young
D + 4
Lean D
Flip
Wisconsin
R
Johnson
Feingold
Johnson
D + 3
Lean D
Flip
Pennsylvania
R
Toomey
McGinty
Toomey
D + 0.4
Toss-up D
Flip
Nevada
D
Reid *
Cortez Masto
Heck
R + 1
TOSS-UP R
Flip
New Hamp.
R
Ayotte
Hassan
Ayotte
R + 1
Toss-up R
Hold
North Carolina
R
Burr
Ross
Burr
R + 2
Toss-up R
Hold
Missouri
R
Blunt
Kander
Blunt
R + 2
Toss-up R
Hold
Florida
R
Rubio
(Murphy)
Rubio
R + 8
Lean R
Hold
Kentucky
R
Paul
Gray
Paul

Solid R
Hold
Ohio
R
Portman
Strickland
Portman

Solid R
Hold
Arkansas
R
Boozman
Eldridge
Boozman

Solid R
Hold
Iowa
R
Grassley
Judge
Grassley

Solid R
Hold
Georgia
R
Isakson
Barksdale
Isakson

Solid R
Hold
Kansas
R
Moran
Wiesner
Moran

Solid R
Hold
S. Carolina
R
Scott
Dixon
Scott

Solid R
Hold
Arizona
R
McCain
Kirkpatrick
McCain

Solid R
Hold
Utah
R
Lee
Snow
Lee

Solid R
Hold
North Dakota
R
Hoeven
Grassheim
Hoeven

Solid R
Hold
Oklahoma
R
Lankford
Workman
Lankford

Solid R
Hold
South Dakota
R
Thune
Williams
Thune

Solid R
Hold
Alabama
R
Shelby
Crumpton
Shelby

Solid R
Hold
Alaska
R
Murkowski
Metcalfe
Murkowski

Solid R
Hold
Idaho
R
Crapo
Sturgill
Crapo

Solid R
Hold
Louisiana
R
Vitter
  Dec runoff of
 24 D/R cands

Solid R
Hold



No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment