Swing State Pres

Monday, August 27, 2018

BTRTN: Dear Donald Junior...

I know this sounds crazy, but I actually feel sorry for Donald Trump, Jr. The advice I offer him here is sincere. Perhaps the internet will do its magic and he will actually read this.

Dear Donald, Jr.

I’ve been meaning to write you, pal. 

Deep down, I always have felt a certain amount of sympathy for those who are in dire straits, particularly those who do not seem to realize how deep and treacherous those straits are. I suppose if I can help someone less fortunate than I am, I owe it to the planet's ethical ecosystem to give it a shot. 

I mean, you Trumpsters must be way down in the dumpsters, man. Every day somebody flips. You might have been expecting Michael Cohen to go pancake on you, but Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s CFO? David Pecker, who’s got that scary catch-and-kill safe at the National Enquirer? And while White House Counsel Don McGahn did not "flip," I don't think he needed thirty hours of testimony with Mueller to say "no problems here at the White House -- all good!"

Heck, I half expect to turn on CNN and find out Melania is wearing a wire. At least that would explain the message on that jacket.

Last week, what counted for good news at the White House was that the Manafort, Cohen, and "flipper"  stories temporarily took Omarosa off the cable news circuit. I emphasize "temporarily." She's got books to sell and more tapes to play.

So Junior, feeling for you as I do, I am going to begin with a far, far more charitable assessment of your current predicament than just about any of my blue state, liberal, fake-news, deep-state friends would ever cut you.

I don't think you even knew you were committing a Federal crime.

Hey, you were just a guy brought up in the real estate business in New York City, and then one day somebody told you that you were one of the most senior guys in a campaign for President of the United States. I have a hunch that you didn’t do a whole lot of homework on your new role. 
  
So when you got an email from a Russian national promising wicked badass dish on Hillary Clinton, you did not know that taking a meeting would already be a violation of Federal law. You didn’t call up any lawyers to get their take, because you had no idea whatsoever that there could be anything illegal about it. You just jumped up and down with excitement because you knew that you had stumbled onto something that was sure to please dear old Dad. 

No, I don’t think that you intentionally broke the law. That would have required knowing the law, and, for that matter, having respect for the law. Neither are known to be a long suit in your household. My bet is that when you got that email from the Russkie, you couldn’t wait to let everybody in the Tower that you had landed a big scoop. That you were the stud reeling in the big phish. Not that smarmy gas-bag Paul Manafort. And certainly not Jared, that brother-in-law who Dad clearly seems to think is smarter than you are. I mean, damn, Dad asked Jared to fix all the world’s problems, and you were told to go back and pretend that you were running Trump Enterprises. Daddy likes Ivanka best, and you may be his second favorite, but only because Eric looks like such a loser.

So you couldn’t wait to let Daddy know about the potential gold mine of filth on Hillary, and he was mighty interested to hear about it. When you told him. Before the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting

I hate to say this, Junior, but Daddy appears to have set you up right from the beginning. I can just hear him. “Wow, Donny-Boy! You really hit the jack-pot with this one! Proud of you I am! Why don’t you call Paul and Jared and take the meeting. See what you find out. I’m, uh, busy that day, so you guys go ahead without me.”

You see, Junior, your Daddy has a keen sense of smell for turd piles, and he knew from the beginning that he shouldn’t be caught in meetings with Russians. So what does he do? Apparently, he did not say, “Son, you must consult a lawyer before you take that meeting.” He knew enough to stay away, so it would have been, well, fatherly of him to suggest that you check into the legal logistics of meeting with representatives of hostile foreign governments about information to be used to sway election results before you lined up the catering service.

But, no, he didn't do that. He told you that you’ve earned the right to pilot this particular kamikaze flight. You’re in charge, my son. So proud of you. Set the flaps for crash and burn.

But you were feeling pumped up kicks because Dad was so juiced about your coup. On June 7, 2016, your Daddy actually alluded to the big meeting you had planned for June 9 in a major campaign speech. Yes, two days before your Trump Tower meeting, he said this in a major public campaign speech:

“I am going to give a major speech on — probably Monday of next week — and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you’re going to find it very informative, and very, very interesting.” 

Spoiler alert: that “major speech” never happened. I guess now you know why.

So you went ahead and you rounded up Manafort, Kushner, and you took the meeting. I think you know the rest. Shit bullseye on fan. The stories coming out of the White House are changing faster than diapers at a Huggies test center, and they are every bit as messy.

It was a meeting about adoptions. Uh, actually no, it was not. On second thought, it was about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton, but we didn’t get any, so what’s big deal? Besides, it was not illegal to take that meeting because we had no idea she was even Russian, let alone a representative of the Russian government. Oh, she was a representative of the Russian government???  Who says that? Oh, it said that in the original email?  Anyway, the President had nothing to do with the White House statement that said the meeting was about adoptions. Well, he may have – c’mon, what Dad wouldn’t help his son out with some punctuation and grammar? It’s not like he actually dictated that release. Never! Wait, hold on. We’re getting new information. What? He did dictate that statement? Oops! Ok, scratch that denial, too, he did dictate that memo. But nothing matters, because nothing came out of the meeting! It never went anywhere, so we are totes cool! Nothing! Um... hold on. I am getting new information. Ok, may I rephrase that? "To the best of my knowledge," nothing came out of the meeting...
 
Junior, can I translate this for you, or should I just point out the skid marks from the bus tires left on your backside?

First, your Dad is telling people that you never told him about the Trump Tower meeting. In his August 5 tweet -- supposedly a defense of his “wonderful” son -- your father took enormous pains to make sure that the buck stops with you. He ended the tweet with an extremely emphatic "I did not know about it." It’s your meeting, Donny. So if someone ends up going to jail because of that meeting, who exactly does your Dad think it should be? “I did not know about it.”

But that's not all, Junior. Your Dad's got you coming and going.  After claiming that no one told him about the meeting before it happened, he offered that huge weasel -- that to the "best of his knowledge," nothing happened after. So if there was any follow-up, well, your Dad is putting all that on you, too.

Your Dad has made clear to you that he expects absolutely unwavering loyalty from you. That means that he expects you to tell Robert Mueller that you never told your Dad about the meeting before it happened, and never told him about any follow-up from the meeting. If either of those statements is not true, he expects you to take responsibility for them. Not him.

I once saw a video in which you were recounting a story from when you a very young boy. In that story, you recall how your father once told you that you should never trust anyone. Then, as you recount then story, he said "Do you trust me, your own father?" And you of course said yes, that you did trust him. He then scolded you for trusting him: "What did I just tell you? You didn't take the lesson."

There you have it, Donny-Boy. It made a big impression on you. Perhaps because it was the one time that your father told the truth. Even you, his son, should not trust him. 

Junior, you are a grown man. You have to open your eyes and see where this is going. Mueller is flipping your Dad's cronies like pizza dough, and he is closing in on you and Jared. Once he and New York State have you both on an wide array of federal and state crimes, your fate will be out of your hands. If you are counting on a pardon, you might want to finally consult a lawyer. Your Dad can't pardon the New York State crimes that Weisselberg and Cohen are chirping about, and if you get pardoned for Federal crimes, you no longer have the Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate yourself. You'll have to testify to the truth, or risk perjury charges. And, by then, your Dad may no longer be in office to pardon you all over again.

And if you have any doubt that Mueller has the goods on you, just go back and read your Dad’s tweet from August 5… you know, the one where he allocutes on your behalf and acknowledges that you met with a hostile foreign government with the intent of illegally gaining “something of value” for use in the campaign. Then go read the statute. Boy, it will be tough to plead not guilty when the President of the United States has provided State’s evidence against you.

Some day -- maybe not that far in the future -- the DOJ may well make a visit to your Daddy to say, “Mr. President, we have a great deal of evidence that you have engaged in bank fraud, money laundering, illegal campaign contributions related to payments intended to influence that outcome of the 2016 election, conspiracy to work with a hostile foreign government to undermine the 2016 election, and obstruction of justice. Moreover, we’ve got a strong case that your son and your son-in-law are guilty of crimes that could result in their spending the next two decades in federal prison." Wouldn't it be so much irony if Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein then closed the deal: "Mr. President, if you agree to resign your office immediately, we will not file the charges against members of your family.”

That’s when your father is going to decide who goes to jail. You. Or him. 

Donny, you were probably puzzled when you read the first paragraph of this letter and I said that I felt an obligation to help who were “less fortunate than I am.”  No doubt with all the golden toilet fixtures in Trump Tower, your assumed I must have vast wealth to make such a claim.

That’s not what I meant.

What I meant was that most Americans, by virtue of their family, their church, their community, and their schooling reach adulthood with guideposts for principled, ethical behavior and for playing by the rules. By those measures most Americans are infinitely more fortunate than you. We are given all the input we need to enable us to make our own decisions, informed by moral, ethical, and societal standards. I’m not saying that everyone makes every decision perfectly, but most of us were given the input we need to weigh decisions in light of those standards.

Through no fault of your own, you were not. Your father generally does not know legal from illegal or right from wrong, and in those rare cases that he does, he is inclined to chose illegal and wrong because he thinks cheating gives him a competitive advantage.

So you need advice about how to navigate the very dangerous waters that lie ahead, perhaps from someone who isn’t named Trump, owned by Trump, controlled by Trump, or lackey to Trump.

Here’s mine.

Your father is a corrupt, soulless, amoral cheat, but that’s not the part that bugs me. What bothers me is that he appears to be ready to flush his flesh and blood down the toilet to save his own butt. It seems to me that he has already communicated what his choice will be when it comes to saving his skin or yours. I urge you to re-read that August 5 tweet one more time.  

Remember that June 7 speech, Junior? How elated you were that your Dad was pumped up about your big June 9 meeting, and just couldn’t wait to see the dirt you’d be getting on Hillary?

He knew about the meeting, Donny. You told him about it.

You may soon be asked about this exact issue under oath.

When they ask what you know, do the right thing. Tell the truth. That’s all the advice you need. 

Because this will be different from the day you got the original email about meeting with Russians to get dirt on Hillary.

The difference will be, Donny, that this time you do know that it is a Federal crime to lie under oath. Like I said, I’ll cut you the slack for last time. But this time you'll know you are breaking the law. 

You’re in a very tough spot. This may have all started out as your father's mess, but now you have your very own pile. You own it. 

Not your Dad. You

I promise you: he is looking out for himself. Perhaps it is time for you to do the same.

From where you sit now, doing the best thing for yourself is to do the right thing

And while no one may have explained what the "right thing" is while you were growing up, now you know.


Best,

Steve

Thursday, August 23, 2018

BTRTN: It's My Pardon and I'll Try If I Want To


Sure, it was a big day on Tuesday, but giving Michael Cohen the all-cap headline may have buried the lead.

It’s my pardon, and I’ll try if I want to. You would try, too, if it happened to you. 

Yes, the Michael Cohen story is big, but we are not certain that it warranted the Men Walk on Moon headline treatment it got in The New York Times. If we learned anything from the Paul Manafort trial, it is that the courtroom testimony of an utterly corrupt serial liar who has just copped a plea can be eviscerated by a decent attorney. Putting Rick Gates on the stand actually weakened the government case. 

Michael Cohen is in the process of auditioning for leniency in his sentencing, and he wants to make sure that his Broadway debut is a smash. That personal touch that he was under no obligation to add to his allocution – “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office” – was crafted with every liberal media outlet in mind, with words and music by Lanny Davis.  
  
But if you want to know what has Donald Trump seriously agitated, compare his reaction to the two seismic court cases decided on Tuesday. 

All Michael Cohen got from the Big Orange was a sarcastic late morning tweet: “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” Ssssst- burn!

Paul Manafort, on the other hand, was treated like a returning prisoner of war who had refused to buckle under the relentless torture of a hostile adversary, but, ah… who is not John McCain.  Trump gave Manafort much better tweet: “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ - make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”

What gives? Why the shade for Cohen and the adulation of Manafort?

Trump’s own tweets give a rudimentary explanation: he perceives that Manafort remained loyal to him, and the Cohen sold him out. For a man who only cares about personal loyalty, that may be enough of an explanation.

But we here at BTRTN always think that there’s a bit more going on.

We suspect that this differing treatment reflects the relative degree of Kryptonite that Trump sees in the potential testimony of the two men.

If you listen to Donald Trump’s current stump speech, you will hear him trash Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “biased witch hunt” that, after all this time, has found “no collusion.” It is his mantra: “no collusion, no collusion, no collusion!” It is as if Donald Trump himself is setting out to narrowly define the only possible finding that should be of any consequence, the only act that rises to the level of a “high crime or misdemeanor.” In Trump’s world view, if Mueller were to find evidence of money-laundering, bank fraud, or that he paid for the silence of a porn star, none of that should matter. That is not what Mueller was charged to find. Evidence of those crimes would be tossed aside by Trump as evidence of the “witch hunt.” You can practically hear him: “Biased Mueller was supposed to investigate collusion, and couldn’t find any, so he is trying to reverse the 2016 election by searching through ancient history and digging up other things that don’t matter to the American people.” 

Donald Trump is essentially trying to define what constitutes an impeachable offense in as narrow a manner as possible: evidence that he had first hand knowledge of and proven participation in an conspiracy to collude with a hostile foreign power in a manner that changed the outcome of an election. 

And that is why he is much more focused on Manafort than Cohen.

It is reasonable to believe that if there was a direct conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, Trump was smart enough to never be directly involved. Indeed, it is likely that the only communication from the campaign to Trump about any such activity came through the two people with the most direct access to Trump: the head of his campaign, and his son. Manafort, and Donald Trump, Jr.

Trump may have long since promised Paul Manafort that if he kept his mouth shut throughout any and all legal proceedings, he would receive a pardon. And Trump has every reason to believe that his son would never, ever turn on him.

In other words, there are only two people on earth who could implicate Trump on the only thing that he views to be an impeachable offense. As of this minute, both are keeping up their end of the bargain.

But Paul Manafort has been locked away for a long time now, and whatever assurance he received from Donald Trump about a pardon must seem very shaky. Manafort is now looking at a very long stint in prison, and his second trial has not even started yet. 

Right now, this minute, he can still run to Robert Mueller’s team and sing about exactly what he told Trump about Russia… the meetings, the phone calls, and the substance. The June 9 Trump Tower meeting and any follow-up. The change in the Republican Platform at the convention. Anything and everything. He was there. He was in the room where it happens.

Or he can sweat out another trial and hope that this president, who now has a tracking record of throwing people under the bus, will keep his word.

Over in the other courtroom, Michael Cohen is overtly implicating Trump in a crime that also represents an illegal conspiracy against the United States to influence the outcome of a Presidential election. Trump’s bet, however, is simple. He doubts that the evenly divided United States Senate is going find the two-thirds majority to remove him from office simply because he paid for the silence of a porn star. 

He might be right.

At the end of the day, an equally divided U.S. Senate did not reach the two-thirds majority needed to remove Bill Clinton from office because he had sex with an intern.

In both cases, federal law was broken. Bill Clinton lied under oath. Donald Trump violated campaign finance law. But in both cases, the likelihood is that America would group both of these violations as “personal” transgressions that did not rise to the level of removal from office. 

Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, has been all over the cable news hinting that Cohen has information that would “be of interest” to Mueller’s investigation, but he’s been walking that one backward as much as forward. He seems to imply that Cohen has information of value about the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, but Michel Cohen did not even attend. And Davis took great pains to emphatically deny to Chuck Todd on MTP Daily that Michael Cohen was ever in Prague – which was the only aspect of the famous Steele dossier that tied Cohen to Russia. Lanny Davis seemed to be going out of his way to convey that Cohen was not involved in any potential Russian collusion issues, which would seem to be arguing that he is of less value to Mueller… not more.

In short, Trump may be concerned about what Cohen knows about past Trump business dealings and hush money, but he doesn’t think Cohen knows much about the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia. And that is the only thing that Trump worries would actually rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

So there you have the tale of two tweets. 

In the Cohen tweet, Trump was essentially sending word to his base that he wasn’t worried about his former lawyer.

But in the Manafort tweet, he was talking directly to his now convicted former campaign manager: “Don’t worry, big guy. I still love you. Don’t forget the promise I made. Stay with me, baby.”

So Trump’s only question now is when to issue Manafort’s pardon, and the logic is sooner rather than later. Much sooner. Maybe in the next few days.

Why?

First, timing. Trump figures that America is still not really paying attention to all of this in August. Get it out of the way fast. Don’t let it drift into the heart of the mid-term debate. 

Second: Trump has still seen absolutely no evidence that Republican leaders or his base would ever dare turn on him. He may be feeling that they would abandon him if he fired Mueller, but he will take his chance on this one. He hasn’t encountered any spine yet… why would he this time?

Third: Trump loves the pardon power, because it is his and his alone to wield. He does not need permission from anyone, and he does not need Congress to ratify it. It is one of the few things in the presidency that allows him to feel like the totalitarian ruler he wants to be. It’s his pardon, and he’ll try if he wants to.

Fourth: Trump knows that his base loves anything that drives the left bonkers. Trump would love to pardon Manafort just so his base could watch the left wing media landscape explode in a frenzy of legal scholars screaming “constitutional crisis” to Anderson Cooper. It's red state red meat.

Finally, Trump knows that he can’t afford to let Manafort to twist in the wind. Sure, Manafort took his chance on the trial, and it actually went far better than it should have. But eight guilty counts is still a ton of jail time, and Manafort may be getting edgy. Note that his lawyers did not come out of the court room and announce that they were going to “appeal this decision.” They said that they were going to “evaluate all options.” They may as well have been posting directly on Trump’s Twitter feed… “Hey, Mr. President, if you are going to pardon Manafort, NOW IS THE TIME!”

Sure, those legal scholars will point out that a person who has been granted a presidential pardon thereby loses their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. They warn Trump that if he pardons Manafort, then Mueller can force Manafort to testify under oath, with hefty perjury charges hanging over his every word. 

But if the only topic of such testimony that matters is the substance of any conversation that may have taken place between Trump and Manafort about Russian collusion, it sure appears that Manafort could navigate that with a few well chosen invocations of the time-honored “as best as I can recall,” and a few outright lies. The only other potential witnesses to such conversations are both named Donald Trump... senior and junior. What, me worry?

And if Mueller slams Manafort with a perjury charge, guess who gets another pardon?

So tune in.

Sometime in the next few days, Donald Trump may decide to roll the dice.

“It’s my pardon and I’ll try if I want to.”

Hey, you would try, too -- if the utter implosion of your presidency was happening to you.  

Monday, August 20, 2018

BTRTN Senate and House Mid-Term Snapshot: Still a Split Decision

Tom with BTRTN’s latest on the race for control of Congress.

The headline of our latest mid-term “snapshot” is that the basic dynamic remains the same:  the Democrats have an excellent chance to take over the House in November, and an outside chance to do the same in the Senate.

We have new proprietary BTRTN models that calculate the odds of the Democrats taking over each branch of Congress.  These odds will be updated frequently and sit atop our “right hand column” (as you can see).  If Election Day were today – and it is important to note this is not a prediction, just a snapshot of where things stand -- here are the latest odds of the Democrats taking over the House and the Senate in the 2018 mid-terms.

House
Senate
76%
16%

SENATE

The outlook for the Dems in the Senate has changed only marginally since our last update roughly a month ago.   We have changed only two race ratings, both due to more recent polling, and they offset.

BTRTN RATING CHANGES

7/14/18
8/20/18
Florida
D Toss Up
R Toss Up
Indiana
R Toss Up
D Toss Up

Despite the low odds, if Election Day were today, the Dems would actually pick up a seat, bringing the Senate to the tightest of possible splits, 50/50, with Vice President Mike Pence thus playing a very active role in the proceedings, breaking partisan ties in the GOP’s favor.  And if John McCain continues to be absent, this would put the GOP in the unusual position of being the majority party with minority representation.

We have the Democrats flipping three seats as of now: Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee.   But the GOP would hold on to the “majority” by flipping two of their own:  Florida and North Dakota.

Why are the Dems’ takeover odds so low – at 16% - if the current snapshot has them only one seat away?  Essentially, it’s because there are so many “toss-up” races -- six of them polling within the margin of error -- and we have the Dems a nose ahead in four of them.  To have them sweep so many close races – and they would need one more – would be quite a task.  The Dems are already doing well to be competitive in Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, which would have been unthinkable six months ago. And those 16% odds would be less than 1% if Alabama was still in GOP hands (thank Roy Moore for that).

Of course, it’s still very early and, in addition to those six “toss-up” races, there are six more we classify as “leans” (for a total of 12 truly competitive races).  We are nearing the end of primary season, and thus the fields are almost set.  But we have whole campaigns to run, “macro” shocks to consider, Donald Trump to contend with, money to raise, ground games to execute – eighty days and counting.

But as of now, here is the race-by-race rundown.  The 12 races that we consider to be truly competitive are in the middle of the chart, between the two purple lines.  Of course, these designations could change in the coming months and more (or fewer) races might be deemed “competitive.”

SENATE SNAPSHOT
State
Inc. Party
Incumbent
Democrat
GOP
2012 Margin
2016  Pres Margin
Recent Polls Avg
BTRTN Rating
CAL
D
Feinstein
Feinstein
de Leon (D)
D + 24
D + 30

D Solid
VER
I
Sanders
Sanders
Paige or Zupan
D + 46
D + 26

 D/I Solid
NY
D
Gillebrand
Gillebrand
Farley
D + 45
D + 23

D Solid
HAW
D
Hirono
Hirono
Curtis
D + 26
D + 32

D Solid
MARY
D
Cardin
Cardin
Campbell
D + 28
D + 26

D Solid
RI
D
Whitehouse
Whitehouse

D + 30
D + 16

D Solid
DEL
D
Carper
Carper

D + 37
D + 11

D Solid
MASS
D
Warren
Warren

D + 8
D + 27

D Solid
WASH
D
Cantwell
Cantwell

D + 20
D + 16

D Solid
NJ
D
Menendez
Menendez
Hugin
D + 18
D + 14

D Solid
MN
D
Klobuchar
Klobuchar
Newberger
D + 34
D + 2

D Solid
CONN
D
Murphy
Murphy
Corey
D + 12
D + 14

D Solid
MAINE
I
King
King (I)
Ringelstein (D), Brakey (R)
D + 22
D + 3

 I Solid (D)
MICH
D
Stabenow
Stabenow
James
D + 21
R + 0.2

D Solid
NMEX
D
Heinrich
Heinrich
Rich
D + 6
D + 8

D Solid
VA
D
Kaine
Kaine
Stewart
D + 6
D + 5

D Solid
PA
D
Casey
Casey
Barletta
D + 9
R + 1

D Solid
WISC
D
Baldwin
Baldwin
Vukmir
D + 5
R + 1

D Solid
OHIO
D
Brown
Brown
Renacci
D + 5
R + 8

D Solid









WV
D
Manchin
Manchin
Morrisey
D + 25
R + 42
D + 12
D Lean
MN (SP)
D
T. Smith*
T. Smith
Housley
D + 10
D + 2
D + 9
D Lean
MONT
D
Tester
Tester
Rosendale
D + 4
R + 20
D + 8
D Lean
ARIZ
R
Flake (ret.)
Sinema
McSally
R + 4
R + 4
D + 4
D Lean
IND
D
Donnelley
Donnelley
Braun
D + 6
R + 19
D + 5
D TU
NEV
R
Heller
Rosen
Heller
R + 1
D + 2
D + 1
D TU
TENN
R
Corker (ret.)
Bredesen
Blackburn
R + 35
R + 26
D + 1
D TU
MO
D
McCaskill
McCaskill
Hawley
D + 16
R + 19
Even
D TU
FLA
D
Nelson
Nelson
Scott
D + 13
R + 1
R + 2
R TU
NDAK
D
Heitkamp
Heitkamp
Cramer
D + 1
R + 36
R + 5
R TU
TEXAS
R
Cruz
O'Rourke
Cruz
R + 17
R + 9
R + 6
R Lean
MS (SP)
R
Hyde-Smith*
Espy
Hyde-Smith
R + 22
R + 18
R + 2
R Lean









MS
R
Wicker
Baria
Wicker
R + 17
R + 18

R Solid
NEB
R
Fischer
Raybould
Fischer
R + 16
R + 25

R Solid
UTAH
R
Hatch (ret.)
Wilson
Romney
R + 35
R + 18

R Solid
WYO
R
Barrasso
Trauner
Barrasso
R + 54
R + 46

R Solid
* Tina Smith replaced Al Franken, who resigned in 2018
** Cindy Hyde-Smith replaced Cochran, who resigned in 2018
  

HOUSE

The Democrats continue to be in strong shape.  The latest generic ballot – the single biggest predictor of House seat gains and losses – continues to show a commanding Democratic lead, at +4.5%.  Our BTRTN models, which have been highly predictive in the past, and use the generic ballot as a key variable, indicate a +37 seat gain for the Democrats, and a 76% chance of taking over the House, by a 230-205 margin.

Using an average the six rating services (Cook, Sabato, CNN, RCP, IE and Daily Kos), we find that there are 92 competitive races among the total of 435.  Of these 92, 80 of them are held by GOP incumbents (including two vacancies that were held by Republicans).  The Democrats only need to flip 23 of them – or, more precisely, net a +23 out of the 92, to take control of the House.

Here is a list of those 92 seats, which, as noted, split 80/12 for the GOP.  We’ve also noted the 25 GOP districts that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, as well as our current BTRTN race ratings, which are ranked from most likely to be won by the Democrats to the least likely.  You can use this chart to determine which districts you can focus on with your volunteer efforts.

(And finally, a shout out to Ed Case, a fellow Williams College graduate, who just won the Democratic primary for Hawaii’s 1st District.  Ed represented that district from 2002-2007, and should easily win the general election in November to return to the seat.)

State
Dist.
Incumbent Party
GOP districts won by HRC in '16
BTRTN        Number Rating as of 8/18/18
194 D - 236 R
92
80 R / D 12
25

New Jersey
2
R

D Likely
Pennsylvania
5
Vacant
HRC
D Likely
California
7
D

D Likely
New Jersey
5
D

D Likely
Pennsylvania
6
R
HRC
D Likely
Minnesota
7
D

D Likely
Pennsylvania
8
R

D Likely
Florida
7
D

D Likely
Arizona
1
D

D Lean
Nevada
4
D

D Lean
Florida
27
R
HRC
D Lean
Nevada
3
D

D Lean
New Hampshire
1
D

D Lean
Virginia
10
R
HRC
D Lean
Arizona
2
R
HRC
D Lean
New Jersey
11
R

D Lean
California
49
R
HRC
D Lean
Pennsylvania
7
R
HRC
D Lean
Pennsylvania
17
D

D TU
Michigan
11
R

D TU
California
39
R
HRC
D TU
Iowa
1
R

D TU
Minnesota
1
D

D TU
Minnesota
2
R

D TU
Minnesota
8
D

D TU
Washington
8
R
HRC
D TU
Kentucky
6
R

D TU
Texas
23
R
HRC
D TU
California
10
R
HRC
D TU
California
25
R
HRC
D TU
California
48
R
HRC
D TU
Colorado
6
R
HRC
D TU
Florida
26
R
HRC
D TU
New Jersey
7
R
HRC
D TU
New York
19
R

D TU
New York
22
R

D TU
Illinois
12
R

D TU
Iowa
3
R

D TU
Kansas
2
R

D TU
Minnesota
3
R
HRC
D TU
Virginia
7
R

D TU
Illinois
6
R
HRC
D TU
North Carolina
9
R

D TU
Texas
7
R
HRC
D TU
California
45
R
HRC
D TU
Kansas
3
R
HRC
D TU
Michigan
8
R

D TU
Texas
32
R
HRC
D TU
Pennsylvania
1
D
HRC
D TU
Maine
2
R

R Lean
Wisconsin
1
R

R Lean
Ohio
12
R

R Lean
New Mexico
2
R

R Lean
Ohio
1
R

R Lean
Utah
4
R

R Lean
Virginia
2
R

R Lean
Washington
5
R

R Lean
West Virginia
3
R

R Lean
Nebraska
2
R

R Lean
Arkansas
2
R

R Lean
North Carolina
13
R

R Lean
Montana
1
R

R Lean
New Jersey
3
R

R Lean
New York
11
R

R Lean
Virginia
5
R

R Lean
Georgia
6
R

R Lean
Florida
16
R

R Likely
Illinois
13
R

R Likely
Illinois
14
R

R Likely
California
21
R
HRC
R Likely
Michigan
7
R

R Likely
New York
1
R

R Likely
Pennsylvania
10
R

R Likely
Washington
3
R

R Likely
Florida
18
R

R Likely
Georgia
7
R

R Likely
New York
24
R
HRC
R Likely
Pennsylvania
16
R

R Likely
Texas
21
R

R Likely
California
4
R

R Likely
Florida
15
R

R Likely
Florida
25
R

R Likely
Indiana
2
R

R Likely
Michigan
6
R

R Likely
Ohio
14
R

R Likely
Wisconsin
6
R

R Likely
California
50
R

R Likely
Florida
6
R

R Likely
Michigan
1
R

R Likely
North Carolina
2
R

R Likely
S. Carolina
1
R

R Likely
Texas
31
R

R Likely