Monday, November 5, 2018

BTRTN Official 2018 Midterms Predictions: Trump Will Be Repudiated in a Great, If Not Perfect, Night for the Dems

Tom with BTRTN’s official word on how Election Night will go.

Note:  If anyone wants our famous BTRTN Election Night Scorecard spreadsheet, so you can easily follow all 506 elections (435 House, 35 Senate and 36 gubernatorial), please email us at borntorunthenumbers@gmail.com and we will send it along.

OUR TRACK RECORD

We’ll start with our credentials.  Why should you pay any attention to BTRTN?  We’ve been forecasting elections since 2008, when we started by getting every state right in the Senate and all but two states in he Obama-McCain presidential race.  Out of more than 2,000 elections since then (now including all presidential, House, Senate and gubernatorial races), we've been right 96% of the time, missing the mark in fewer than 100 of those races.  And we’ve been nearly spot on in forecasting gains and losses in the House, as the chart below illustrates.

Year
Total Elections

House Gains
Total Races
# Correct
% Correct

BTRTN Prediction
Actual Outcome
2008
91
89
98%

n/a
n/a
2010
471
453
96%

R + 58
R + 63
2012
524
502
96%

D + 4
D + 8
2014
507
488
96%

R + 10
R + 13
2016
537
519
97%

D + 5
D + 6
2017
8
6
75%

n/a
n/a
Total
2138
2057
96%

n/a
n/a

Like others, we got it wrong in the 2016 Presidential election, when Donald Trump overcame the odds (and the polls, in just a few crucial states) to win the presidency, even though he lost the popular vote by 2.1% (which the national pollsters and aggregators got just about right).  But we hold our track record up with anyone, and despite the 2016 fiasco, we have not hedged our bets any more than our models, tempered by our judgment, would have done otherwise.  As you shall see.


THE PREDICTIONS

The chart below summarizes the outcomes.

House
Senate
Governors
% chance D takeover
78%
6%
n/a
D/R Split
231/204
49/51
25/25
Dem gain
D + 38
No change
D + 9

We foresee:

·         The Dems gain +38 seats, taking control of the House with some breathing room to spare, and coming away with a 231/204 advantage.  The Dems end up winning 22 of the 33 “toss-up” races, but some of these take days before a winner is declared.  By any definition, this represents a giant repudiation to Trump and certainly counts as a “blue wave.”   But keep in mind, those toss-up races are close, and thus there is a 22% chance (1 in 5) the GOP retains the House.

·         The GOP holds onto the Senate and keeps their current 51/49 advantage.  Of the eight races truly in play, the Dems manage to flip both Nevada and Arizona, but the GOP will offset those losses by turning North Dakota and Missouri.  The Democrats hold onto Indiana and Montana, but despite valiant efforts, they lose in single digits in the deep red states of Texas and Tennessee.

·         The Dems pick up a healthy +9 gubernatorial seats, turning a whopping 16/33/1 state house deficit into a 25/25 split, exceptionally marked progress and welcome news on so many fronts, not the least of which is with a census and redistricting battles ahead.

Our final ratings (chart below) underline exactly how crucial these toss-up races are in the outcomes.  In the House, the Dems can’t take control without winning at least 9 of those 33.  In the Senate, not only must the Dems win all six of them, but they need to pick off one of the “leaning GOP” seats (Tennessee or Texas) as well to get to 51 – that’s what makes the odds of a Dem Senate takeover so low.  And in the gubernatorial races, they need to take 6 of the 9 toss-ups to get to a majority, which would be a symbolic turning point.

Understand that “toss-up” does not mean “50/50.”  If the Dems are ahead by a point or two, as they are in many of these races, they are statistically the favorite.  It is just that if the Dems hold a slim lead, within the margin of error, the GOP does have at least a decent statistical chance of winning those races.  But being even slightly ahead in the toss-ups gives the Dems a clear leg up.

What could upset the House applecart, the linchpin of Dem hopes to control Trump and begin a blue turnaround?  It would have to take new shock news tonight to truly make a difference, an epic “November surprise.”  Or perhaps a systemic sampling error.  Or an incredibly larger than expected GOP turnout.  None of this is very likely, and, while anything is possible, we stick by our predictions.

BTRTN FINAL RATINGS: 11/5/2018
HOUSE

SENATE

GOVERNOR
DEM TOTAL
231

DEM TOTAL
49

DEM TOTAL
25
Dem Solid
185

Dem Holdover
23

Dem Holdover
7
Dem Likely
18

Dem Solid
21

Dem Solid
8
Dem Lean
6

Dem Lean
0

Dem Lean
5
Dem Toss-up
22

Dem Toss-up
5

Dem Toss-up
5
GOP Toss-up
11

GOP Toss-up
1

GOP Toss-up
4
GOP Lean
7

GOP Lean
2

GOP Lean
1
GOP Likely
25

GOP Solid
6

GOP Solid
13
GOP Solid
161

GOP Holdover
42

GOP Holdover
7
GOP TOTAL
204

GOP TOTAL
51

GOP TOTAL
25


EVERY RACE

Below is the prediction for each and every Senate and Governor race, and all of the competitive House races.  Keep an eye on the races “in play,” that is, with the outcome at least somewhat in doubt (the “leans”, “likelies” and “toss-ups”).  They are clearly identified in the charts.

THE SENATE

The Dems chances of winning the Senate are now vanishingly small.  We see the range of outcomes as follows:

Dem Seats
% Chance
52
1%
51
5%
50
20%
49
34%
48
27%
47
11%
46
2%

What it really boils down to, is the Dems have to win four races that at this point show less than a 1% margin – Arizona, Nevada, Missouri and Indiana – plus win either Texas or Tennessee, which they trail by 5-6 points in the latest polling, a very, very tough hill to climb.

It is excruciating predicting a race where the average polling margin is less than one point and, as stated, we have four of them.  The Dems could end up with anywhere from 47 to 50 seats, and, while none of those likely outcomes gives them control of the Senate, every seat they flip or hold onto makes a huge difference in the GOP’s ability to get the judges they want on the bench.  The GOP still has Lisa Murkowski (who voted against Kavanaugh) to contend with, as well as the (kind of) moderate Susan Collins and the pesky Ben Sasse.  Fifty Dem seats makes the Senate far more difficult for Mitch McConnell to navigate than 47.

At this point we have the Dems holding onto to their 49 seats, the “mode” probability outcome.  Here are all 35 races, sorted from most to least likely Dem win.  Again, pay attention to those highlighted races in the middle of the chart, those that are “in play,” the six toss-ups plus red-leaning Tennessee and Texas.

BTRTN SENATE PREDICTIONS
State
Inc. Party
Incumbent
Democrat
GOP
Recent Polls Avg
BTRTN Rating
CAL
D
Feinstein
Feinstein
de Leon (D)

D Solid
VER
I
Sanders
Sanders
Paige

 D/I Solid
NY
D
Gillebrand
Gillebrand
Farley

D Solid
HAW
D
Hirono
Hirono
Curtis

D Solid
MARY
D
Cardin
Cardin
Campbell

D Solid
RI
D
Whitehouse
Whitehouse
Flanders

D Solid
DEL
D
Carper
Carper
Arlett

D Solid
MASS
D
Warren
Warren
Diehl

D Solid
WASH
D
Cantwell
Cantwell
Hutchison

D Solid
MN
D
Klobuchar
Klobuchar
Newberger

D Solid
CONN
D
Murphy
Murphy
Corey

D Solid
MICH
D
Stabenow
Stabenow
James

D Solid
MAINE
I
King
King (I)
Ringelstein (D), Brakey (R)

 I Solid (D)
NMEX
D
Heinrich
Heinrich
Rich

D Solid
VA
D
Kaine
Kaine
Stewart

D Solid
PA
D
Casey
Casey
Barletta

D Solid
WISC
D
Baldwin
Baldwin
Vukmir

D Solid
OHIO
D
Brown
Brown
Renacci

D Solid
WV
D
Manchin
Manchin
Morrisey

D Solid
NJ
D
Menendez
Menendez
Hugin

D Solid
MN (SP)
D
T. Smith
T. Smith
Housley

D Solid
MONT
D
Tester
Tester
Rosendale
D + 5
D TU
FLA
D
Nelson
Nelson
Scott
D + 3
D TU
IND
D
Donnelley
Donnelley
Braun
D + 1
D TU
NEV
R
Heller
Rosen
Heller
D + 1
D TU (Flip)
ARIZ
R
Flake (ret.)
Sinema
McSally
Tie
D TU (Flip)
MO
D
McCaskill
McCaskill
Hawley
R + 1
R TU (Flip)
TEXAS
R
Cruz
O'Rourke
Cruz
R + 6
R Lean
TENN
R
Corker (ret.)
Bredesen
Blackburn
R + 5
R Lean
NDAK
D
Heitkamp
Heitkamp
Cramer

R Solid (Flip)
MS (SP)
R
Hyde-Smith
Espy
Hyde-Smith

R Solid
MS
R
Wicker
Baria
Wicker

R Solid
NEB
R
Fischer
Raybould
Fischer

R Solid
UTAH
R
Hatch (ret.)
Wilson
Romney

R Solid
WYO
R
Barrasso
Trauner
Barrasso

R Solid


THE GOVERNORS

This will be an excellent result for the Democrats; they are almost certain to pick up +4 governorships, most likely +9, with a shot at +13.   There are fully nine “toss-up” races and we have the Dems winning six of them.  That includes Florida and Ohio where they have reasonably strong +4 leads.  There are five races where the margin appears to be one point or less”:  Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas and Nevada.

BTRTN GOVERNOR PREDICTION
State
Inc. Party
Incumbent
Democrat
GOP
Recent Polls Avg
BTRTN Rating
HAW
D
Ige
Ige
Tupola

D Solid
NY
D
Cuomo
Cuomo
Molinaro

D Solid
CAL
D
Brown
Newsom
Cox

 D/I Solid
RI
D
Raimando
Raimando
Fung

D Solid
PENN
D
Wolf
Wolf
Wagner

D Solid
ILL
R
Rauner
Pritzker
Rauner

D Solid (Flip)
MINN
D
Dayton
Walz
Johnson

D Solid
MICH
R
Snyder
Whitmer
Scheutte

D Solid (Flip)
MAINE
R
LePage
Mills
Moody
D + 8
D Lean (Flip)
NMEX
R
Martinez
Grisham
Pearce
D + 7
D Lean (Flip)
COL
D
Hickenlooper
Polis
Stapleton
D + 5
D Lean
CONN
D
Molloy
Lamont
Stefanowski
D + 4
D Lean
OR
D
Brown
Brown
Beuhler
D + 4
D Lean
FLA
R
Scott
Gillum
DeSantis
D + 4
D TU (Flip)
OHIO
R
Kasich
Cordray
DeWine
D + 4
D TU (Flip)
WISC
R
Walker
Evers
Walker
D + 2
D TU (Flip)
IOWA
R
Reynolds
Hubbell
Reynolds
D + 1
D TU (Flip)
KAN
R
Colyer
Kelly
Kobach
D + 1
D TU (Flip)
GA
R
Deal
Abrams
Kemp
R + 1
R TU
NEV
R
Sandoval
Sisolak
Laxalt
R + 1
R TU
ALASKA
I
Walker*
Begish
Dunleavy
R + 1
R TU (Flip)
SDAK
R
Daugaard
Sutton
Noem
R + 2
R TU
OKL
R
Fallin
Edmondson
Stitt
R + 7
R Lean
ARI
R
Ducey
Garcia
Ducey

R  Solid
NH
R
Sununu
Kelly
Sununu

R  Solid
VER
R
Scott
Hallquist
Scott

R Solid
SC
R
McMaster
Smith
McMaster

R Solid
TENN
R
Haslam
Dean
Lee

R Solid
MARY
R
Hogan
Jealous
Hogan

R Solid
IDA
R
Otter
Jordan
Little

R Solid
ALAB
R
Ivey
Maddox
Ivey

R Solid
TEX
R
Abbott
Valdez
Abbott

R Solid
NEB
R
Ricketts
Krist
Ricketts

R Solid
ARK
R
Hutchinson
Henderson
Hutchinson

R Solid
MASS
R
Baker
Gonzalez
Baker

R Solid
WYO
R
Mead
Throne
Mead

R Solid
*  Walker is also on the ballot as an Independent, but he is trailing the major party challengers by a wide margin.


THE HOUSE

Here are the 89 House races that are “in play,” including the 33 that are “toss-ups.”  You can see which races are pick-ups for each party, which net to a gain of 38 seats for the Dems (including a few changes in “solid” races not shown). 

BTRTN HOUSE PREDICTIONS
State
Dist.
Incum. Party
Latest Polls
BTRTN Rating 11/2
Dem Net Pickup


235 R / 193 D


38
Pennsylvania
17
D
D + 12
D Likely

Pennsylvania
8
R
D + 12
D Likely
+ D
California
7
D

D Likely

Minnesota
7
D
D + 7
D Likely

Florida
7
D

D Likely

Arizona
2
R
D + 1
D Likely
+ D
Arizona
1
D

D Likely

New Hampshire
1
D
D + 7
D Likely

California
49
R
D + 7
D Likely
+ D
Iowa
1
R
D + 10
D Likely
+ D
Pennsylvania
7
Vacant
D + 5
D Likely
+ D
Colorado
6
R
D + 9
D Likely
+ D
Minnesota
2
R
D + 8
D Likely
+ D
Minnesota
3
R
D + 5
D Likely
+ D
New Jersey
11
R
D + 8
D Likely
+ D
Virginia
10
R
D + 11
D Likely
+ D
Kansas
3
R
D + 12
D Likely
+ D
Nevada
4
D
D + 2
D Likely

New Jersey
7
R
D + 6
D Lean
+ D
Utah
4
R
D + 7
D Lean
+ D
North Carolina
2
R
D + 9
D Lean
+ D
Florida
27
R
D + 7
D Lean
+ D
Nevada
3
D
D + 2
D Lean

Michigan
11
R
D + 3
D Lean
+ D
Illinois
6
R
D + 2
D TU
+ D
California
10
R
D + 2
D TU
+ D
California
45
R
D + 2
D TU
+ D
Washington
8
R
D + 3
D TU
+ D
California
48
R
D + 1
D TU
+ D
New York
19
R
D + 3
D TU
+ D
Texas
32
R
D + 4
D TU
+ D
Illinois
14
R
D + 6
D TU
+ D
Pennsylvania
16
R
D + 4
D TU
+ D
Georgia
6
R
D + 2
D TU
+ D
Minnesota
1
D
D + 2
D TU

Pennsylvania
1
D
D + 2
D TU

Florida
26
R
D + 1
D TU
+ D
Virginia
5
R
D + 1
D TU
+ D
California
39
R
D + 1
D TU
+ D
Iowa
3
R
D + 1
D TU
+ D
Maine
2
R
D + 1
D TU
+ D
New Jersey
3
R
D + 1
D TU
+ D
California
25
R
D + 2
D TU
+ D
New York
22
R
Tie
D TU
+ D
Kentucky
6
R
Tie
D TU
+ D
Florida
15
R
Tie
D TU
+ D
Texas
7
R
R + 1
R TU

Kansas
2
R
R + 1
R TU

Alaska
1
R
D + 1
R TU

Montana
1
R
Tie
R TU

Michigan
8
R
R + 3
R TU

New Mexico
2
R
R + 2
R TU

Virginia
2
R
R + 3
R TU

Virginia
7
R
R + 1
R TU

Pennsylvania
10
R
R + 1
R TU

North Carolina
9
R
R + 1
R TU

North Carolina
13
R
R + 3
R TU

Illinois
12
R
R + 9
R Lean

Minnesota
8
D
R + 7
R Lean
+ R
Georgia
7
R
R + 6
R Lean

New York
27
R
R + 6
R Lean

Ohio
1
R
R + 9
R Lean

Ohio
12
R

R Lean

Wisconsin
1
R

R Lean

Arizona
8
R

R Likely

Arkansas
2
R
R + 12
R Likely

California
4
R

R Likely

California
21
R

R Likely

California
50
R
R + 3
R Likely

Colorado
3
R

R Likely

Florida
6
Vacant

R Likely

Florida
16
R

R Likely

Florida
18
R

R Likely

Florida
25
R

R Likely

Illinois
13
R
R + 5
R Likely

Michigan
6
R

R Likely

Michigan
7
R

R Likely

Missouri
2
R

R Likely

Nebraska
2
R
R + 9
R Likely

New York
1
R
R + 8
R Likely

New York
11
R
R + 4
R Likely

New York
24
R
R + 14
R Likely

Ohio
14
R

R Likely

Texas
21
R

R Likely

Texas
23
R
R + 15
R Likely

Washington
3
R
R + 7
R Likely

Washington
5
R

R Likely

Iowa
4
R

R Likely

West Virginia
3
Vacant
R + 7
R Likely




2 comments:

  1. Love your site, Tom ... looking forward to seeing how your predictions work out tonight! Dave Bennett

    ReplyDelete
  2. Night-time 11/8, 2 days after mid-terms. The Brothers Gardner and guests came closer than most other expert blogs to absolutely nailing the House and Governor outcomes (about one off each)! Steve's lyrical prose great complement to Tom's math mind. This blog rules...Pass it on Peter Hillman

    ReplyDelete

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