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Mapping the Senate in the midst of midterm elections

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Mapping the Senate in the midst of midterm elections

There’s never a stoppage of talk about a Blue Wave in politics. The midterm elections are the rallying beacon for the left. Ever since Democrats acknowledged Trump would assume the Whitehouse, winning the 2018 elections has been a top priority and a great source of rhetoric. In history, there are numerous occasions where the party in power loses midterm elections, leading to all sorts of political havoc. But this doesn’t happen every time. In 2010, Obama lost the House, stopping much of his agenda in its tracks from a legislative point of view. But is Trump doomed to the same fate? In the House, the answer is less certain. The vast amount of open seats gives measure to unpredictability. The Senate, on the other hand holds the power of impeachment and should Democrats really want Trump removed, they would need control.

Current Senate: 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats

North Dakota

The first seat that the Democrats will likely lose is North Dakota. The GOP had nearly twice as many votes than the Democrats in the primary. Heidi Heitkamp won a high turnout election in 2012 by a slim margin of 1%. She needs to build upon that to survive, but can she against a very formidable opponent? Kevin Cramer was also elected to Congress that same year. He won with 12248 more votes than Heitkamp received in a victorious election for the Democrats. In North Dakota, the congressional district is at-large meaning the Senate race and the Congressional race is virtually the same in that the candidate must have statewide appeal in order to win. Cramer has proven his appeal to voters achieving 233980 votes in 2016, 72643 more votes than Heitkamp received. Cramer has the same race, but a different opponent. It is likeliest that North Dakota turns red out of every blue seat. The math just doesn’t look good for the Democrats. On top of that, Heitkamp voted against confirming Kavanaugh, a move that signaled concession.

West Virginia

Joe Manchin has toted a moderate stance, but West Virginia is becoming more Conservative. Joe Manchin, on the other hand is attached to the ever left moving Democratic party. Patrick Morrisey doesn’t seem to have the same post-primary momentum that his counterparts in Trump voting states have had. This can be attributed to Joe Manchin’s likability and his ability to make moves that pander to his voters. His lone Democrat vote for Kavanaugh was a populist move, both cowardly and brave at the same time. It may, in fact, save his campaign. On the flip side, the left may snub Manchin seeing very little difference between the two. This race is a tossup.

Wisconsin

The Primary Election yielded the strongest candidate for the GOP’s chances in November, in stark contrast to Indiana. Leah Vurkmir already has the backing of the well organized Wisconsin GOP, the same GOP that successfully campaigned for Scott Walker during his recall election. This same level of organization already found favor with the more conservative Vurkmir who handily crushed her primary against despite what polling had to say. She’s got game and doesn’t have major scandals holding her down. The Democrats neglected Wisconsin in 2016. So the Republicans better have capitalized off of Hillary’s idle hands. Vurkmir is a great test for the prowess of the GOP in Wisconsin. She makes this race a tossup.

Arizona

This race began with a lot more promise. However, the emergence of Martha McSally does not bode well for Republicans. She is one of the most left leaning Senate candidates among Republicans, and she doesn’t have the military background that John McCain won with, though she is a veteran herself. It’s very likely that many Republicans snub their noses at this obvious RINO of a candidate. The Democrats on the other hand are nominating a candidate who actually supported Kate’s Law, so were dealing with a Joe Manchin level of Democrat rather than a Claire McCaskill. It doesn’t quite energize any bases to have two similar candidates. However Krysten Sinema’s true colors are coming out. Despite a seemingly moderate time in Congress, she is being revealed as far left. She has made statements bashing her own state and the country. As a result, McSally may be pulling ahead. But still this race is a tossup.

Florida

In 2016, the Republicans used the more likable Marco Rubio to maintain the Senate seat. They look to employ the same strategy with Governor Rick Scott. Rick Scott knows how to outperform polling which is what Republicans need in such a time as this. He is capable of winning statewide elections and faces a three term Senator. The GOP can’t run with anything less than a complete professional level campaigner. The Florida GOP is also more organized, similar to Wisconsin. The GOP knows how to win the state and is in the process of solidifying Florida as a red state. Most experts have this race as a tossup, which is why I give the edge to Rick Scott.

Texas

Social media is gunning for Cruz’s seat. Unreliable polls have this race as close. But can the guy who thinks that kneeling for the anthem is patriotic really win a state like Texas? I doubt it. But Ted Cruz will have to work for his reelection, which he will probably enjoy doing. Trump will come to Cruz’s assistance later in the campaign to solidify Trump voters with Cruz. I think Beto’s chances are hyped but losing by single digits are in the realm of likelihood. Ted Cruz will win, especially with Abbott running for reelection.

Indiana

Joe Donnelly won in 2012 due to facing a weak candidate Mike Braun came out of one of the worst Senate primaries of the GOP. Should he win, it would be achievement of the Indiana GOP to carry such a poor candidate to victory. But Trump won Indiana by 20 points. This is a hard race for Donnelly to win, yet Donnelly isn’t the most left Democrat. He is closer to a Manchin than Feinstein, but that might change with his no vote on Kavanaugh. This unpopular move is hard to justify in a state that swung for Trump so heavily. The Indiana GOP should be glad he voted no. Donnelly sabotaging his own chances is way more likely than Braun running a sealed campaign. This race is a tossup.

New Jersey

Bob Menendez may have survived charges related to his corruption, but is one of the most unpopular Senators in the country. Powerful allies have turned on him. Because of his meteoric unpopularity, this race can be considered a tough one. Still New Jersey is heavy on the leftism and Conservatism is little known there. Bob Hugin is no Conservative but will give Menendez a good run if nothing else. Its hard to imagine Republicans stealing a seat in the New Jersey, but its also hard to vote for blatant corruption even if you are a pussy hat wearing soy boy. I think Hugin will lose by a only a slim margin.

Ohio

Jim Renacci was a terrible candidate from the beginning despite easily winning his primary. Trump’s team handpicked him, and he has done nothing to capitalize off this endorsement. Since the primary he has had terrible poll numbers, but the bigger problem is his lack of advertising. The Blaze reports on his lack of ads:

Brown, evidently understanding the seriousness of the challenge from Renacci after Trump won Ohio in 2016, has spent freely on television and radio ads — roughly 25 times more than Renacci has in the time since the May primary.

Brown has spent $12.5 million since May, compared to only $481,000 from Renacci (which paid for ads that ran in June statewide). In 2012, Josh Mandel spent $12 million on broadcast ads in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Brown.

State Republicans can’t figure out what Renacci’s strategy is by spending so little on ads.

Still if Renacci was good for one thing it’s the actions that inspired headlines like this Republican Jim Renacci Defends Decision To Fly On Strip Club Owner’s Private Plane To Meet Religious Leaders. Sherrod Brown saw the red wave and acted accordingly.

Montana

Jon Tester is another Democrat Senator holding a seat where Trump won bigly in 2016. However, like Indiana, this race seems to be a race to the bottom. Jon Tester is an underperformer but Matt Rosendale is seen as a carpetbagger. Rosendale is having some trouble campaigning, so it seems. Perhaps Tester voting against Kavanaugh and Gorsuch will give Rosendale an edge, like Braun in Indiana. Other factors in this race include a potential Libertarian spoiler candidate. This race is a tossup, but perhaps a debate between the candidates will change the tide.

Nevada

This is the second most likely seat to flip blue. Dean Heller is the only Republican up for reelection in a state carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Dean Heller is looking for a Kavanaugh bump in what looks like a dead heat of a race. His challenger, Jacky Rosen, is also looking for a Kavanaugh bump. She is the Left’s best potential reinforcement in the Senate. Along with Kavanaugh, Rosen is hedging a bet on Obamacare to sink Heller. It’s a risky strategy, but ultimately this race will be a referendum on these two issues. The California pollution is a major disadvantage for the Republicans in Nevada, rendering their incumbent in a tossup.

Missouri

Claire McCaskill is another unpopular Democrat Senator. Her opponent, Josh Hawley is the darling of the Missouri GOP. This race had major implications from the beginning thus invited a large field of candidates for the primary. Josh Hawley is a likable candidate who won’t make a legitimate rape comment that gave McCaskill the seat in the first place. He even avoided campaigning with a controversial pastor. He doesn’t want people to not like him, thus he waited a long time within his campaign to clearly articulate his positions. Josh Hawley is the Missouri Marco Rubio and should carry the GOP across the finish line. There is a lot of money riding on this election. Other factors in this race may be the confusion with the lawsuit surrounding Missouri’s voter ID law. This race is a tossup on paper, but Hawley will likely take it.

Tennessee

Can the Democrats take this seat away from Republicans? Yes? Tennessee is the third of three seats that have a possibility of flipping blue as part of the Blue Wave? The only problem for leftist is that Phil Bredesen isn’t all that leftist and a victory in this race is not an indication that the country is embracing socialist or anticapitalist policies. Rather Phil Bredesen is perhaps a political unicorn: fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Paige rogers write this much prior to him winning his primary.

Under his tenure, the fiscally conservative Bredesen understood and respected Tennesseans’ preference for low taxes over “government goodies” and did not attempt to force more taxes down our throats. Tennessee also requires a balanced budget, which basically means that the state can’t spend more than it takes in. In a 2011 exit interview, he remarked, “As long as you’re willing to tell people there are certain things you can’t do — you can’t have Massachusetts services and Tennessee taxes … [then there’s an understanding] that Tennessee’s future lies more in being a low-tax state and accepting the level of services that implies.” And so, under the taxation-restrictive environment of Tennessee, he made the most of what he had to work with.

The threat to the GOP is real. Bredesen has even stated that he would have voted for Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, the overrated pop star Taylor Swift is shelling out for him calling Marsha Blackburn, a woman, bad for women. Tennessee is a red state, and Trump supports Marsha Blackburn. Bredesen is playing the Joe Manchin card, but Project Veritas released a video implicating his moderate act as a lie. These are critical advantages. But this race is close. This race is a tossup.

Michigan

John James is a fantastic candidate on paper and a savvy campaigner, but that was in the primary. He will need a lot more than that if he wants to flip a union heavy state. Michigan went for Trump but that was very telling of how bad Hillary Clinton was rather than how popular the Republicans are. If the Republicans win in Michigan, then the Red Wave would be catastrophic. This race is winnable. Tom Rogan describes this race as one to watch.

And it’s clear the Stabenow campaign is growing increasingly concerned. Their focus has shifted away from broad appeals to Michigan voters and toward a narrative that the Republican Party wants to penalize Americans with pre-existing health conditions. It’s a basic fear strategy, devoid of factual foundation, but one they hope will be enough to shut down James’ lead.

And with Kid Rock due to campaign for James next week, the Democrats want to blunt James’ rise before he can catalyze it. James finished very strongly in his primary, after trailing his main GOP opponent for most of the race, and he’d like to pull off a similar feat next month.

Perhaps a Kavanaugh bump paired with some solid campaign ground game will deliver the upset. Just maybe he might do it. But for now, this is a blue seat.

Before Election Day Republicans 42 Democrats 23


I considered this map very liberal (not Left) with its use of tossups. At a glance, the GOP already secures 49 seats, two fewer seats than what they currently hold. A Democratic majority would require the Democrats to win all 9 toss up races along with securing the competitive races that aren’t tossup. The Democrats max out at 51, maybe 52 if they drum up some rape allegations on Ted Cruz; it’s approaching that time in the race if they are going to do that. In contrast the Republicans max out at 59, all of the tossups and a W in both New Jersey and Michigan.

Democrats

Andrew Gillum concedes to Ron DeSantis in Florida gubernatorial race

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Andrew Gillum concedes to Ron DeSantis in Florida gubernatorial race

It was arguably the most watched gubernatorial race in the nation this past midterm election season and it didn’t disappoint. It took a recount and multiple lawsuits to finish, but in the end Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum.

The mayor of Jacksonville finally conceded for the second time today, nearly two weeks after election day. He already conceded once on election fight.

Andrew Gillum concedes in Florida governor’s race for second time

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2018/11/17/andrew-gillum-concedes-florida-governors-race-second-time/2041301002/In a four-minute video posted live on Facebook, Mayor Gillum stood with his wife R. Jai, a Tallahassee park in the background and both dressed in Florida A&M University orange and green. Gillum first thanked his supporters. Then, he officially acknowledged Republican Ron DeSantis as the winner.

“R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida,” Gillum said in the video posted at about 5 p.m.

DeSantis Tweeted acknowledgement of the concession.

Florida is a bellwether for the 2020 presidential election. The closeness of the race and the apparent corruption in the state means both parties have a lot of work to do. The state needs to get their act together before then as well.

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Democrats

Stacey Abrams doesn’t concede in her non-concession speech

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Stacey Abrams doesn't concede in her non-concession speech

Republican Brian Kemp will be the next governor of Georgia. He defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams by receiving 50.2% of the vote, negating the possibility of a runoff election.

Abrams isn’t happy about it. She said today she’s unwilling to concede but acknowledged that Kemp would be certified as the winner. In a strange political doublespeak way, she fought back against a system that prevented her from rightfully winning.

Or something.

Bottom line: She lost. She, President Obama, and Oprah Winfrey failed to get her enough voters to win the election. Whether she actually concedes or not is irrelevant.

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Democrats

Kamala Harris pushes fraudulent ‘petition’ to build her 2020 fundraising spam list

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The worlds of marketing and political campaigning have many things in common. Their intention is to persuade people. They’re both selling something. They employ tested colors, designs, and buzzwords to get people excited. One of the keys to their success is something called “list-building.”

With ballots from the 2018 elections still being counted, Senator Kamala Harris is wasting no time building her 2020 list. To do it, she’s employing a deceptive technique, promoting an online “petition” that’s really nothing more than a way to get people to willingly give her campaign their contact information. These people will be targeted with campaign fundraisers later.

No official announcement has been made about her 2020 presidential run, but it’s hard to believe she’s not running after purchasing 1,100 Facebook ads to promote these “petitions.” A Facebook ad doesn’t have a set cost, but we can assume big money is being put into these list-building ads because of the sheer volume. To put it into perspective, Beto O’Rourke spent around $5 million on Facebook ads for his Senate campaign. Presidential campaigns can easily spend 25 times as much as an expensive Senate campaign.

Unlike a valid petition people often sign to get a candidate or proposition on a ballot, these list-building petitions don’t actually do anything. People are told they’re demanding this action or that, but in the end they’re just giving over information. Some go so far as to ask for everything, including name, address, phone numbers, email, and occasionally even income. These lists grow much more slowly because of the depth of the information requested.

A more common technique is to ask for minimal data to encourage people to fill it out. At the end of the day, all a campaign really needs is an email address they can later use in fundraising campaigns. Here’s an example of an ad Senator Harris’ campaign recently put out:

Kamala Harris Petition

The meta data reveals the page was titled, “Acquisition: 180822 Mueller FB.”

“FB” means it was a Facebook campaign. “Mueller” was the topic. “180822” is the tracking number for A/B testing. “Acquisition” is the goal. Anyone who signed this “petition” has just had their contact information acquired. Mission accomplished. They will soon be receiving emails asking them to donate to the Kamala Harris 2020 presidential election fund.

As for the results of the “petition,” they will go nowhere. There won’t be a Congressional action that is enabled by the thousands of people who “signed” it. You won’t see Kamala Harris standing in front of the White House reading off the names of the people who participated in the “petition.” She couldn’t do that even if she wanted to because the “petition” only asks for a first name. Are there really people out there who believe signing a petition only requires a first name?

Senator Harris is promoting fraudulent petitions with the sole purpose if building her 2020 fundraising spam list. Anyone who “signs” it believing they’re demanding protection for Robert Mueller is a sucker. That’s exactly who she wants to target.

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