This article on the 2018 election will largely focus on which races impact political parties and movements the most. In Part 1, the races that were deemed most important were determined on their ability to put fourth strong candidates whether conservative or liberal. And so we saw a lot of Senate races such as the Missouri Senate race that has has the chance to send the next Rand Paul to DC. This is a more difficult metric to explain. Part 2 has a greater focus on races that will impact elections to come. Consequentially, we will see fewer Senate races than in Part 1 and more gubernatorial races. Part 2 focuses more on local control and state party ambitions that ultimately effect national party politics.
Governor – Maryland
While Maryland is a deep blue state, this race is a rare must-win for Democrats. The consequences of losing are great, potentially lasting decades. Confusing? Every ten years the US conducts a census. After 2010, Governor Martin O’Malley gerrymandered Maryland even more. And Marylanders, being uninformed, voted in favor of the redistricting in 2012. Democrats used gerrymandering to acquire a stranglehold on Maryland politics. The bicameral state legislature are two glorified houses, as the Maryland Senate isn’t actually a Senate. Maryland, I would argue, is the most gerrymandered state in the country.
Maryland congressional districts however are designed to maintain this stranglehold mixing different regions into the same district just to limit Republicans to D-1 which they made more Republican. Governor Hogan won the governorship in 2014 on a limited issues campaign. Marylanders didn’t want to knowingly vote for continued increase in taxes. Larry Hogan wanted to redraw the district lines but the legislature refused him, so he needs to get reelected to have a chance at redrawing the lines or wait for the SCOTUS to act in his favor on the issue. In redrawing the lines he could not only, ungerrymander Maryland from a congressional standpoint but also from a legislative standpoint. As previously stated, the Maryland Senate is a second House of Delegates. The democrats masterfully hold a super majority in Annapolis and can override a veto. Hogan could redraw the district lines to take away this supermajority thus making Maryland a more fairly represented state. Republicans can expect at very least one Congressmen if Hogan succeeds.
In opposition, Democrats have various candidates in a slow but soon to heat up primary battle. It’s a tough race for them as Hogan is well-liked.
US Senate – West Virginia
West Virginia is a very blue collar state. Once upon a time, Democrats championed the blue collar working class. As noted by Glenn Beck, Democrats have abandoned this in favor of identity politics, a strategy that has lost them several seats. Still Virginia in 2012 reelected their likable Joe Manchin. West Virginia elected Manchin and Capito with over 60% of the vote on election day. Likability and authenticity matter in West Virginia more than other places. That being said, they love Trump there, and Manchin’s opposition to Trump puts his seat at risk.
The two most serious contenders are Evan Jenkins and Patrick Morrisey. Morrisey was Bannon-backed and has been called on by Jenkins to disavow the his support. This should be a heated primary battle but the steaks are high for both parties in this race. If the Democrats lose, it could be because their brand is so tainted on a national level. This could cost them a Senate seat for decades to come. If the Republicans win, they can more easily hold on to for decades. All it takes is authenticity and a seriously tainted Democrat brand. Democrats losing this race would signal their loss of support among regular working class people, something, if they are smart, would not want to lose.
Governor – New Hampshire
On a state level, New Hampshire is a battleground between Republicans and Democrats. During a presidential election, it narrowly votes Democratic. This battle is a test of party strength and organization. The blue patch that is the north east could see a red fungus emerge and spread to Maine and Vermont. That fungus could be New Hampshire. This race leans in favor of Chris Sununu being reelected. If successful, New Hampshire could become a red state in years to come, especially as Democrats revert to a more identity politics strategy. I would argue that identity politics is not a winning strategy in a state that is 93% white. It’s an ambitious task to make New Hampshire red but well worth it to break the Democrat monotony in the north, especially as these states are sending some of the most liberal candidates to DC.
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Statewide – Texas
The Census is just around the corner and it looks like Texas stands to gain the most representation in Congress. Texas could see two or even three new representatives for the 2022 elections. In Texas, the state legislature is tasked with drawing district lines. Republicans hold firm grip on Texas, and that is unlikely to change. Governor Abbott will likely be reelected, but will Democrats make enough gains in the state legislature to disrupt the redistricting? Likely not. Still, the possibility of three new districts should make Texas a priority for Republican/ Conservative. The “Blue Wave” will likely be shortlived, if it even exists, partially due to reapportionment among states.
Statewide – Florida
In keeping with the theme discussed in Texas, Florida also stands to be the benefactor of reapportionment among states. They stand to gain one or two. In Florida, the legislature draws both the Congressional and state legislative districts. Only the Congressional lines are subject to Governor veto. Now this isn’t an argument in favor of gerrymandering. In fact, as noted by MCIMaps, Florida’s current map is more fair than the prior. But with an extra district, the question arises as to how to divide Florida’s population as evenly as possible.
While redistricting may not result in a GOP gain, the GOP should be invested in maintaining a swing state that Trump won especially as Democrats alienate themselves with middle America. The Democratic hold on minorities, specifically hispanics isn’t nearly as strong ballot-down as evident in D-26 and D-27. Republicans hold a key advantage and should seek invest heavily in turning this swing state red.
US Senate – Tennessee
The Washington Post published an article entitled “The Democratic Party is basically on life support in these 10 states” where it explains that the GOP dominates ten states on an extreme level. Tennessee is one of those states. The Democrats may, however, have a savior in Tennessee. As noted by NOQ’s Paige Rogers, this race is winnable for Democrats:
How popular is Phil Bredesen? He secured his second term as governor winning 100% of the counties in Tennessee. So, then, what might his odds of be at winning a Senate seat? Consider a 2011 Nashville poll. Bob Corker was currently running for re-election (2012 election cycle) to the Senate. The poll sought to weigh the odds of a hypothetical contest between the then-outgoing governor (Phil Bredesen) and the current Senator Bob Corker for Corker’s own Senate seat. The poll’s sampled voters chose Phil Bredesen over Bob Corker by 46 to 41 percent. Given voters’ overall distrust of career Republicans, a distrust to which Bob Corker undoubtedly contributed, coupled with Bredesen’s authenticity and conservative record, he may very well be the golden ticket.
Although this race also fits the metric used in Part 1, the distress the Democrats face in Tennessee makes this race important on both metrics. Democrats ought to skip the primary and throw all their chips in with Bredesen.
US Senate – North Dakota
This seat is held by Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in a state where, like Tennessee, the Democrats are also on life support. For Democrats, this seat is sort of a must win, if they want to keep a foothold in middle America and North Dakota. The GOP on the other hand would like to stick a fork in their opposition and this seat presents the best way to accomplish that in North Dakota. Heitkamp is well funded going into this race signalling that her supporters see the dire situation as well. States that voted Trump are somewhat hostile territory for liberal Senators. The GOP is much more organized and dominant on a local and state level which goes to show just how bad 2012 was for them. To Conservatives, this is one of several races to correct the Romney-Republican errors. To Democrats, it’s about not being pushed into New York and California. Heitkamp is one of their most winnable contests in Trump states come 2018 election. They really cannot afford to lose especially as the Senate is priming for Conservatives. For Democrats, this is a must win.
Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
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Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
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