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Teixeira: State ‘O The Race

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

With the DNC starting tomorrow, this seemed like a good time to check in on the state of the Presidential race, looking at the most salient aspects based on available data.

Modeled Forecasts

Princeton Election Consortium: 93 percent probability Biden win
Economist: 89 percent Biden win
538: 72 percent Biden win

Electoral Vote Forecasts:

Princeton Election Consortium: 356-182 Biden
Economist: 350-188 Biden
538: 325-213 Biden

There are many other EV assessments outside of the modeled forecasts. They generally have Biden over 270 because they see him taking back MI, PA and WI. Assignment of other states varies and the overall split is affected by how many states they don’t call but put in a “toss-up” category.

National Biden-Trump Trial Heat Averages

CNN: 52-41 Biden (+11)
538: 51.2-42.5 Biden (+8.6)
RCP: 49.8-41.9 (+7.9)

State Biden-Trump Trial Heat Averages

Too much data to list here. But places where you can get trial heat averages for states of interest are 538, RCP, CNN and CBS Battleground. Currently, in 538 Biden is ahead in every state Clinton carried in 2016 plus: AZ, FL, MI, NC, OH, PA and WI.

National Vote/Electoral Vote Split

This remains a real possibility but probably less of one than in 2016. Evan Scrimshaw remarks at Decision Desk HQ: “[Nate Silver’s] estimates, at the launch of the model, say that Wisconsin is the tipping point state, and that a 1.9% Democratic lead nationally would be enough to win the state, down from the 2.8% it would have taken in 2016. In other words, Trump’s vaunted Electoral College advantage is now small enough that a Hillary Clinton margin of popular vote victory would be enough to win the Electoral College this time – at least, more often than not. A 2% Democratic lead is a ways away from the current high single digit averages, and even if there has been some recent movement, it is a lot easier to close a lead from ~11 to ~9, and incrementally harder to move it every unit after.” Harry Enten notes: “If the live interviews polls [are] exactly correct, the difference between the tipping state in the electoral college (i.e. state containing the median electoral vote plus one) and the national vote would be under two points and perhaps closer to one point. It was nearly three points in 2016. A slightly under two-point gap is much more in-line with what has happened historically.”

Polling Error

There was significant polling error in key states in 2016, primarily because state polls that did not weight by education undersampled white noncollege voters. That has generally been corrected this year. Also,there is little evidence that large numbers of “shy Trump voters” are being missed by polls, as a number of recent pieces have noted. Finally, with the kind of lead Biden has, any plausible polling error would not affect the outcome. Of course, if the race gets very, very tight, anything is possible.

Turnout

Various indicators suggest that turnout should be very high this year. Michael McDonald, a leading expert on voter turnout and director of the US Elections Project says, “. “I expect voter turnout to be exceptional, perhaps the highest in over a century, since 1908.” It’s very difficult to gauge how much Trump’s obvious efforts to interfere with mail balloting, which is expected to skew Democratic, might affect turnout, as opposed to simply delaying the vote count. Mail balloting can also have higher spoiled ballot rates, which might also have some effect on ultimate Democratic totals.

Nonwhite Voters

Recent polling suggests that black, Hispanic and Asian support for Biden is firming up, where previously it had been running a little behind Clinton’s 2016 margins. Turnout of these groups is difficult to gauge in advance, but it would not have to be particularly robust to surpass that of the 2016 election. Also, it is worth noting that even if nonwhite turnout and support did not budge over 2016 levels,, Biden could still carry MI, PA and WI simply on the basis of underlying shifts in the population of eligible voters. Thus what is essential for Biden is less exceptional performance among nonwhite voters than reasonable performance among these voters, coupled with a Trump failure to expand his margin among white noncollege voters.

White Noncollege Voters

Biden is running 10-15 margin points ahead of Clinton among this demographic. Since Trump probably loses the election if he fails to expand his 2016 lead (+31) among these voters, Biden’s success in significantly cutting Trump’s margin, if maintained, is a death knell for Trump’s chances. As an illustration, since nonwhite college voters will be such a large group in the 2020 electorate, if Biden cuts Trump’s advantage by 10 points among this group (5 points more for Biden, 5 points less for Trump), that shifts the election 4.2 points in Biden’s direction nationally. The effect would be larger in midwest states like MI, PA and WI where the white noncollege population is significantly larger. In contrast, increasing black turnout by 5 points (assuming no other group’s turnout increases) would add .8 percentage points to Biden’s margin nationally, more or less in specific states depending on how large their black eligible voter share is.

White College Voters

Polls indicate Biden is running ahead of Clinton’s margin (+7) among white college voters by perhaps 5-10 margin points. Pew had Biden’s margin at +23 among this demographic but I suspect this is an outlier. As a rule, any given improvement in Biden’s margin among white college voters is worth about 30-45 percent less (depending on state) than an equivalent improvement in his margin among white noncollege voters.


Dems Face Daunting Challenges in Wisconsin

Wisconsin, where Democrats had slated their national convention in Milwaukee, presents a particularly difficult challenge for Democrats in 2020. As Mark Joseph Stern writes in his article, “The Most Important Thing Democrats Can Do in Wisconsin: If Democrats want to win Wisconsin this time, they’ll need to make sure Biden supporters can actually vote” at slate.com:

Stern recounts the horror story that Wisconsin voters encountered in the April primary elections, including the unanticipated rush on absentee ballot requests, the sudden shortage of older poll workers, the consolidation of poling places from 182 to 5, long lines and hours of exposure to Covid-19 infections.

Making matters more problematic, however, in June, “a federal appeals court upheld most of Republicans’ restrictions on ballot access, including a stringent voter ID requirement. Anyone requesting an absentee ballot for the first time will have to provide a copy of an acceptable ID. (State or federal employee IDs don’t qualify, nor do out-of-state driver licenses.) And everyone who votes absentee must procure a “witness” to watch them fill out the ballot, then sign the envelope. The Republican-controlled Legislature has refused to relax this witness requirement in light of the pandemic. But the commission has confirmed that a witness can watch through a closed window or over video chat to reduce risk of exposure.”

It got even worse. “The federal appeals court upheld another contentious constraint on voting: It approved a Republican measure that slashed in-person early voting to just two weeks, down from six in some urban areas.” Stern notes that Milwaukee will have 16 early voting sites, but “Anybody who votes in person will have to bring their ID, and poll workers can ask that they remove their masks for identification purposes. Voters who obtain their ballot through the mail can drop them off at an early voting site.”

“If the state faces another shortage of poll workers,” Stern writes, “Gov. Tony Evers may order members of the state’s National Guard to staff polling places.” Further,

There is another menace lurking in the background of Wisconsin’s coming election: A Republican law firm has urged the court to purge 129,000 people from the voter rolls. It claims, falsely, that state law requires the immediate purge of any voter flagged by an error-prone program designed to identify residents who may have moved. But the court will not hear arguments in the case until 34 days before Election Day. As one notoriously fringe-right justice has noted, this schedule effectively guarantees that the court won’t issue a decision before Nov. 3, keeping those 129,000 on the rolls at least through the election.

But there is still one issue that looms large: the counting of absentee ballots. Like every other swing state except North Carolina, Wisconsin bars election officials from even opening these ballots until Election Day. If the state counts Election Day votes first, then turns to absentee ballots, it will create a blue shift: The returns on election night may give Trump a lead that slowly disappears. A Marquette University Law School poll released on Tuesday showed that Wisconsin Democrats are 3.5 times more likely than Republicans to vote by mail. The poll gave Trump an Election Day lead of 67–26, yet showed Biden winning the state by five points. Trump’s assault on mail-in voting seems to be polarizing voters, guaranteeing a major blue shift if absentee ballots are counted after Election Day votes. The president could seize upon this shift to reject the legitimacy of the results if he loses.

Stern notes that some Wisconsin cities have set up a “central count location,” a strategy which worked “successfully” in Madison on Tuesday. “If everything goes right, then, Wisconsin should avoid the kind of massive blue shift that gives Trump room for chicanery.” Stern adds that “Wisconsin is now well positioned to handle a surge in absentee ballots. Plus, the state allows voters to register at the polls on Election Day, so anyone who can’t navigate the absentee process has a fallback option.”

Although Republicans have majority control of the state legislature, Wisconsin now has a Democratic governor, Tony Evers overseeing the election process as much as possible, which is a hell of a lot better than Republican Scott Walker, who was governor in 2016. Wisconsin Democrats are now on high alert for GOP voter suppression ploys, which will likely be unrelenting in the weeks ahead. It may be that the scaling back of the national Democratic convention in Milwaukee gives Wisconsin Democrats a little more breathing space to check Republican voter suppression. Still, a record-breaking early voter turnout of Wisconsin Democrats will provide the best insurance.


Teixeira: Nationscape Trial Heat Results in Every Swing State!

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Here are the results from the last 12 waves of the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape survey (6,000 respondents a week) for every state that has been considerably even vaguely swingish in this election cycle. I order the trial heat results from largest Biden margin to least.

NM +25 Biden
NH +19
NV +17
VA +15
ME +14
CO +13
MN +12
WI +10
MI +8
AZ +8
PA +7
FL +7
GA +4
NC +3
TX +3
OH -1`
SC -1
IA -3

Interesting, eh?


Dreier: 2020 Voters Prefer Solutions to Polarizing Distractions

So how did Trump’s efforts to crank up racial polarization between city and suburban residents pan out? In “Trump’s Racist Appeal To The Suburbs Is Backfiring,” Peter Dreier, author of Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century, writes at Talking Points Memo:

President Donald Trump has failed to build a physical wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but now he wants to build another wall — between America’s cities and their suburbs. In recent weeks he’s sought to stoke white resentment with inflammatory rhetoric directed at white suburbanites. But so far they don’t seem to be buying what Trump is selling…On July 23, Trump tweeted a message targeted to what he called “The Suburban Housewives of America.” He warned that “Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better.”

…Of course, the real purpose of Trump’s statements was not to inform Americans about some little-known, technical housing policy but to tell his political base that he opposes government efforts to address racism in any form. It banked on the idea that his statements would whip up fear among white suburban voters that, unless they re-elect him in November, they will confront a massive invasion of Black and Brown people into their communities. These statements were not a subtle dog whistle. They were a blast from a megaphone.

But recent polling data indicates that his efforts are predicated on some flse assumptions:

According to a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll, conducted July 29 and 30, over half of white Americans (55%), and clear majorities of Black Americans (92%) and Latino Americans (72%), disapprove of Trump’s combative response to the nationwide protests. The numbers aren’t much better among Trump’s supposed base. Among white non-college educated Americans only 42% believe that the presence of federal agents improves the situation. Over a third (37%) of this group think that Trump has made the situation worse. Moreover, 66% of Americans believe that Trump has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis, up from 54% in March.

Although Trump tailored his message to “suburban housewives,” the reality is that most suburban women now work outside the home. And polls suggest the President is in trouble with these voters. A Fox News poll conducted July 12–15 asked likely voters who they intended to vote for in November. Among suburbanites, Biden led Trump by a 47% to 38% margin, but among suburban women, Biden’s margin was even wider — 55% to 32%…According to a recent New York Times/Sienna College poll, 14% of voters in six battleground states (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina) who supported Trump in 2016 say they won’t likely support him again this year. They are mostly suburbanites.

Recent election results also suggest that Trump’s polarizing approach is not working:

The trends don’t look good for Trump. In the 2018 midterms, voters delivered the House to the Democrats, mostly by flipping Republican seats in the suburbs. According to an analysis by Dan Balz of the Washington Post (which I updated to include California’s contested 21st Congressional District) Democrats won 38 of the 69 suburban districts that had been held by Republicans. The Democrats not only picked up seats in the densely-populated suburbs adjacent to cities but also in the more sparsely populated suburbs, according to an analysis by Geoffrey Skelly of FiveThirtyEight. In both cases, these are suburbs that include low-income people, people of color, and middle-class professionals of all races. For example, Lucy McBath, an African American woman and liberal Democrat, flipped a Congressional seat in an overwhelmingly white suburban district outside Atlanta. In fact, all nine African Americans who were elected to Congress for the first time in 2018 represent predominantly white and mostly suburban districts. Last November, Democratic candidates for the Virginia legislature, county boards in Pennsylvania, Kentucky governor, and elsewhere prevailed by winning suburban voters in traditionally Republican areas.

“Like most Americans,” Dreier concludes,  “suburbanites want a president who will address the COVID-19 pandemic, expand health care coverage, improve the economy with more good-paying jobs, deal with the impacts of climate change, provide more funding for both K-12 schools and higher education, renew respect for the U.S. around the world, and deal with Americans’ common problems rather than stoke division.”


Abramowitz: Pandemic Simplifies Election Forecast in 2020 – and It Looks Bad for Trump

In his article, “It’s the Pandemic, Stupid! A Simplified Model for Forecasting the 2020 Presidential Election,” Alan I. Ibramowitz writes at At Sabato’s Crystal Ball:

My “time for change” election forecasting model relies on three predictors to forecast the outcomes of presidential elections: The incumbent president’s approval rating in late June or early July, the change in real GDP in the second quarter of the election year, and a dummy variable based on whether a first-term incumbent is running for reelection. This time for change factor reflects the fact that first-term incumbents like President Trump generally enjoy a significant advantage even after controlling for their approval ratings and economic conditions.

There are good reasons to expect that two of these predictors — the change in real GDP in the second quarter and the time for change dummy variable — will not perform as they normally do in 2020. Although the U.S. economy is currently experiencing a severe downturn, with real GDP plunging by an almost unprecedented amount in the second quarter, voters do not appear to hold the incumbent president responsible for this. That is undoubtedly because the recession was deliberately induced in order to try to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Thus, despite a massive rise in unemployment and decline in real GDP, President Trump’s approval ratings on handling the economy have generally remained positive.

Abramowitz, author of The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump, writes that “Given the concerns described above, for the 2020 presidential election, I am using one predictor to forecast the results: the incumbent president’s net approval rating in late June…Along with the current forecast, I will present conditional forecasts based on the president’s net approval rating in late October.” For now, he concludes:

When an incumbent president is running for a second term, the election is always largely a referendum on the president’s record during his first term. Normally, an important component of that record is the performance of the U.S. economy, especially during the first half of the election year. In 2020, however, due to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on American society and on the economy, it appears likely that the presidential election will turn much more on the president’s handling of that pandemic. By the summer of 2020, the public’s assessment of the president’s handling of the pandemic had turned decidedly negative.

It also appears unlikely that President Trump will enjoy the electoral advantage that normally accrues to first-term incumbents. Partisan polarization has drastically reduced the ability of incumbent office-holders at all levels to appeal to voters across party lines. Moreover, unlike previous incumbents, Trump has made little effort to expand his base of support during his time in office.

Based on these considerations, I have presented a simple incumbent referendum model for forecasting the outcome of the 2020 electoral vote. The president’s net approval rating of -15 percent in late June yields a forecast of a decisive 319-219 vote victory by Joe Biden in the Electoral College. Yet the model still gives Trump about a 30% chance of winning the election due to uncertainty about what will transpire between June and November. However, if Trump’s approval rating remains at -15 in late October, the model predicts an even more overwhelming defeat with 361 electoral votes for Joe Biden to only 177 for the president. At that point, Trump would have only a 9% chance of winning the election according to the model.

All in all, it’s an encouraging forecast for Democrats. But it is not a signal to relax, because Republicans in all swing states are already mobilizing to suppress pro-Democratic voters as much as possible – the wild card in the 2020 election.


Teixeira: Now That You Mention It, Biden’s Running a Pretty Darn Good Campaign

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

John Cassidy has a good article at The New Yorker site praising Biden’s “big tent” strategy. He talks about three big challenges Biden is surmounting:

1. Uniting the Democratic Party after a chaotic primary season.
2. Fashioning a coherent response to the tumultuous events of 2020
3. Avoiding giving Trump an easy target

On #3, he breaks it down this way, with the help of some fellow named Teixeira:

“The third challenge that Biden faced was to avoid giving Trump an easy target. The pandemic has made the dodging part easier. Hunkered down in Wilmington, Biden largely has left the President to dig his own hole—which he has done, ably. But Biden has also reached out to Trump Country. The first of his Build Back Better speeches was delivered in Rust Belt Pennsylvania: it included calls to restore American manufacturing and “buy American.” As well as adopting some of the language of economic nationalism, Biden has rejected certain progressive proposals, such as defunding the police and enforcing a complete ban on fracking, that might alienate moderate whites in battleground states.

This is smart politics, Ruy Teixeira, a polling expert and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told me. Despite the changing demographics of the United States, whites who don’t have a college degree still make up about forty-four per cent of the eligible electorate, according to Teixeira; in some places, such as parts of the Midwest, the figure is even higher. “You cannot cede massive sections of the electorate if you want to be successful politically,” Teixeira said.

In 2016, Trump carried the white non-college demographic by thirty-one percentage points at the national level, according to Teixeira’s analysis of exit polls and election returns. Biden has narrowed the gap to twelve points, Teixeira said, citing a recent survey. That is similar to the margin in 2008, when Barack Obama defeated John McCain and the Democrats increased their majorities in both houses of Congress. As it is often defined, the Obama coalition consisted of minority voters, college-educated white liberals, and young people. Teixeira pointed out that Obama’s ability to restrict McCain’s margin in the white non-college demographic was also important, and if Biden matched that feat in November, he said, it could be of enormous consequence. “This is not the only thing that is going wrong for Trump,” Teixeira said, “but it is the thing that could give the Democrats the big victory that they need to govern effectively.”

None of this means that Biden is a lock for the Oval Office. Between now and November 3rd, something could conceivably shift the momentum against him, such as a Vice-Presidential pick that backfires, a major slipup in the debates, or a surprising economic upturn. Right now, though, the challenger’s strategy of keeping the focus on the incumbent and pitching a broad tent that accommodates anyone who wants to see the back of Trump is working well.”

Data note: despite my best efforts, they managed to garble my description of the data sources. The 2016 data are from the States of Change project and have nothing to do with the exit polls; we modeled data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, the Census’ American Community Survey and election returns down to the county level. The 2020 data are from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape weekly surveys and are based on surveys from May 1 onward, a total of 43,000 cases.

That said, still a great article!


Teixeira: Violent Protests Used by Trump Must Stop

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is excerpted from his facebook page:

OK, Enough Is Enough

Really, these violent street demonstrations need to stop. They’re accomplishing nothing other than giving Trump a gift. From Bob Kuttner:

“Trump, with the aid of Bill Barr, has come up with the diabolically clever ploy of sending his private federal army into cities whose mayors don’t want the help, ostensibly to protect federal property and prevent violence.

Everyone knows this is a sham, intended to provoke more violence and depict Trump as a law-and-order president. But—wouldn’t you know it—the extreme fringe of the far left is playing into Trump’s hands, aided by a few angry poor people smashing downtown windows. Some people dressing up as antifa may even be right-wing provocateurs.

Mayors are caught in this crossfire. Some were the original targets of protests that were mostly peaceful, but with violent fringes. Now, people are in the streets, mad at everybody….

Asking our far-left comrades to exercise some self-discipline is a fool’s errand. The extreme left loves moments like this. As they used to say, it “heightens the contradictions” of the capitalist system, and brings us closer to the revolution.

Read some fricking history, people. Read about the German communists in the early 1930s who confidently declared, “After Hitler, Us!”

So enough already! And I might add, anyone who is participating in this nonsense, or even supporting it, should be ashamed of themselves.


Walter: Sorting out the Political Benefits of ‘Confrontation’ or ‘Compassion’

At The Cook Political Report, Amy Walter ruminates on the choices 2020 voters are facing as regards “confrontation or compassion.”

…Does America really want an empathic president who will return our lives to the pre-pandemic normalcy? Do they reject the premise that returning to traditional government with its long-standing structural deficiencies is the answer? Do they want to continue with the change that a Trump presidency has provided or a return to a more stable status quo that Biden would represent?

The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggests that Americans are pretty evenly divided on these questions. When asked about the type of candidate they’d prefer for President and Congress, 44 percent picked those who will “confront and challenge the establishment in government to shake up how it operates,” while 46 percent would rather have leaders who will “bring competence and compassion to the way government operates.”

No doubt many voters want both ‘confrontation’ of some kind, but also more ‘compassion’ (could there be any less compassion and empathy coming from the White House?). It’s not necessarily and either/or choice. While Biden’s impressive poll numbers suggest that more compassion is a winner, sorting out which voters want more confrontation and what kind of confrontation they want is more difficult.

Given how often I hear the word exhausted from those studying swing voters, I was somewhat surprised to see “competence and compassion” only narrowly besting “confront and challenge.” My first thought when I saw these numbers was that there could be a lot of liberals, young people and voters of color in that 44 percent cohort. After all, we’ve seen thousands of people taking to the streets this summer demanding changes to a political, social and economic system that has systemically discriminated against Black people.

But, when I looked through the cross tabs provided to me by NBC/Wall Street Journal pollsters, I found that those who want to challenge the establishment and those who want to see a more compassionate return to normalcy fall along familiar political lines.

Most Republicans (64 percent) like the “confront and challenge” approach while most Democrats (70 percent), pick “competence and compassion.” Almost two-thirds of white Evangelicals and 55 percent of white men with less than a college degree support confront and challenge, while 66 percent of liberals and 54 percent of African Americans wanted to see competence and compassion. In other words, even though the poll question did not contain the words “Trump” or “Biden,” voters in the Trump coalition stuck with “confront and challenge” while those in the Biden cohort chose “competence and compassion.”

Among independent voters, “confront and challenge” beats out “competence and compassion” by nine points (51-42 percent). But, it’s hard to know what confront and challenge mean to them. Are they supportive of Trump’s attacks on Governors and local elected officials who aren’t opening schools or the economy fast enough? Or, are they more responsive to messages from Democratic congressional candidates who boast of eschewing corporate PAC money and attack their GOP opponents for being in the back pocket of DC special interests?

With the highest turnout demographic group, however, we may be seeing signs of polarization fatigue. Sure, seniors care about their retirement assets and are often more conservative about social and cultural issues. But many of them don’t like the idea of another 4 years of angry divisiveness, which is the distinguishing characteristic of the Trump Administration. Walter notes further,

But, when we try to understand why older voters, especially those in the 65+ demographic, are currently supporting Biden over Trump, this idea of competence and compassion could be a big reason. Fifty-one percent of those who are retired and 50 percent of those who are 65 years old or older prefer candidates who emphasize compassion and competence.

Walter cautions, “As with every survey, it’s important not to read too much into one question. But, it does help remind us that even while Americans are yearning to ‘get back to normal’, we are deeply divided into what normal would look like.”

Yet Democrats can be encouraged that a broad consensus seems to be forming around the idea that America needs more compassionate leadership, even as we more assertively confront the complex injustices of our times.


Data Shows House Trends Favor Democrats

At The Cook Political Report, David Wasserman reports that “20 Races Move Towards Democrats,” and notes:

We may be approaching the point at which dozens of House Republicans will need to decide whether to cut the president loose and run on a “check and balance” message, offering voters insurance against congressional Democrats moving too far left under a potential Biden administration.

Trump now trails Joe Biden by nine points in the FiveThirtyEight average, roughly matching Democrats’ average lead on the generic congressional ballot and seven points larger than his 2016 popular vote deficit. But because there are plenty of solidly blue urban districts where Trump didn’t have much room to fall in the first place, his decline is especially acute in swing suburban districts with lots of college graduates.

Republicans began the cycle hoping to pick up 18 seats to win the majority back. Now they’re just trying to avoid a repeat of 2008, when they not only lost the presidency but got swamped by Democrats’ money and lost even more House seats after losing 30 seats and control two years earlier. For the first time this cycle, Democrats have at least as good a chance at gaining House seats as Republicans on a net basis.

Wasserman flags the following races as “reflecting movement toward Democrats”:

AZ-02: Ann Kirkpatrick (D) – Likely D to Solid D
CA-04: Tom McClintock (R) – Solid R to Likely R
CA-39: Gil Cisneros (D) – Lean D to Likely D
CO-06: Jason Crow (D) – Likely D to Solid D
IN-05: OPEN (Brooks) (R) – Lean R to Toss Up
KS-02: Steve Watkins (R) – Likely R to Lean R
MN-01: Jim Hagedorn (R) – Likely R to Lean R
MN-03: Dean Phillips (D) – Likely D to Solid D
NE-02: Don Bacon (R) – Lean R to Toss Up
NC-08: Richard Hudson (R) – Likely R to Lean R
NC-09: Dan Bishop (R) – Solid R to Likely R
OH-01: Steve Chabot (R) – Lean R to Toss Up
OH-12: Troy Balderson (R) – Solid R to Likely R
PA-08: Matt Cartwright (D) – Toss Up to Lean D
TX-03: Van Taylor (R) – Solid R to Likely R
TX-06: Ron Wright (R) – Solid R to Likely R
TX-21: Chip Roy (R) – Lean R to Toss Up
TX-25: Roger Williams (R) – Solid R to Likely R
VA-10: Jennifer Wexton (D) – Likely D to Solid D
WA-03: Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) – Likely R to Lean R

Wasserman proves one paragraph summaries of the trends for each race and also provides a link to summary data for “all competitive races,” with lean, toss-up or likely designations for each race.

Also check out sbd’s “Here are the Lean D House races. Find one to support at Daily Kos, which notes that “Pundit ratings and a few polls show 230 D, 21 Tossup, 184 R.” Sbd also provides short analysis for each of the districts and this map of which parties hold U.S. congressional districts:

Kyle Kondik’s “The House: Democratic Murmurings in the Texas Suburbs – and Elsewhere: 11 rating changes, most in favor of Democrats” at Sabato’s Crystal Ball also merits a read. Kondik explains why “as many as 10 Republican-held House seats could become vulnerable” in Texas and why “Democrats remain favored to retain their House majority.”

“Overall,” Kondik writes, “our ratings now show 227 House seats at least leaning to the Democrats, 194 at least leaning to the Republicans, and 14 Toss-ups. Splitting the Toss-ups down the middle would mean a 234-201 House, a one-seat GOP improvement on 2018.”


Teixeira: Persuasion, Baby – It’s a Beautiful Thing!

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Let’s Face It: Biden’s Running a Smart Campaign!

And–dare I say it?–it’s pretty much as I argued a Democrat should run and not the way recommended by the base mobilization is everything/get nonvoters to vote/there are no swing voters/the white working class is hopeless crowd. In other words, persuasion, baby! It’s a beautiful thing.

And the pundits are catching up too! Ezra Klein:

“The key to Biden’s success is simple: He’s slicing into Trump’s coalition, pulling back the older, whiter voters Democrats lost in 2016. The Biden campaign’s insight is that mobilization is often the flip side of polarization: When party activists are sharply divided by ideology and demography, what excites your side will be the very thing that unnerves the other side. Studies of House elections show this dynamic in action: Ideologically extreme candidates perform worse than moderates because they drive up turnout on the other side.

Biden’s theory of wavering Trump voters is the same as his theory of wavering Republican senators: He thinks they want to vote with him but need help getting over their political hang-ups about voting for a Democrat. And so he is trying to give them that help. He praises the old Republican Party, refuses to pick a side in American politics’ hottest fights. Biden has resisted calls to abolish private insurance, ban fracking, decriminalize immigration, and defund the police. It’s cost him enthusiasm on the left, but it has denied Trump the clear foil he needs. That’s left Trump confused, pathetically insisting Biden holds positions Biden doesn’t hold and getting fact-checked live on Fox.”

Gerald Seib:

“Is there a hidden Trump vote? The good news for President Trump is this: There just might be.

The bad news for the president: The universe of potential hidden supporters is heavily populated with the kinds of people who happen to be more comfortable with Joe Biden than they were with Hillary Clinton four years ago….

[W]orking-class whites are far more comfortable with Mr. Biden than they were with Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Biden projects more as working-class Joe from Scranton, a beer-and-shot kind of guy with a long history of police-union support, than as a representative of the urban, liberal Democratic elites that many blue-collar voters distrust and disdain. It’s no coincidence that Mr. Biden came out early against the movement to defund police departments.

“The guy just doesn’t project a sense that he doesn’t like white working-class people, or considers them beyond the pale, or that they aren’t worth talking to,” says Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who has long urged Democrats to work to maintain the party’s historical allegiance of working-class voters.”