Allow me to preface this by stating the only way to win an election (other than by utilizing GOP cheating tactics) is to get out and vote, and regardless of the number of articles stating a blue wave is coming this November, we must not get complacent. With that said, we are looking at a big beautiful blue wave in the 2018 midterm elections. So far in 2018, Democrats have enjoyed extremely successful special elections, improving on their margin in contested seats by 13.3 points above the 2016 results. Based on these results, it is signaling the largest ever blue wave. There have only been two larger swings, in 1994 and 2010, when Republicans picked up 54 and 63 House seats, respectively.
While the generic ballot polls have continually favored Democrats over the past year, the margin has fallen a bit from the high point of 13 back in December. However, this type of poll is misleading as it covers all registered voters. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that the Democrats held a 7-point lead on the generic ballot, but when only including those who said they had a high interest in voting, that Democratic margin increased to a whopping 21 points.
Democrats received more good news following last week’s primaries. For the first time this year, a Republican incumbent in the House of Representatives lost to a challenger in the primary. North Carolina’s 9th district saw Robert Pittenger lose to Mark Harris. While this may not seem like a big deal towards winning back the House, political writer G. Elliott Morris has previously calculated that an incumbent was worth approximately 7 percentage points in the 2016 House election. With at least 36 Republican incumbents not running again in the House this year, that is quite good news to the Democrats running in those districts. In this week’s primaries, a Pennsylvania House district flipped from red to blue for the first time in 35 years, marking the 41st Democratic flip since the 2016 election.
Looking at history to predict how big of a blue wave we will see this year, since the Great Depression, the party of the president has lost an average of 25 seats in the House and two in the Senate during the first midterm. However, this number typically increases dramatically when the president’s approval rating is below 50%. Despite Trump’s fallacious claims, he has never even come close to reaching the mid or upper 40s. While this is all great news, and everything is pointing to the Democrats taking back the House, we must always remember what can happen, and the damage that may occur, if we don’t vote in every election.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.