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April 13, 2022

Matt Yglesias' Substack: Republicans May Have 60 Senate Seats After 2024

Note that Matt Yglesias didn't write this; a writer named Simon Bazelon did. I just mention that it's Matt Yglesias' substack because he's a hyperpartian Democrat and would not rah-rah for the Republicans.

The argument is that while 2022 will be bad for the Democrats, 2024 will be worse.

First, his analysis of 2022:

[I]t's reasonable to assume that Democrats are looking at a vote share between 47% and 48.5% this cycle. This means Republicans will probably win the generic ballot by between three and six percent, and the median scenario is probably Republicans winning by around 4.5%. Since Joe Biden won by 4.5% in 2020, this would mean that the national environment has shifted 9 percentage points to the right.

Assume, for a moment, that there is zero ticket-splitting, and this swing is uniform across all elections. This would mean any Democrat in a state that Biden won by less than 9% will probably lose. That includes:

Mark Kelly in Arizona (Biden +0.3)

Raphael Warnock in Georgia (Biden +0.2)

Catherine Cortez-Masto in Nevada (Biden +2.4)

Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire (Biden +7.4)

Let me just depart from the Bazelon analysis for a moment to note Biden's job approval rate in Nevada:

Thirty-five percent.

And this is a blue state!

Nevada's top Democratic officeholders are trailing Republican rivals for vulnerable seats at the governor's mansion and U.S. Senate, according to a Suffolk University/Reno Gazette Journal poll released on Tuesday.

The early April survey of 500 likely midterm election voters counts among the first to show how far U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Gov. Steve Sisolak might sink under the weight of rising gas prices and inflation.

The latter issue, respondents said, was by far the most important on their minds, followed by jobs and the state of the economy. Only 35% of those polled approved of President Joe Biden's job performance -- 6 percentage points below the first-term Democrat's already dismal nationwide approval rating.

Note the poll sample was of "midterm election voters," which would include more GOPers, because it's GOPers who are enthusiastic to vote.

And the Democrat incumbent is running behind likely Republican challengers:

David Paleologos @davidpaleologos Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network Nevada poll

Race for U.S. Senate
Catherine Cortez Masto (D) 40%
Adam Laxalt (R) 43%
None of these candidates 3%
Undecided 14%

Catherine Cortez Masto (D) 39%
Sam Brown (R) 40%
None of these candidates 5%
Undecided 17%

Back to Bazelon:

The 2024 map is much worse

Since the Reagan Era, Democrats have averaged roughly 51% of the two-party vote in Presidential elections. If Biden gets this percentage of the vote, and the correlation between the Senate and presidential vote stays at close to .95 (as it was in 2020), then basically every Democratic senator in a state Biden won by less than 2% who is up in 2024 is likely to lose.

That includes:

Jon Tester in Montana (Biden -16.3)

Joe Manchin in West Virginia (Biden -29.9)

Sherrod Brown in Ohio (Biden -8)

Bob Casey in Pennsylvania (Biden +1.2)

Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin (Biden +0.7)

Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona (Biden +0.3)

In addition, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan (Biden +2.8) and Jackie Rosen in Nevada (Biden +2.4) would likely be in toss-up races.

He attempts to prove this dire outlook with "Choose your own disaster" chart, which shows that under no plausible selection of Democrat vote shares in 2022 and 2024 will Democrats hold the Senate, and in most scenarios, they'll be at around 43 seats or fewer.

Putting it all together The above scenarios are designed to illustrate plausible outcomes, and they're specific to certain assumptions about Democrats' performance in the 2022 and 2024 elections. You might think these assumptions are wrong. So below is a "choose your own adventure" for Senate forecasts. Start on the left with the share of the vote you think Democrats will get in 2022, then pick your estimate of the Democratic vote share in 2024. The output in the right-most column is, according to David Shor's modeling, the projected number of Senate seats Democrats will hold after the 2024 elections.


As the table demonstrates, "normal" electoral results will likely result in the loss of a large share of the Democratic Senate Caucus -- pessimism about the outlook here is not driven by any particular pessimism about Democrats' share of the national popular vote.

Instead, the issue is that the growing polarization of the electorate around educational attainment and the urban/rural divide has generated a Senate that is incredibly biased against the Democratic party.


"Business as usual" will result in President Trump or President DeSantis, with somewhere between 56 and 62 Senate seats. And this is actually worse than it might seem at first. In recent years, Republican senators who have retired (or announced that they are retiring) have skewed heavily toward those who were willing to occasionally stand up to Trump, like Jeff Flake, Lamar Alexander, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, and Richard Burr. If Trump returns to office, he will do so with a median Senator who is far more deferent to his wishes than the last time around.

Read the whole thing. He's a lefty and he's trying to warn the left about continuing to pursue their highly, highly divisive and alienating Woke agenda (I assume).

But the left can't abandon the Woke agenda-- they have made it their central identity and established that "Wokeness" equals goodness and holiness and anti-wokeness is simply evil.

How can the Democrats suddenly reverse themselves on their claim that if you don't "affirm" the "gender identities" of seven year olds, you're evil transphobes who want trans kids to die? That's a hard claim to just walk back.

Now I think they will in fact have to walk these things back, but it will take a political cataclysm to force them to confront reality. They won't do so just based on projections and predictions.

A week ago, John Sexton wrote about poll-watcher Harry Olsen's Red Alert for Democrats.

The Cook Political Report think that the GOP will "only" capture about 23 House seats in November. It's not that Cook doesn't think that Democrats are unpopular. It's that the Republicans already have a near-majority. In 2010, when they gained 50 or so seats, they were way down in the seat count. They were lacking a bunch of seats they should normally have had.

But now, they have a lot of the seats they "should normally have," and so will only win a semi-modest 23 seats.

But Harry Olsen thinks the Democrats are in a worse position than Cook appreciates, and Republicans will gain a lot of seats, even though they're already at near-parity.

Biden sported an eight-point net negative job approval rating on Election Day in 2021, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. He won the 2020 election by 4.5 points, meaning public opinion shifted 12.5 points in one year. Lo and behold, Democrats lost every state legislative seat in those states that Biden carried by 11.75 points or less and a couple of additional seats above that line.

Here's where the bad news starts for Democrats. They hold 42 House seats that fall below that mark, and a few more will be added to the list when New Hampshire and Florida draw their maps. Politico rates 13 of those 42 seats as safe for Democrats. If that doesn't hold, the GOP could gain as many as 40 seats.

Is that bad?

Well, it might be even worse:

Now factor in the fact that Biden is even more unpopular today than he was last November. Biden currently has a 12-point net negative job approval rating, four points worse than on Election Day 2021. Assuming the same trend from last year's election holds true in this year's midterms, that means any Democrat in a seat Biden won by 15.75 points or less could be vulnerable. That throws an additional 17 seats onto the playing field, all of which are rated by Politico as safely blue.

You wouldn't expect the GOP to win all of the seats that are merely in play in play seats are merely contested -- but let's say they won about 40% of the "in-play" seats. That would be about another 6 or 7 seats.

So the upshot is: In 2024, the GOP might have the presidency, plus a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, plus the largest House majority in decades, and Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy will still tell us "it's not the right time" to pass conservative legislation but it's the perfect time to amnesty 30 million illegal aliens.

Conservatives will not succeed until they get serious about playing hardball with the liberal Republican anti-conservative motherf***ers who conspire with the Democrats to keep us down. They've been playing hardball with us; it's time to wake the f*** up and play hardball back.

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:33 PM

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