President Donald Trump has only been in office for four months, and yet the same people who dismissed his chances of winning the 2016 presidential election are hastening to predict that the Democrat Party will win big in the 2018 midterm elections.
The pollsters and pundits across the board were shocked when Trump pulled off a stunning election upset against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8. Most were chastened by their inaccuracy on Election Day, but it only took a few months for them to begin predicting the downfall of the president’s political party.
“The midterm elections are still nearly a year and a half away, and the political dynamics could yet change, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that history and the current environment are merging together for a potentially great set of elections for Democrats in November 2018.”
“The midterm elections are still nearly a year and a half away, and the political dynamics could yet change, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that history and the current environment are merging together for a potentially great set of elections for Democrats in November 2018,” Nathan L. Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, wrote in an article published Wednesday on Roll Call.
Gonzales noted that Trump’s approval ratings have been “slumping” in recent polls and are lower than 50 percent across the spectrum. In addition, he pointed out that each president’s party has lost an average of 33 House seats in 18 of the past 20 midterm elections. Thus, Gonzales theorized it would be plausible for the Democrat Party to gain the 24 seats it needs to snatch the House majority away from the Republicans.
To that effect, Gonzales noted that there are 39 House GOP seats in play and only 14 Democratic House seats in play for 2018 at this point, according to Inside Elections’ ratings.
“Of course, there is plenty of time for the political climate to change, but our Inside Elections ratings need to reflect the reality that Democrats have more takeover opportunities than if this was shaping up to be a status quo election, or certainly more opportunities than if Hillary Clinton had been in the White House,” Gonzales wrote.
Gonzales, however, had predicted that Clinton would walk away with a huge Electoral College victory of 323 compared to a supposed 215 votes for Trump. Trump won with 304 votes compared to 227 for Clinton.
But Gonzales and Inside Elections aren’t the only ones predicting a 2018 Democratic takeover after also predicting a Clinton victory last year.
Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight blog predicted in mid-April that the forecast for 2018 was “cloudy with a chance of landslide. An anti-Trump/GOP landslide, that is.”
Silver had given Clinton a 71.4 percent chance of winning on Nov. 8, leaving Trump a mere 28.6 percent chance of victory.
In fact, nearly ever pollster and pundit seemed to have Clinton pulling out a definitive victory against Trump in 2016. The Princeton Election Consortium allowed Trump a mere one percent chance of defeating Clinton. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball believed Clinton would win with 322 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 216. The Crystal Ball’s managing editor, Kyle Kondik, now says he believes that Democrats “have a path to winning a House majority next year” with 41 vulnerable GOP seats, according to a May 16 entry.