Today: 21.08.2018
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20.08.2018

Why a blue wave in the midterms is no sure thing.

The question of how President Trump is faring with the American electorate is obsessional for everyone interested in politics. The problem is there’s no reliable way to measure it, and we’re almost four months from the midterm election that will function as a partial national referendum on this question. So we’re all reduced to reading...
Time: 20:41     Date: 22.07.2018
Last US News - Opinion: Why a blue wave in the midterms is no sure thing. NY Post 24 - US News

The problem is there’s no reliable way to measure it, and we’re almost four months from the midterm election that will function as a partial national referendum on this question. So we’re all reduced to reading tea leaves and fighting over points of interpretation.

The tiniest changes in polls are studied with Talmudic focus, even though we are repeatedly and wisely warned that such shifts are “noise” rather than “signal” — they only look like they mean something. We are also warned to avoid believing in little pieces of data that “confirm our priors” — which is to say, information that supports our own beliefs. But “confirming our priors” is exactly the point of the exercise.

We don’t want bad news. We want comforting news.

It is unsatisfying to Trump fans and foes alike that his overall approval rating ranges between 40 and 43 percent, and has for months. The foes think it should be lower, while the fans think it’s higher and that somehow the truth is being suppressed. And the number is neither good enough nor bad enough to point clearly to the future midterm results.

The ultimate question is: Will there be a blue wave that’ll break across the country and sweep Democrats into control of the House of Representatives the way a red wave swept the GOP into the House in 2010?

Political history tells us there should be a pronounced shift at the very least — that the “out party” always gains in the midterms, especially when the party in power controls not only the presidency but Congress. And the number of seats Democrats need to flip to attain the majority is relatively small — only 23.

That modest shift would not constitute a “wave,” a phenomenon in which everything breaks to the benefit of one party. In a wave, most competitive races, no matter where they are, fall like dominoes in one direction.

This happened for Republicans in 2010, when they netted 63 new seats and took the House of Representatives — and for the GOP in 2014, when they netted nine spots in the upper chamber and took control of the Senate.

A wave would net the Democrats 30 to 40 seats in the House and might also give them unexpected gains in the Senate or at least limit their downside damage there (the Senate races this year are unusually tough for Democrats).

Through 2017, they had every reason to think they’d see a wave. Democratic candidates performed very well in special elections, and Democratic voters turned out everywhere to give their candidates the best possible shot to win.

And Trump had a disastrous first year that saw his poll numbers sink into the low- to mid-30s after self-inflicted wounds like his horrid reaction to the Charlottesville white-power riot. His numbers declined not because Democrats hated him more than they had, but because Republicans pulled away from him.

Every time Trump creates a controversy — from the separation of children from their parents at the border to the NATO-Putin horror show of the past two weeks — everyone waits to see whether Republican voters will lower the boom on Trump and push his numbers down back to Charlottesville levels.

It hasn’t happened all year and it’s unlikely to happen in the wake of the past week, because Republican poll respondents are onto the game and — whatever they might feel about Trump playing footsie with Russia — they’re not here to provide comfort to Democrats and liberals that November will deliver them from Republican control of the House.

What the approval rating doesn’t tell you is whether they’ll bother lining up for a down-ticket Republicans because they like Trump or whether they don’t like Trump enough to bother.

Liberals and Democrats detest and fear and loathe Trump in a way they have never loathed another Republican president (and they’ve loathed them all). They cannot believe anyone feels differently, and they are terrified of a Trumpian future in a way they have never been terrified before.

They rallied in 2017 to resist and organize and raise money and deliver messages, and they did so with great success. But you can sense a growing anxiety rising from Trump’s homeostasis around in the low 40s.

Trump’s victory knocked everybody for a loop in 2016, and no one really knows whether he possesses some kind of magical understanding of American politics now that will help him generate another unexpected result in his favor.

If that were to happen — I don’t think it will, but who knows — I think we would see the non- and anti-Trump voters in the United States descend into nothing less than a collective panic the likes of which we’ve never seen.

The consequences of that panic might be a deep demoralization. Or they might bring about an even more determined radicalization on the left.

The only thing that’s easy to predict is what happens if there’s a wave and Democrats attain a comfortable majority in the House: impeachment by summer 2019.

Opinion

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What gall: Norman Seabrook, the crooked former boss of the city correction-officers’ union, has set up a GoFundMe account...

Opinion

Last US News - Opinion: Don’t crucify Twitter’s CEO for telling the truth. NY Post 24 - US News
Don’t crucify Twitter’s CEO for telling the truth.
Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has proved to be more reluctant than other social-media giants (ahem, Facebook) to give in to progressive...
Last US News - Opinion: Brennan loses by trying to play Trump’s game. NY Post 24 - US News
Brennan loses by trying to play Trump’s game.
John Brennan may not know it, but he’s acting in a drama scripted and produced by Donald J. Trump. As Eli Lake perceptively...
Last US News - Opinion: These jail fixes matter much more than closing Rikers. NY Post 24 - US News
These jail fixes matter much more than closing Rikers.
Last week, Mayor de Blasio unveiled the details of his plan to close the jail complex at Rikers Island within a decade. As...
Last US News - Opinion: Online fundraiser proves Norman Seabrook has no shame. NY Post 24 - US News
Online fundraiser proves Norman Seabrook has no shame.
What gall: Norman Seabrook, the crooked former boss of the city correction-officers’ union, has set up a GoFundMe account...
Last US News - Opinion: Even when Carranza has a point, he misses the real issue. NY Post 24 - US News
Even when Carranza has a point, he misses the real issue.
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza isn’t wrong to question the use of a single test of 4- and 5-year-olds for entry to...

Living

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Iconic animal cracker box gets redesign after pressure from PETA.
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California declares surfing as official state sport.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Surf’s up in California, where it’s now the official state sport. Gov. Jerry Brown announced...
US Living News: Cop breastfeeds malnourished baby while on duty at hospital. NY Post 24 - US News
Cop breastfeeds malnourished baby while on duty at hospital.
A police officer in Argentina is being praised on social media after photos of her breastfeeding a malnourished baby went...
US Living News: Elderly woman celebrates 93rd birthday by getting ‘arrested’. NY Post 24 - US News
Elderly woman celebrates 93rd birthday by getting ‘arrested’.
For her 93rd birthday, a Maine woman got “arrested” — and got a kick out of it. Anne Dumont good-humoredly arranged...
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Bride suffers hair nightmare days before wedding.
While wedding tradition calls for every bride to have “something blue,” most soon-to-be newlyweds have a choice in selecting...
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Girl declared tumor-free 3 years after kiss from Pope Francis.
The family of a Philadelphia girl who was declared tumor-free three years after receiving a kiss from the pope has donated...
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Looks like Tom Brady was wrong about this superfood.
Tom Brady — of football fame and an exceedingly particular diet — has long boasted that he’s never eaten...
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Huge, dead whale washes up on Massachusetts beach.
A large, dead fin whale washed ashore in Duxbury, Massachusetts on Monday morning, with the local police department urging...

Business

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Trump says he doesn’t expect much from China trade talks.
President Donald Trump does not expect much progress from trade talks with China this week in Washington, he told Reuters...
Last US Business News: Another big bank drops Tesla coverage amid buyout chatter. NY Post 24 - US News
Another big bank drops Tesla coverage amid buyout chatter.
Brokerage Morgan Stanley has ceased equity coverage on Tesla, potentially a sign the bank may be doing business directly...
Last US Business News: Iconic animal cracker box gets redesign after pressure from PETA. NY Post 24 - US News
Iconic animal cracker box gets redesign after pressure from PETA.
After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of animal crackers are roaming free. Mondelez International, the...
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Amazon, pushing forward deeper into the health care field, has hired a world-famous cardiologist away from academia. Maulik...
Last US Business News: Why are we still relying on government to collect data?. NY Post 24 - US News
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I’ve been telling you for years (decades, actually) that Washington’s economic data are screwy. And because of that,...
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Metro

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NEW YORK — The last Nazi war crimes suspect facing deportation from the U.S. was taken from his New York City home and...
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Estate battle rages on between Ken Thompson’s widow, mother.
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Woman raped by Brooklyn jail guard sues US government.
One of the female Brooklyn prison inmates who helped convict a federal corrections lieutenant of sex assault and rape —...

Sport

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Jets are getting more obvious about their quarterback decision.
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