On Tuesday, Nov. 6, about 90 million American voters (around 40% of the voting-eligible population, give or take) will elect all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 members of the U.S. Senate. The midterm election’s outcome will play a major role in policy-making and the politics leading up to the presidential election of 2020. Going into the 2018 elections, Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of Congress. This collection of four different models printed in the Crystal Ball offers forecasts of how the 2018 midterm congressional elections are likely to change the partisan composition of the House and the Senate.
Normally around this time in a presidential election cycle — the “interregnum,” as it has come to be known — we would be waiting for the dust from the nomination campaigns to settle before moving on to the conventions and to considerations of the general election race. As you may have noticed, however, this is not a normal year. It has been anything but. No dust, just tons of rubble from two wildly contentious nomination fights left to clear away as we turn to a general election bout likely to be the political equivalent of a mixed martial arts cage fight.
Forget Bain Capital, tax returns, whether the President says you built your business or not, Fast and Furious, Romneycare, Obamacare, overseas gaffes and the campaign story du jour. These are side issues and distractions. This presidential election should be primarily about one thing, which is the issue that is perennially most important to American voters: the economy.
Some political analysts have interpreted the 2008 presidential election as an ordinary retrospective election. With a very unpopular Republican incumbent presiding over unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a weak economy, 2008 appeared to be a Democratic year.
In their examination of the fundamentals and the polls to this point in the 2008 election, my esteemed colleagues Alan Abramowitz, Tom Mann, and Larry Sabato indicate that they believe that the presidential election is essentially a done deal. As they see the 2008 story developing, Barack Obama will win a comfortable victory, if not in an outright landslide, over John McCain.