The Pi-Rate Ratings

October 19, 2018

An Analytical Look at the 2018 Mid-term Elections

Filed under: News & Views — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 10:37 am

The PiRate Ratings consist of a group of mathematical nerds that love to look at ratings of all types.  Sports ratings dominate about 95% of what we publish, but we are big-time followers of the political scene, as our founder was once a journalist and has worked as an official in past elections.

We do not have our own polling data.  However, we handicap other polls based on past accuracy and whether the polls show bias one way or another.  Then, we go use the various dates of each handicapped poll and use linear regression analysis to come up with a prediction.

This takes a lot of time to search for the polls we believe are the most accurate.  Very few were all that accurate in 2016, but there were some major polling efforts that showed President Trump leading the electoral vote count in the final days before the election.

Today, we look at the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Gubernatorial Races.  The result is a split decision for 2019.

The United States Senate

Safe Seats

21 of the 35 seats are considered safe, where the candidate in the lead today has a greater than 95% chance of winning in November.

California
Dianne Feinstein (D)
Feinstein is like a Supreme Court Justice in the Golden State. She will hold this seat for life, or until she retires. This easily stays a safe seat for the Democrats.

Connecticut
Chris Murphy (D)
Connecticut has become much bluer in the last 15 years, and Murphy will win this seat with token opposition to retain it for the Democrats.

Delaware
Tom Carper (D)
Carper is almost as safe as if he were running unopposed. This seat is retained by the Democrats.

Hawaii
Mazie Hirano (D)
The same thing about Carper applies here. Hirano cruises to an easy victory to retain this seat for the Democrats.

Maine
Angus King (I)
King caucuses with the Democrats, so this seat in essence is retained by the Democrats.

Maryland
Ben Cardin (D)
Cardin wins a third term in a safe race to retain this seat for the Democrats.

Massachusetts
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Her chances of becoming the next President are most likely gone now, but Warren should retain this seat for the Democrats by a healthy margin.

Michigan
Debbie Stabenow (D)
This seat remains Democrat with a safe win for Stabenow.

Minnesota
Amy Klobuchar (D)
Klobuchar should win re-election by a landslide of more than 20% to retain this seat for the Democrats

Minnesota Special Election
Tina Smith (D)
This race was never all that close, and Smith has maintained a double-digit lead to retain this seat for the Democrats.

Mississippi
Roger Wicker (R)
Wicker may score the largest GOP landslide victory in the 2018 elections to retain this seat for the Republicans

Nebraska
Deb Fischer (R)
Fischer has a large lead and will win a second term in the Cornhusker State and retain this seat for the Republicans.

New Mexico
Martin Heinrich (D)
Like Fischer, Heinrich easily wins re-election to a second term and retains this seat for the Democrats

New York
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
This could be the largest landslide victory for the party of Jefferson and Jackson. Gillibrand will then have to address the rumors about whether or not she will launch a Presidentail campaign for the 2020 election. The Democrats retain this seat.

Ohio
Sherrod Brown (D)
This race was never close, and the Democrats will easily retain it in a landslide.

Rhode Island
Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
It’s a third term for Whitehouse, and the Democrats retain this seat.

Utah
Mitt Romney (R)
The former GOP Presidential candidate will win by 30+% to retain this seat for the Republicans.

Vermont
Bernie Sanders (I)
Sanders caucuses with the Democrats and will win re-election by a large landslide. His announcement for the 2020 Presidential race should come sometime in the Spring or early Summer of 2019.

Virginia
Tim Kaine (D)
The former Vice-presidential candidate and running mate for Hillary Clinton might become a Presidential contender in 2020, but for now, he retains this seat for the Democrats.

Washington
Maria Cantwell (D)
Cantwell wins for the fourth time and could stay in this seat for two or three more terms. She won by less than 1% in 2000, by 17% in 2006, and by 20+% in 2012, and she could win by 20+% again this time. The Democrats keep this seat.

Wyoming
John Barrasso (R)
Barrasso should win this race by 50%, to safely retain this seat for the Republicans.

 

Contested Seats

Arizona
Martha McSally (R) 52.5
Kyrsten Sinema (D) 47.5
Arizona stays Republican after negative ads against Sinema, using her own voice, are quite effective.

Florida
Bill Nelson (D) 50.3
Rick Scott (R) 49.7
Florida race is too close to call at this point, but if the election were today, Nelson would retain this seat for the Democrats.

Indiana
Joe Donnelly (D) 48.2
Mike Braun (R) 47.4
Lucy Brenton (L) 4.4
This race is trending toward Donnelly in the most recent polls, and the Democrats look like they will retain this seat unless something drastic changes the race in the final two weeks.

Mississippi Special Election Primary
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) 37.2
Mike Espy (D) 34.7
Chris McDaniel (R) 24.0
Toby Bartee (D) 4.1
It’s hard to see how Mississippi would flip, but Espy is probably the Democrats’ best possible candidate in the Magnolia State. This race is too close to call, but if the general election were held today, Hyde-Smith would win to keep this seat Republican.

Missouri
Josh Hawley (R) 51.5
Claire McCaskill (D) 48.5
This race now looks like it is trending to Hawley after Project Veritas releases damaging evidence in McCaskill’s own words on hiding her actual stance on gun control with the quote that “People just can’t know that.” This state will flip from Democrat to Republican.

Montana
Jon Tester (D) 51.1
Matt Rosendale (R) 48.9
Tester holds on to a narrow lead, but the President has been in Big Sky Country four times in this election cycle, and this race has moved from leaning Democrat to narrowly Democrat. It is too close to call officially, but if the election were today, Tester would squeak by with re-election and keep this seat Democrat.

New Jersey
Robert Menendez (D) 53.8
Bob Hugin (R) 46.2
This seat is close to safe for a Menendez re-election, and the Democrats retain it.

Nevada
Dean Heller (R) 53.7
Jacky Rosen (D) 46.3
This race was closer earlier in the campaign cycle, but Heller has a somewhat comfortable lead and should retain this seat for the Republicans.

North Dakota
Kevin Cramer (R) 55.9
Heidi Heitkamp (D) 44.1
This seat is almost assured of flipping from Democrat to Republican. Heitkamp had the numbers working against her in a red state that went for Trump.

Pennsylvania
Bob Casey (D) 57.6
Lou Barletta (R) 42.4
This race has opened up by a healthy enough margin to guarantee it for Casey and retain the seat for the Democrats.

Tennessee
Marsha Blackburn (R) 53.8
Phil Bredesen (D) 46.2
In another case where Project Veritas produced damning evidence that Bredesen had lied about his support for Justice Kavanaugh, this race has moved by several points in favor of Blackburn. It is not decided yet, as Tennessee has never elected a female to statewide office, and in past years, females that held the lead in polls lost on election day. It is a tossup state, but if the election were held today, the Republicans would narrowly hold onto this seat.

Texas
Ted Cruz (R) 54.1
Beto O’Rourke (D) 45.9
In a state where gun ownership is above the national average, O’Rourke’s statement that Texas should lead the nation conversation for gun control can be considered a gaffe that will cost him a couple of points and make this race close to safe for Cruz to win re-election and retain this seat for the Republicans.

West Virginia
Joe Manchin (D) 54.6
Patrick Morrisey (R) 45.4
Joe Manchin showed his intelligence in a very red state when he voted for Justice Kavanaugh. He will win by close to double digits and retain this seat for the Democrats. Manchin considered retiring, and he later would not make a comment on the possibility of switching parties. Manchin has tried to encourage other Democrats to work with the President, as in his opinion this is how his party can add to its numbers. His words are falling on deaf ears.

Wisconsin
Tammy Baldwin (D) 54.7
Leah Vukmir (R) 45.3
Baldwin has excellent organization in the Badger State, and she should win this race without much concern that the GOP can sneak up on election day like the state did for the President. The Democrats retain this seat.

 

The 65 Senators not up for re-election
Republicans 42
Democrats 23

There are 35 seats up for grabs this year due to two special elections.
Safe for Democrats 21
Safe for Republicans 5

Subtotal
Republicans 47
Democrats 44

*** Nine states will decide the balance of power in the US Senate. ***
Three lean to the Democrats today
Florida
Indiana
Montana

Six lean to the Republicans today
Arizona
Mississippi Special Election
Missouri
Nevada
North Dakota
Tennessee

The current prediction is:
Republicans 53
Democrats 47

 

The United States House of Representatives

Currently
Republicans 235
Democrats 193

2018 Safe seats (411)
Democrats 212
Republicans 199

2018 Contested Seats (27)

Forecasting the 27 races individually is more than our tiny group can handle.  We have used our regression analysis to look at net gains and net losses in the polls.  It is not as accurate as looking at each race individually, but we do prefer to get at least 4 hours of sleep a night.

If the election were held today
Democrats 222
Republicans 216

 

Gubernatorial Races if the election were held today
Republicans 27
Democrats 23

 

So, who will be the big winner in November?  It’s hard to say, but if we do end up with a split decision, the biggest winners may be all the political bloggers and online political sites that will have a field day cramming their opinions down the country’s throats.

The only political commentary we will make is this: Many people fail to understand that the elected official that most affects his or her life is the councilman or alderman in his or her neighborhood.  Yet, history shows that these elections receive the lowest turnout of all races.

Please vote in your local elections wherever you live and for whomever you believe will best represent your views and opinions and who best will respond to any redresses you might have.  In most cases, you can talk personally with your councilman or alderman.  Most of us can never speak directly with any other elected official, other than one or two seconds in a handshake line during an election cycle.

We live in interesting times!

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