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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Near-Term Future of American Politics

James Hohmann in The Washington Post reports on Clinton WH political director Doug Sosnik. Democrats are unlikely to win the House next year, says Sosnik
Doug agreed to let me share with Daily 202 readers a 24-slide deck he just prepared on “Politics in the Age of Trump.” It has a bunch of charts and maps that you may want to print out for future reference. (See the whole thing here.)
The GOP’s performance in the 2010 midterm election positioned the party to dominate in the House for the entire decade. Consider that, in 2012, Republicans controlled the chamber despite getting 1.2 million fewer overall votes across all the House races. That’s how important it is to be able to draw the lines. (See slide 19.)
This also helps explain why there has been a steady decline in true swing seats since the 1990's. Red districts have gotten redder and blue districts bluer. There are fewer and fewer split districts. (See slide 10-12.)

Most of the tea party incumbents are unlikely to lose, so the action is going to be more in the moderate districts. (See slide 12.)
Due to the nature of the states with elections in 2018, Doug also thinks the Democrats are unlikely to take back the Senate for the rest of the decade. Again, barring a complete Republican meltdown. (See slides 7-9.)
Governors who win in 2018 will likely drive the redistricting process across the country. There are 38 governors races this cycle. Half are in open seats. There are contests in nine of the country’s 10 largest states. The outcome in these races will go a long way in determining who is in charge until the end of the 2020s. (See slides 15-16. Slide 20 shows who dominates the process in each state.)
History says that the party out of power should be highly motivated and do well. There seems to be signs of that now, but is it real? The greatest single question mark, which no one got right in 2016, is who is going to vote. That is even more difficult to predict in an off-year election. (See slide 24.)

An under-appreciated early warning sign will be mayoral races. (Slide 17 has a list of key municipal contests this cycle. Slide 22 lists the major elections in 2017. Again, here is the deck.)