What is early balloting telling us about the 2018 midterms?

By Dave Andrusko

November 6, a mere week from today, one of the most important midterm elections in modern memory will take place. For pro-lifers, the bottom line question is whether both the House and the Senate remain under pro-life Republican leadership or will pro-abortion Democrats assume the helm at either or both houses.

As we have Monday through Friday for weeks, here is brief overview of just a handful of the many developments we could address.

1. Democrats have eyed control of the Senate under the leadership of pro-abortion Chuck Schumer (D-NY). However, they understand that because they are defending so many more seats than Republicans (and several in states that President Trump carried by large margins in 2016), their best chance is in the House.

While that remains the case, it also true that contrary to the predictions from the same people who told us with ironclad certainty that Hillary Clinton would be President, the Democratic advantage continues to shrink. The latest from Real Clear Politics is the “spread” is from a gain of as few as 10 in the House up to as many as 40.

Democrats need a net win of 24 seats.

2. As surely as the swallows return to Capistrano, every election the Washington Post tells us that there is this groundswell of young people who are going to rush to the polls and tilt elections in the Democrats’ favor. So on Monday we read, “Pushing for a ‘youth wave’: Can Democrats channel dissent into action at the ballot box?” .

Of course the answer is yes, although at least the Post concedes that Republicans are working hard as well. But the point is that early voting is supposed to be an indication of enthusiasm and what is to come. However as Hot Air points out, the Post frames the story around an area in Central Florida, and one particular woman who voted absentee for the Democrats.

Yet if you go to a tweet from John Bresnahan of Politico, you find that while ages 18 to 29 compose 17% of the registered voters in Florida, they’ve only cast 5% of the ballots thus far. By contrast those 65 and over represent 18.4% of the electorate but have cast 51.4% of the ballots!

Moreover as of last Friday, a little over 2 million votes had already been cast in Florida. According to the Tampa Bay Times:

Of that total, 43 percent were cast by Republicans (869,649) and 40 percent by Democrats (808,200). That’s a successful formula for Republicans in Florida, a deep purple state with a long history of tight elections and sluggish Democratic turnouts in midterms.

Independents and minor-party voters cast 17 percent of all ballots through Thursday. Recent polls show that Gillum and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson have sizeable leads over their rivals, Ron DeSantis and Gov. Rick Scott respectively, among those voters.

The advantage that Democrats need in early voting to overcome a historical Republican advantage in voting by mail has disappeared. The first weekend of early voting in the largest counties will provide more telltale signs starting Saturday.

In his second paragraph, reporter Steve Bousquet writes

The blue wave remains mostly a mirage. More Republicans are “bringing it home” so far, in the words of Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum.

President Trump has announced plans for a pair of rallies in Florida.

3. In a hostile, vituperative piece at Vox  Dylan Scott concedes that “White evangelicals are the sleeping giant of the 2018 midterms.” While his job, of course, is to convince White evangelicals that they have no business voting for the President, Scott also acknowledges what President Trump has already done for that community — and people of all faiths – and the nonsectarian right to life community as well.

That begins with two appointments to the Supreme Court, the expanded Mexico City policy, “creating a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Health and Human Services Department,” work to address the federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives — to name just three.

Scott unhappily writes

Those people have stuck with Trump. In April, after a year of Trump and having racked up some of those important victories, 75 percent of evangelical voters said they approved of the way the president was doing his job. In the most recent Fox News poll, Trump was still holding 73 percent approval among these voters.

4. Finally as of today (and numbers can and do change), pro-life senatorial challengers in Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota are ahead.

More tomorrow.